Google+ Pages Now Open!
Google finally allowed businesses, products, organizations and other entities or brands get their pages in Google+ social network.
So now that Google+ brand pages are available, what do you do?
Please bear in mind the differences between Local Business and other Google+ Pages category.
Sign-up for Google+
When you login to your personal Google+ account, you will see a link to Google+ Pages at the right side.
It goes to https://plus.google.com/pages/create
or if you can’t see it you can just go directly here: http://www.google.com/+/business/
Pick a category for your Google+ Page
If you don’t know what fits your Google brand pages, you can just always go for Product or Brand or Other.
Choose Local Business or Place, if your page will be hotels, restaurants, places, stores, services or something similar.
Choose Product or Brand, if your page is related to apparel, cars, electronics, financial services, etc.
Choose Company, Institution or Organization if you’re one of these, including non-profits.
Choose Arts, Entertainment or Sports if your page is about movies, TV, music, books, sports and shows.
If none of these fit your page, choose Other
Local Business is different from other categories because it has an option to include a phone number and specify the country if your local business. According to Google help pages:
Local Google+ pages are unique from other categories of pages because they have features that allow customers to easily connect with that business’s physical location. For example, local pages include a map of the business’s location and feature its address, phone number, and hours of operation.
If you choose to go with Local Business, you have to put a contact number. You can’t proceed without one.
With that number, you should be able to find your business on Google Maps. If you can’t find it, then you can add your business on Google for the first time.
If you found your local business using the telephone number, or if you did not find your business you will end up with the last step in creating Google brand pages. Businesses already in Google Maps will have pre-populated fields. If you are adding your business for the first time, you should preview the map to make sure it looks correct to your customers.
Then, you have to select the sub-category of your category. This applies for all types of Google+ pages except Other.
Customize Google+ Brand Pages
Here comes the fun part.
You can add your tagline and Google+ brand page logo. Be creative.
Here’s the catch if you choose Local Business earlier on. You don’t get a tagline. I’m guessing that Local Businesses are optimized for Google Local or Places wherein you will be found using location search so you don’t need keywords. On the other hand, other Google+ brand pages still rely heavily on good-old method using keywords.
Share in Google+ and Spread the Word
Using your personal Google+ account circles, you can share your Google+ brand pages or local business to your friends, families, colleagues or whatever kind of circles you have.
Do the Finishing Touches for your Google+ Page
You’re basically done but you want to make sure you have set up your page in cool fashion.
Other than taglines, here are the other differences between Local Business Google+ pages compared to other Google brand pages.
With Local Business you get a map because of the location you provided. You also get to enter the hours of operation. With other Google+ brand pages you don’t get that.
While you are not prompted to include a website when choosing a Local Business you can still include a link to your local business website.
Also, all the contact information you can add in Local Business will always be public.
In other non-local business Google+ pages, you can include an address by adding contact info but that address will not be mapped. However, you have an option to limit who can see your contact information. You can make it visible to public but you also have an option to limit it to your circles.
Google had prepared a Get started page to guide users on how to start the conversation and build circles.
Did Something Wrong on your Google+ Page?
Now, if you think you’ve done a mistake and you want to change from Local Business Google+ page to another type of Google+ brand page, it seems that the only way is to delete your page and start again.
It is as easy as clicking the drop-down link below your name and click on Manage your Pages. There, you can manage and delete the pages if you wish.
I hope that clears up the differences between Local Business Google+ Page with other Google+ brand pages.
Don’t forget to add my blog to your circles.