July 22, 2012
Google+ is now allowing the creating of business pages. Previously Google+ was only open to individuals. Now you can create a business page for your brand on Google+. Since Google basically owns search and all their other properties like YouTube, Blogger.com and Google Places get priority in search it would not be a bad idea to have a Google+ business page in addition to your personal profile.
However, to start with Google+ you first need to create a personal profile. It is from within the personal profile that the business page is created. Here is an article telling you how to get started with Google+.
To create a Google+ business page you need to go here. If you are not logged into your Google account you will be prompted to do so.
The first thing you need to do is to pick a category. You have a choice of 5 main categories.
1. Local Business Or Place- This is generally for local brick and mortar businesses like hotels, restaurants, local stores and services that focus on the local market like plumbers and doctors. If your phone number matches an existing Google Places page it will take the information from the Google Places page. If not, you need to fill out the information for your business.
Note: I have noticed that in some markets Google+ business pages were given priority listing for local search where there were not already a lot of Google Places pages. The Google+ pages were ranking first for local search above the regular natural listings. So local businesses should really pay attention to Google+ and create a business page. Check out these search results for “Doctors Mumbai”. One of the Google Places listings is a Google+ page. The Google+ page generally goes to the about section so make sure you fill this section out completely and include your keywords.
2. Product Or Brand – Examples of products and brands would be financial services, cars, electronics,
3. Company Institution or Organization – This is for different types of organizations, including but exclusively non-profits.
4. Arts Entertainment and Sports
5. Other – If you do not feel your page fits into any of the above categories you can choose ‘Other’. If you do so, however, you must also choose whether your page’s content is suitable for any Google+ user, users 18 or older, users 21 or older or specifically note that the content will be alcohol-related. I have seen edgy adult related sites on Google+ so it seems Google+ is allowing some adultish content because they are asking you to identify such content when you register your page rather than outright banning it.
This is all I could find in Google+ TOS: “Further, we may not allow verification of local Google+ pages for certain products and services such as escort services or other regulated goods.” The door looks cautiously open on this subject.
Customize Your Page’s Public Profile
Now you need to customize your page’s public profile. This is important. Make sure you fill everything out completely. Use your keywords without stuffing. Tell everything about your business, including relevant links. Do not just skip quickly over this section. The information here is what will be used to find you in search. Chances are many searchers will find your Google+ page before your main website so pack this section with relevant info.
1. Add your profile photo and tagline.
2. Edit your page information. Click on the profile icon at the top left then go to the About tab and edit profile. Include as much information and as many appropriate links as possible.
3. Add your Photostrip. The photostrip are the five photos that will be displayed beneath your page’s name and tagline. While editing your profile, click on the photo area where it says “add photos here” and upload a photo in each of the five photo spots.
Your business page is now ready! You can start adding posts and content to this page just like you did with your personal Google+ profile. Once you have filled your page with some quality content you can use the “Spread the word” option in your right sidebar to announce your page to your personal profile connections.
The big difference between a Facebook fanpage and a Google+ business page is that you can follow your page’s fans back and add them to your circles. This allows for more interaction and more interaction with those specifically interested in one topic.