Walkthrough: How To Start A New Google+ Page07/08/2014
Having a Google+ business page for your company or product is now becoming more important than ever. With Google tying it’s social product into search results and combined with the power of Google Local, your search engine optimization just got a does of steroids. The best part? Your competition is probably not savvy to the power of this just yet and that means you get the upper hand!
So in this first post in our Google+ Business Page series we’re going to walk you through creating a brand new Google+ business page. We’re also going to give you a few pro tips on optimizing your setup in the process. Let’s begin! You can start by visiting google.com/+/brands. From there you’ll be able to login to your Google account or just start a brand new page by clicking the blue button.
You must choose whether your business is going to have one of three setups: Storefront, Service Area, or Brand Each of these setups have different features that would lend itself to that type of business. Here’s the best explanation for each type: Storefront - This is for a brick and mortar business that has a physical location in a local market. Examples given are restaurant, retail store, hotel, etc. Service Area - This is for a service company that doesn’t necessarily have a walk-in type of business but has a service over a designated geographic area. This is also ideal for businesses with multiple locations. Examples given are Plumber, pizza delivery, taxi service, lawyer, etc. Brand - This is ideal for a global brand, product or digital company with no physical location or geographic specificity. Examples given are product, sports team, music band, cause, etc. If you choose a Storefront or Service Area you will be taken to this screen where you can find your local area on Google maps.
If you choose a brand you will be taken straight to this page where you can fill in your company info:
Click the “Get started” button and Google will walk you through the rest of the setup process. We’ll share the screenshots below and insert commentary at key points.
Once you click “Done” click on the “Add profile photo” button to begin the rest of the setup process. You did create a profile photo ahead of time didn’t you? Well, in case you didn’t, we recommend something that is at least 500x500 pixels and can be easily seen at 32x32 pixels. That means you want to use your brands icon or something simple enough that looks good in a very small area.
For our demo we created Awesome Company with a simple “AWCO” logo that works perfectly in a Google+ profile photo. Once you upload the image, Google+ will allow you to crop it for best fit if you like. We recommend giving just a little bit of room around the logo so that it doesn’t seem too crowded.
You’ll then be prompted to upload a cover photo to your page presentation. You did create one of those ahead of time too right? Well, just in case you didn’t, you’ll want to create a high quality image at 2048x1152 pixels.
Another pro tip on the cover photo is to not look at it as a billboard. You don’t want to add a whole lot of text to this area, it’s not a banner advertisement. The last thing social media users want to see is another banner advertisement. This is an opportunity to visually and emotionally connect to your audience. Add your logo, but don’t list out everything that your company does. You’re not going to make a sale because of your cover image. The sole purpose is to encourage people to connect with you. If they feel like you’re going to bombard them with advertising, they’re not going to want to connect with you. Once you have your cover photo created click the blue “Change cover” button.
In our example you see that we used a high quality image and just placed our full company logo in the middle towards the bottom. A simple piece of branding that doesn’t look spammy.
You will again be able to crop it out to your liking. Our suggestion is, the bigger the better. Once it’s cropped hit the “Save & continue” button again to be taken to the next step.
On the Contact details screen you can enter all the ways you want your customers/fans/followers to be able to get in touch with you.
Add as many or as few as you like.
You’ll then be able to choose who is able to see this contact information. You can make it Public, only Your Circles (the people whom you are following), Only you, or Custom. The Custom option will allow you to designate specific Circles (we’ll cover those at a later time) that will be able to see this information.
Next you will be prompted to write an introduction. Think of this as your company bio. Notice you have text editing tools in which to style your text or add links to text.
Pro Tip: Think of your first paragraph as a keyword rich teaser. Make it short enough to get the point across, but long enough to hit a few specific keywords that correlate with your search strategy, adding links to relevant words when appropriate. The rest of your bio can be a little more descriptive covering specifics and giving a better idea of your company story. And again, you are able to dictate who is able to see this information by choosing Public, Your Circles, Only you, or Custom.
Now Google+ will ask you to add a tagline for your page. Pro Tip: Don’t let your tagline exceed 40 characters because it will get cut off after that. If you want people to actually see and read your tagline it must be 40 characters or less.
At this point you’re almost done! Just a few more things to tie up before you’re in business.
This will be the part where you may need your webmaster or person in charge of your website to take over. Click on the “Verify website” button and you will be given a snippet of code to place in your site’s header.
Once you place it you can test the site and Google will verify. If this is accomplished your website will now be officially connected to your Google+ page and you will begin reaping the benefits. You can now browse around a bit at your about page and other profile tabs displayed underneath your cover photo.
Now, just to get you started, go ahead and click on the box that says “Share what’s new…” and we’ll create your first Google+ post! You will see that you have five options for the type of post you want to create: Text, Photos, Link, Video, or Event. When you click on the box, it automatically engages the text format. If you want to add a photo, link, video, or create an event you can click the appropriate icons.
Pro tip: Use the first line of your post as you would a blog title or email subject line. If you add an asterisk (*) at the beginning and end of the line it will make everything in between bold, making it a bit more eye-catching. We also recommend using images whenever possible. Google+ is a very visual platform and photos get significantly more engagement than plain text posts.
You may also add relevant hash-tags to your posts to help with discover-ability and context.
Like all things with Google+, privacy is a priority and you are able to choose who your post is visible to. For best results, always choose Public. But if you want to limit your message to a specific audience you can always select from your circles or add specific people to the “To:” section so that only they can see it. This is also the easiest way to send private messages within Google+. All you need to do is make sure that only the person(s) you want to see the message are in the “To:” field. And if you’re familiar with how @mentions work on Twitter, Google+ is the same way. In the body text of your message you can type a “+” and then the person’s name (example: +Certified Hosting) and they will pop up in a drop down box where you can select their name. The profile will then get a notification that they’ve been mentioned when you share the post.
Your first time posting, Google+ will give you this prompt informing you that you have some more options once the post is published.
Now, take some time to explore the different pages within Google+ by hovering over the big red g+ icon in the top left of your screen. This is how you will navigate throughout Google+.
In the next part of our series we’ll dive deeper into managing your Google+ page. For now though, give yourself a pat on the back and take a break on us.