Mike Wright

Google+ Local Profile Creation and Management Best Practices

Are you trying to set up your Google+ Profile for your local business? Allow us to help!

Are you trying to set up your Google+ Profile for your local business? Allow us to help!

PHASE 1: SETUP

Step 1: Create Google Account (includes all Google products like Gmail, Drive, Calendar, etc)

Determine the specific Google account (Gmail) to use with Google+ Local profile

  1. If one is already created, great! Use that one and skip to Step 2. If not, go to this link to sign up for a new Gmail account.
    1. You’ll need to enter in:
      1. First and Last Name
      2. Choose a username -- **make this simple...something like “[business name]” or “[business name]+[local]”
      3. Create a password
      4. Enter birthday
      5. Gender
      6. Mobile phone #
      7. Current email address to use as a secondary email address in case there is a problem with this new one
      8. Enter in captcha verification
      9. Click on the check box to agree to Google “Terms of Service”
    2. Next, you’ll need to verify the new email address by either phone call OR text message. Just enter in a phone number here and choose the preferred contact method

Step 2: Set up a new Google Plus profile

Once you complete Step 1, it should automatically sign you into your new Gmail account. If you’re not signed in, go ahead and sign in to your Gmail at Gmail.com.

Next, look for the “+[Your Name]” link at the top left of your Gmail screen. Click on that and it will prompt you to create a Google Plus profile.

Go ahead and follow the instructions there to create your business’ “Google Plus” profile (**NOTE: This is actually different from a Google+ LOCAL page).

  1. Enter in as much information as possible under the “Profile” tab (found on the left) for:
    1. Tagline
    2. Introduction
    3. “Bragging Rights” - fun facts and info about the business and owners
    4. Occupation
    5. Employment
    6. Education
    7. Places Lived
    8. Work Phone Number
    9. Links - add links to:
      1. Website
      2. Website Blog
      3. Social Media profiles:
        1. Facebook
        2. LinkedIn
        3. Twitter
        4. Pinterest
        5. Etc


Step 3: Create Google+ PAGE for the business

The Google+ Page is going to act as the main business page on Google Plus...similar to Facebook, where you can have a “user” profile, a “business” profile, AND a “local business listing”. We want to make sure all bases are covered on this front so we’ll want to create all of these types of pages in Google Plus.

Here are the steps to create a Google+ PAGE:

  1. Locate the “PAGES” tab by clicking on the “MORE” tab on the left navigation sidebar
  2. Click on it and click “CREATE NEW PAGE”
  3. Choose “Local Business” if you have a brick and mortar store OR choose another option if you have a “Brand” or “Online Company”
  4. It will have you enter in your business phone number in order to find any other Google+ Local pages that currently exist using that phone number.
    1. If you already have a Google+ Local listing online, it should show up and you’ll be able to choose it
    2. If not, you’ll be prompted to enter in all your relevant business info
  5. Follow the instructions for editing your new Google+ Page


Step 4: Create Google+ LOCAL page

The biggest thing we’re concerned about with this process is the creation and optimization of the business GOOGLE+ LOCAL page, which is what shows up in the Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) under the “Maps” or “Local” listing section.

To create a GOOGLE+ LOCAL page, follow these steps:

  1. Enter “places.google.com” into your browser search bar. NOTE: You should be logged into your Gmail account for this
  2. It will prompt you to enter in your phone number so enter it in
  3. If it doesn’t find any matches (which if you just created your new Google account, there shouldn’t be any), then it will ask you to enter in all of your info. Go ahead and do this and make sure all information is optimized for specific target SEO keyword terms (**see SEO Manager for this)
  4. Hit “Submit” at the bottom when finished
  5. It will show you a “Verification Postcard” that Google is planning to send. Confirm the address and info is correct, enter in a name in the “ATTN:” line...then click “Submit”. NOTE: This process takes between 2-3 weeks.

PHASE 2: MANAGEMENT OF GOOGLE+ LOCAL PROFILE

Step 1: SEO Optimization

  1. Make sure to have a Google+ Local page title that is LESS THAN 60 characters long....otherwise, part of the title will get cut off. Title should be the name of the company plus a keyword or two if there is room
  2. **IMPORTANT: Make sure to include a link to your company website
  3. Upload info about:
    1. Phone number
    2. Hours of operation
    3. Etc
  4. Be sure to target the most efficient keywords in the title, tagline, and description of the profile
  5. Upload photos:
    1. Logo
    2. Owners/Staff
    3. Office Photos

Step 2: Google Reviews (Zagat Ratings)

  1. General Info
    1. Google considers 10 reviews the tipping point for a Google+ Local page before it starts showing Zagat ratings (aka Google’s new rating system)
    2. Zagat reviews allow visitors to see an overall rating for a company...based on a scale (shown at right):
      1. 3 point scales for users to rate
      2. 30 point scale for the overall company rating
  2. Getting Reviews
    1. Encourage all existing customers to log into their Google accounts and post a review on your Google+ Local page. TIP: Give them the specific URL for your “authorized” Google+ Local page as there may be others that exist in Google Maps
    2. Have them click on the red “Write A Review” button on the top right of the profile and fill out their review
    3. Reviews can go “live” to the page immediately or they can take a few days or a few weeks. It depends a lot on the “credibility” of the Google+ user that is posting the review. Make sure to check back frequently to see what new reviews have been posted
  1. Weeding Out Negative Reviews
    1. There are only a few options when trying to weed out negative reviews for a company on Google+ Local
      1. Have many Google+ users mark the review as “Inappropriate” by clicking on the gray flag at the bottom right of the review
      2. Have many Google+ users mark the review as “Not Helpful”. Google will present “Helpful” reviews before “Not Helpful” ones
      3. If the user is a Google user, you can contact them directly to try and have them remove the review
      4. If all the above tactics do not work in trying to remove the negative review, adding a bunch of positive reviews will help push down the negative one in most cases

Step 3: Promotion

  1. Google+ Local promotion should be a part of every business’s online marketing strategy, especially because of how much it relates to SEO rankingsand performance
  2. Adding a link to the company Google+ Local page on the company website is a MUST. Just like Zen Windows does it (check out their footer!)
  3. Adding information about how customers/clients/etc can go to the Google+ Local page and submit a review will obviously help
  4. Actively asking customers to log into their Google accounts and upload a review is very important
  5. After getting numerous reviews on the page, other users will feel more comfortable submitting a review themselves and over time you can build a very powerful Google+ Local page that highlights what clients and customers are saying about your business.
Google+ Profile

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Mike Wright

About Mike Wright

Mike takes an analytical, process-oriented approach to SEO and Affiliate Marketing strategies and has helped a long list of clients achieve organic success. He's also passionate about anything related to sports, music, or family.