Over the last several weeks, I have spent a fair amount of time helping clients set up Google+ profiles to benefit their SEO. I learned quickly that setting up a Google+ page isn’t quite as straightforward as setting up, say, a Facebook page for your brand. Whether you already have a Google+ presence or are thinking about creating a page (and you should), here are 4 things to be aware of:
When setting up a Facebook page, it’s pretty cut and dry. You’re either an individual looking to connect with friends, or a brand/celebrity/sports team/etc. looking to create a place for fans to congregate. With Google+, there are several “types” of pages you can set up for your business. Before you even start the set up process, know what type of page you intend to set up.
A local Google+ page, for example, is ideal for a neighborhood bakery or a hair salon. It is not ideal for a national retailer or a B2B company offering a product solution. In this case, you’ll want to create a Google+ business account. You can read more about Google+ Local pages here and Google+ for Business pages here.
Did you accidentally set up a local Google+ page, but you’re a national retailer? You may find that you need to start from scratch. You’ll want the Google+ for Business page, as it allows links and other handy information in the About section; but Google hasn’t made it a straightforward process to merge or upgrade local pages with or into business pages.
In some instances, Google+ will allow for the merging of two pages. Typically, a local page can be merged with another local page. However, at this time, a local page cannot be merged with a business page. In this case, if a business page needs to be created, it is best to leave the local page live – do not delete, more on this later – and post an update sending people to the new page.
Regardless, I recommend reaching out to Google first with your question, as the types of Google+ pages and what can be done with each page is still to be hashed out.
Because Google+ is part of your Google account, your other Google products are connected to it. While it might seem like the obvious solution to delete a Google+ profile created in error, you could delete your other Google holdings such as YouTube or Gmail. While Google can rectify this, there is a short window of time for them to do so. If you must delete your Google+ profile, read the instructions carefully or again, contact Google and have them remove it for you – you don’t want to lose all of your Google products in the name of deleting one profile.
One of the great things about Google+ is that you can link your YouTube channel and manage the two simultaneously. That can also turn out to be one of the downsides. As mentioned above, deleting a Google+ profile would likely delete your YouTube account as well. And once linked, it’s almost impossible to unlink them. Before linking YouTube – or taking Google up on its offer to do it for you when creating your profile – make sure you’ve got your page set up correctly.
As confusing as Google+ can be in the beginning, it’s worth the time to make sure it is set up correctly from the beginning, with “correctly” being what’s best for your brand. And don’t be intimidated by all the options Google+ offers during set up. Also, here’s an infographic that explains 7 Benefits your business could be reaping from Google+.
What has been your experience with Google+ set up pages? Tweet me at @Sarah_Wyland or leave a comment below!