Google recently unified the business use of its services by creating Google My Business. Google My Business is essentially a dashboard where businesses can manage their information across Google’s many services.
Being found on Google Search provides a major opportunity for businesses. Google lists businesses with a physical location right in its Search results. These business listings within Search come directly from Google Maps.
Performing search engine optimization for better search results can be a long, expensive process and requires ongoing attention. While Google Maps listings aren’t always guaranteed to be on page one of Google Search, it is much easier to get your business listed there than it is to rank your business website in Search. Learn how to set up a Google+ business page to Google Maps.
How do I set up my Google+ business page to Google Maps?
Your first step will be creating and connecting your Google+ business page and adding a physical address. To qualify for a listing with Google Maps, your business location will have to meet certain quality guidelines.
Google’s location quality guidelines include the following.
- business address should reflect the physical location of your business.
- location should be staffed during the hours of operation you list.
- use an exact address, not cross streets, for the location.
- service area businesses should create one page for their business.
- an accurate phone for your business location should be available.
- business location must have in-person contact with customers to qualify for a listing.
For a complete list of the qualifications necessary to have your business listed on Google Maps, see Google’s support documentation, “Local business information quality guidelines” (https://support.google.com/business/answer/3038177)
What if I already have a Google+ brand page?
If you’re a business, and already have a Google+ page, you will have been upgraded to Google My Business automatically. However, depending on the type of business page you had, setting up a Google+ business page to Google Maps will vary somewhat.
There are two types of Google+ pages. The first type of Google+ business pages is a brand page, and does not have a physical location. The second type is a local page, and has a physical location associated with it. If your business already has a Google+ brand page, but you’d like to add a physical location, you’ll have to create a new page. There is no way to upgrade your Google+ brand page to a Google+ local page.
Some businesses may have already started being active on Google+ as a business through their brand page, and in these cases may already have a lot of content and activity associated. However, if you want to start operating your business with a physical location, you’ll have to create a separate Google+ local page. The two cannot be merged, with the exception of reviews. If your Google+ brand page has any reviews, Google will transfer these over to your new Google+ local page.
If I don’t already have a Google+ local page for my business, how do I create one?
If you haven’t already created your Google+ business page (either local or brand), you’ll now use Google My Business. To get started, log in at google.business.com. Note, you’ll need to have already set up a Google account to do so and ultimately set up your Google+ business page to Google Maps.
Next, you’ll choose which type of local business you are operating. The two business types you can choose from are a storefront business and a service area business.
Once you’ve selected the type of local business, enter your businesses address. We covered some of the location recommendations above. Note, sometimes Google has already identified that your business exists and you can select it from a drop-down menu when adding your address. If Google doesn’t have any information about your business yet, you’ll be prompted to add it.
Once you’ve created your business listing, Google will ask to verify that listing with a verification code. There are two options for getting your verification code. Google will either send your code on a postcard mailed to your business address, or you can opt to have an automated phone call placed to your business’s primary phone number.
Once you’ve successfully created and verified your new Google My Business listing, Google will automatically add your information to Google Maps. Once your listing is in Maps, Google will also begin displaying your listing in Search results. Your listing will display in Search for people who are searching for the types of products and services that your business offers.
With all the new changes to Google My Business, where can I get help?
Google My Business is an attempt to simplify the process of getting your business online with Google. It’s an attempt I believe will be successful because Google is showing a lot of interest in supporting business with its products and services.
Google even provides a way to speak directly with a Google My Business representative, who will help answer all your questions. To speak with Google directly about any issues related to your local business listing, you can visit support.google.com/business to request a call back. You will receive a call back in a few seconds, and be able to speak with a live person directly.
Of course, We Do Web Content can help with your business listings, including helping you set up a Google+ business page to Google Maps. Call us for help at 888-521-3880 or contact us online. And if you’re looking for a handy resources to keep by your side during your Google+ Page setup, check out Google’s August 2014 Google+ Partner Playbook!