NOTE: I wrote this earlier this week before Google announced Plus integration with Google search results. It’s even more critical to get on Google+ now…
As much as I’d like to, I can’t really ignore Google+. It’s becoming clear that Google is looking to Google+ as a way to link content and verify that it’s from a real person. That’s a good thing…but you have to play the Google+ game if you want to reap the benefits. And the benefits should be significant, especially for search engine results placement. Real – and current – content will be king.
So yes…time to dive into one more social network. Here are some tips to get the most from your efforts.
You can’t create a Google+ Business page without a Google account and Profile. If you don’t have a Google account for you/your company, you’ll need to create one. A few notes:
- If setting up a company account, you’ll need to use a “real” name to set up your Google Plus Profile. Depending on the size and makeup of your company, it will be someone in the marketing department or the principal broker. Remember that the account belongs to the company – not one individual – so take necessary precautions in case of personnel changes.
- Don’t use a personal Google account for your Business Page unless you’re a one person shop or are setting up an agent (not company) Business Page. It will just get messy, especially if you use other Google features. If you’ve already associated your Google personal account with your business email, you’ll need to delete it and add another non-Gmail address.
- UPDATE: Each Google Profile can create multiple pages – but there is a limit. Guesstimate is 20.
Business Page Set-up
When setting up your Google Business Page, pay close attention to the following:
- Use the phone number and other contact information that is associated with your Google Places listing. If you haven’t claimed your Google Places listing, do it now! (How to here…)
- Introduction section: Use relevant keywords and add a few links, one linking to your website.
- Recommended Links: Besides your website, link to social networking sites/blogs and be sure to preface with your company name, e.g., ABC Brokerage Facebook Page. For other links, use relevant keywords if you can, e.g., New York Commercial Real Estate Blog.
- Note that there is a section to link to your website. Make sure whatever you fill in matches what you have in your Google Places listing.
- UPDATE: You can have multiple page administrators to add updates. Page administrators won’t have access to your Google Account or Google+ Profile.
Some useful links:
How to Set Up a Google Page for Your Business
Optimize Google Places for Your Local Business
Using and Promoting Your Business Page
- You can only add other Google+ users to your Business Page Circles if they have added you first. So you’ll want to promote your page on your Google+ Profile page (where you can add whoever you want to your circles).
- Promote your Business Page anywhere else with the handy Google Business Page badge. Place the code on your website, blog, Facebook Page…wherever. And put a link to your Google Business Page on your marketing materials and in your email signature.
- When creating Circles for your Business Page, think about what you want to communicate and to whom. Maybe you have Circles for “Existing Customers”, “Employees”, “Other Brokers”, etc…
- There’s been a lot of buzz about Google using “author” tags to identify content you’ve created. If you have a blog, you can link up authors (even if it’s just you…) with a Google Account. This is kind of “technical” and certainly not mandatory – and the results have been sketchy. But the point is to “verify” content, thus giving it more weight in search results. Instructions here: http://www.blindfiveyearold.com/how-to-implement-rel-author