Although Google+ picked up users at an impressive rate after its launch earlier this year with millions clamoring to open an account each week, the search engine was reluctant to open its doors to business users. That all changed last month and now businesses of all shapes and sizes have been invited to create their own Google+ page.
Launching the commercial side of the service, Google said that pages for Google+ represented a leap forward in building relationships between business and people. If that wasn’t incentive enough, the search engine also confirmed that Google+ factors will become ranking signals. That alone means it’s time to bite the bullet and add yet another social media presence to your online portfolio.
How to create a business page
1. To create a business page on Google+, you first need to create a personal profile. You can use the same log in you use for other Google services such as Analytics or AdWords to keep things simple. Once you have a personal profile, you can create your business page. When updating, this will be accessible via the personal profile section but all updates will be posted in the business name rather than your own.
2. When you have created a personal profile, you need to head to the business department to create a brand page. That can be found here: http://www.google.com/+/business/
3. You’ll get a number of options, similar to those offered by Facebook when you click on the ‘create a page for a business’ option. Google+ allows you to choose from a number of categories:
- Local business or place: Choose this option if you’re a ‘landmark’ such as a bar, a restaurant, a museum, a store or a hotel
- Product or brand: Choose this option if you’re a manufacturer of a certain product such as line of jeans or a brand such as a computer chip, a home appliance or similar
- Company, institution or organization: Choose this option if you want to create a page for your company, school or non-profit
- Arts, entertainment or sports: Choose this if you’re an athlete, a singer or entertainer
- Other: Choose this if your particular area of activity doesn’t fit in with any of the above
4. Now, you’ll be asked to pick a relevant sub category and add some basic information such as page name and website address. You’ll also be prompted to decide on access levels – either suitable for all eyeballs or restricted to 18+.
5. Much like Twitter’s ‘bio’ area, the Google+ character count is limited. You’ll be asked to enter a tagline – this is just a very brief description of your service. If you have a slogan used on other marketing, that could be copied and pasted here to help viewers more easily recognize your brand. Be sure to upload a logo at this stage too.
6. You’ll now see a screen called ‘Get The Word Out’. This is confusing for those who have just created a personal profile in order to create a business page as the promotion at this stage is just a quick message to all of those in your personal circles. You won’t have any if you’ve just opened the account so you can skip this step and create more tailored promotional activities later.
Congratulations – you’re now the proud owner of a Google+ brand page. But of course, the work doesn’t stop here, you’ll now need to add to your presence. In the next article, we’ll focus on developing your profile and promoting your Google+ page to really make it work for you.