Rock Your Google+ Local Business
If you own and/or operate a local, small to medium sized business, I’m sure you know all about your Google+ Local business page.
At some point you must have claimed your business listing, verified ownership with Google, and then optimized your profile with descriptive and keyword rich marketing copy, images, videos, and completing your address, url’s, hours, and contact info.
Then a few days later when you’re doing some test searches for your targeted keywords that you implemented with your updated search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, you start to see your business show up in Google Local listings like the Big 7 or 7 Pack Map, or in the new Google Carousel, specifically created by Google to help SMBs with Local SEO.
Looks like you’re rocking’ and enjoying life on the first page of Google SERPs for your targeted keywords. Whoooo Hoooo!!
Wait…What is Google+ Local?
Now if you’re someone who owns and/or operates a local business and you don’t know about Google+ Local or haven’t claimed your Google+ Local business listing and optimized your profile, what do you do? How do you rock out your Google+ Local business profile page?
VPDM has you covered.
Thanks to SIM Partners, who created a handy infographic that I’ve posted below, you can now follow the easy steps I’ve outlined in this article and get your business into the Google+ Local Search club in less than 5 minutes! Are you ready to master your Google+ Local business page optimization? Let’s go!
The first thing you have to do, which the awesome infographic left out, is that you must claim your Google+ local business if one has been created by default.
If there’s isn’t Google+ Local business page for your company, you’ll need to create one. It’s simple if you follow these instructions from Google:
To make a local page for your business:
1. Sign in to Google+ (you’ll have to create a Google+ profile if you don’t already have one).
2. Click Pages under Home on the left.
3. Click the Create a page button in the upper right.
4. Select the Google+ Local Business or Place category.
5. Enter the name or address of your business and select your business if it appears in the drop-down menu.
5a. If you don’t see your business listed in the menu, click No, these are not my businesses or I’ve correctly entered the business. You’ll then be prompted to enter some details for your business. Make sure you enter an accurate, complete street address, and a phone number which reaches your business directly.
5b. After you complete your business information, click Submit.
6. You will have one or two verification options. You can also choose to skip verification and return to your page’s dashboard at https://plus.google.com/dashboard to complete the process later.
Once that’s done, follow these steps and in less than 5 minutes, you’ll have a fully optimized Google+ Local business profile page for your company!
Optimize Your Google+ Local Business Page
Step 1: Verify You Business Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP)
- It’s best to use a local number as opposed to an 800 number.
- Make sure your NAP matches the location info you have on your website.
- Add your website url.
Pro Tip: If you have multiple business locations, ensure that each of your Google+ listings have a unique url, driving traffic to a website for that specific business location.
Step 2: Check That Red Google Pin
- Take a look at where Google Places has placed the pin indicating the location of your business on a map.
- If it’s not in the right spot, you can easily drag and drop it to a more appropriate location on the map.
Pro Tip: You can also establish a service area or radius for your location. This option is ideal for service or delivery operations.
Step 3: Pick Relevant Business Categories
- Google will give you one by default and it’s good to use at least one pre-populated, preferred category.
- Searches will only see two of the categories on your business page.
- You should still pick all applicable descriptions though, since searchers think of your business and search for your business in different ways.
Pro Tip: Avoid using local descriptors in your categories.
Step 4: Update Your Business Hours
- Hours of operation is one of the most checked pieces of information about local businesses.
- If your customers are unclear of your operating hours, they may go elsewhere.
Pro Tip: Google will list the hours of operation or say if the location is closed right in the local listings in the SERPs. Be diligent about updating these whiner hours change. Set a reminder in your personal calendar, for real!
Step 5: Add Media
Photographs and Other Images:
- Your Google+ Local page will always show a map of your location whether you add photos or not.
- This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add any photos. In fact, you absolutely should in order to fully optimize your Google+ Local business page.
- Upload at least one image between 250×250 and 1024×1024.
- I recommend you start with a logo as your first uploaded image. Ensure that it’s less than 1MB in file size.
- Keep uploading! You can upload up to 10 images.
Pro Tip: Google does not allow you to rearrange photos for some really ,really odd reason. They also don’t allow you to select a specific photo as the page image. Don’t waste your valuable time trying to get the one you want to show up as the profile image. Having said that, if you do figure out a hack, please let me know!
- Videos may not display on the Google+ Local page for your business, but they do increase Profile Completion Percentage.
Pro Tip: Add the same video to your Google+ Local AND your Google+ Business page for optimal results.
Step 6: Add a Keyword Rich Description
- Details about special offerings or ways in which your location stands out form competitors are items to include in the description.
Pro Tip: Avoid including details of company history and background and stick more to listing what’s in it for the customer.
Step 7: Update Your Email Address
- If you update your email address on your Google+ Business page, Google will add it to your Google+ Local page as well.
Additional Tips and Extras
If you really want to get into optimizing, exploiting, and using your Google+ Local listing promote reviews any way you can. The point is, good, bad, or ugly, the more reviews you have, the more likely you are to rank well.
It’s important to review your Google+ Local listings information every few months at least. You can always freshen up the info with new keywords, update images, photos and video, or even remove items that may no longer be relevant.
Final Pro Tip: Google loves information. Providing new information and website updates on a regular basis can increase the strength of your Google+ Local profile over time.
What did you think? Did you find this useful and use it to create and/or optimize your businesses Google+ Local listing?