By popular request, I’m going to teach you how to use Google+ For Small Business this month on my Facebook page. Each day I’ll share a new tip that you need to know to make your presence on Google+ rock. If you haven’t yet “liked” my page, you need to do that pronto. And remember, if you engage with the page, meaning you “like” or comment on the posts, they will show up more in your newsfeed, which will make it easier for you to follow the lesson!
Before I get into how to create your business presence on Google+, take a peek at this cool infographic that shares some of the reasons why you’ll want to take the time to get to know this social media platform. For those of you with time constraints, be sure to cruise to the middle of this image to see how to use Google+ in an efficient way.
1. Begin by creating your Google+ brand page by clicking here. You need to be signed into your personal profile to do this. If you don’t have that set up yet, do that first, and then come back to set up your brand page.
2. Select the best category for your business. You can choose from:
- local business or place
- product or brand
- company, institution, or organization
- arts, entertainment or sports
If you mouse over each of these options, you’ll find the category that’s right for you. Most of you will choose local business/place or company/institution/organization, so the rest of this post will written to address those options. If you choose local business or place, do the following:
- Select your country and your phone number. Google will use this to search for any existing info on your company. If the search renders your business, but has room for you to fill out additional info, do that now. If not, click the link to “add your business to Google.” Some SEO experts suggest entering your full address in this section, even if you work from home. For reasons that only the Google mucky-mucks know, P.O. Boxes are not an acceptable alternative. (Boo, Google!) Pay attention to the address and contact info you add in this section, as you’ll want to make sure it’s identical to what you enter when you claim your space on Bing or Yahoo or any of the other options.
If you choose company, institution or organization:
- Name your page with your exact company name. Don’t keyword stuff here. Just use the real name that you go by because when you leave posts for other users, this is how you’ll be recognized. It will look really weird if every time you post it says something like “Joe’s Dog Training | training San Diego dogs to sit, come, heel and be generally pleasant creatures”
3. Select your industry, who your page is for (make it accessible to everyone unless you’re selling adult-oriented content. And if that’s the case, please leave this page now. I don’t like helping people market yucky stuff like that. **End rant**.) Agree to the terms and click “create.”
4. Enter your tagline. This is where Google says you can enter “The 10 words that describe your business best,” but beware, it often truncates at far fewer than 10 words. Sometimes just showing a few. So put your power words first. This is a place for your keywords. Then, add your logo when asked for your profile photo. It’s a good idea to rename your logo on your computer to include your keywords and then upload it, as opposed to uploading an image with some random name that won’t help Google.
5. At this point you’ll be triggered to tell everyone about your page. I vote for skipping this until your page is completely set up.
6. The next page you’re land on will invite you dive in using Google+. But before you do that, let’s finish optimizing your page. Go to the far left side of your page, above your company image and click on your company name. Then cruise over to the right side of the page and click on the blue button that says “edit profile.”
7. Click on “introduction” and you’ll have the opportunity to enter a keyword rich description of your company, products and/or service. As always, I advise writing this is plain English first, then go back in and figure out where you can insert your keywords naturally. Remember, you’re trying to appeal to people first, and search engines second.
8. Add your contact info. Remember, be consistent with what you’re sharing elsewhere. I added a link back to my website here because I’m going to take every opportunity I can to get a backlink from Google–and I think you should do the same.
9. Add your website. Yay! Another backlink! When finished, click on “Finished Editing.”
10. To the right of the “about” link in the grey bar click on the “photos” link. You’ll have the opportunity now to select 5 photos that represent your company well. Again, make sure these images are optimized by naming them with keywords before posting them. If you have photos of your products, pop those in here now. If you’re a service-oriented business, you may opt to do a search for images with your service words included and upload those. Or you could always have a designer create custom images for you if you want to look really posh. I found my images for free and you can too at Free Icons Web.
11. Add your videos. Of course, this is another great way to make your profile more enticing and to boost your credibility.
12. Once this is all wrapped up, it’s time for you to jump in and learn how to use Google +. I’ll be teaching you how to use Google+ for small business on my Facebook page all month long, so be sure to check it out often so you can learn how to make this tool work for you.