Shawn Manaher

Claiming Your Google Plus Business Page

Citations are huge for enhancing your presence in local search.  Most third-party properties can be pretty influential but there are a couple that every business should take advantage of if nothing else.  One of those is a Google Plus Business page (formerly known as a Google Places page).  This post will show you how to go about setting up a business page or claiming one that is already floating around out there.

Step 1: Visit

You can kick off the whole process by visiting Google’s business listing service at the URL above.  You can get a lot of information about the service on this page and (in case we forgot to mention) it’s completely free.

Google Places Home

Click on the blue “Get on Google” button to get started.

Step 2: Search for your business

You’ll see a huge map like the one below and a box allowing you to type in your business name or phone number.  Don’t worry about getting it perfectly accurate (i.e. typing out the word “road” vs just putting the abbreviation rd).  Google will find something close in its database if it exists.  Just type in your business name or phone number and hit enter (or click the search button).

Google Places Map

Step 3: Make sure you can claim your listing

If you see your business name and address, click on it to go along in the process.  Note that it’s unlikely, but your business could have already been claimed.  If that is the case and you are the rightful owner, you can have a request sent to the verified owner and start working through the process of claiming the listing.  We won’t go over that here and we’ll assume that the business you are claiming/setting up in Google Business is unclaimed.

Google Places already claimed

If you don’t see your business name, click on the “None of these match” option.

Google Places Listing not there

Step 4: Fill out your business information

You will be able to add your business’s information to Google using the form that pops up when you select the “None of These” option.  Plug in all of the pertinent information  about your business and click “Continue” at the bottom of the form.  You will then be able to add zip codes to Google where you provide your goods/services.  You can select if you serve customers at your business address as well.

Google places business information

Step 5: Create a Google Plus page

Google will then want to create a Google plus page for you to manager your business information.  Check that you are authorized to manage the business and agree to the terms of service.  You will then be taken to your new plus page with all of your business information.

Google Places verify

Step 6: Verification

Google likes to verify that people and entities are who they say they are.  One way of doing that is having a pin code mailed to the address that was used to make the listing.  Have the verification post card sent to your address (note that Google doesn’t like PO boxes and will not let you set up a business using it).  The card should arrive in a week (although Google advises a couple weeks).

Step 7: Best Practices

You don’t have to wait to verify your business listing to start making it work for you.  You have the opportunity to add images, a link to your website, additional contact info, a snippet of text about your business and other data to your profile.

You should fill out as much information as you can in your profile.  Link other social properties to it and connect with others on the platform.  Start sharing posts on Google plus if you can.  All of these activities will help enhance your presence online and increase the chances that potential customers will find your business online.

Have you claimed your Google Places listing?  How has it helped your business get more exposure online?

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