Have a Santa Barbara based business? Need to get your business to show up in searches? Google+, while being incredibly valuable for both your business and your online SEO efforts, can be a bit confusing to the uninitiated. In many people’s eyes the user interface leaves much to be desired, so here’s a little tutorial for you.
If you don’t have a website, Google is giving away free websites here.
1.) Get a Google+ Page for your business. You’ll start off by picking a category for your business. It looks something like this:
If you’re a local business, the next step is to enter your business’s primary phone number. Enter this information and Google will do its best to pull up your business’s info as it currently sees it. Google will try to locate you on Google Maps – check to make sure that Google has the right location. If not, make sure you entered your business’s primary phone number correctly, and if the map marker is still incorrect, don’t worry – you can change it later.
2.) Fill in your relevant info, and add a link to your external website. On the next screen you’ll see your business’s categories. Don’t forget to fill these in! Categories are one of the ways people will find your site, so don’t shirk this responsibility.
3.) Verify – Google will want you to verify that this business exists and is in the location you specified. Therefore, you need to claim the business as your own. Google does this by snail-mailing you a postcard with a PIN. The postcard arrives relatively quickly, and once it’s there, follow the instructions on the card to complete the authorization process.
4.) Fill in your data – At the recent California – Get Your Business Online event in Santa Barbara, I had a chance to speak with Michelle of the Google outreach team. In sum, her and her colleagues confirmed that Google is looking for descriptive information about your business, and so you should fill in with as much descriptive info as possible. Don’t go overboard or try to keyword stuff, but do use the appropriate fields to talk about what makes your business different. Do you sell shoes? What would set you apart from the competition? Selection? Price? Put that info in there.
Finally, you should come to a screen like this:
You can add photos of your business, post articles here, or link to other relevant info for your clients. One of the other things that Google looks for when determining how a Google+ Business page will rank in their results is how many times it is used. This means that the more people use your listing, the more Google identifies it as a site worth promoting – and you’ll see it climb the ranks. Consider then linking to your Google+ page in other posts, or utilize this tactic as part of your overall content marketing strategy.
Get it? So, for example, if you’d like to read more about what Google says about getting your Google+ Business listing to rank higher, I’ll link to my business’s Google+ page instead of my normal SEO blog.
And that’s it! Not too bad, right?
What do you think? Have any questions about using Google+ for business that we can help with?