With so many products and services available through Google, it may start to become unclear what each one is for and how the services differ from each other. Google Plus and Google My Business are two important services offered by Google that help optimize your business’ online presence. In this blog we will talk about the difference between the two services to better understand why each service is important.
So what exactly is each service? Well to start, these two services help potentially raise your local listings in Google search as well as increase authority throughout Google if the content posted is promoted consistently.
Anything that is run through Google is inherently more SEO friendly than other social media sites. Making sure your Google Accounts for your company are up and running so that you can potentially increase your spot in local search results is essential for any business.
Google My Business
Google My Business is an important Google service that cannot be overlooked. It is a dashboard that helps list your business on Search and Maps. In other words it’s the interface between you and Google local search activity and helps your company come up when customers search for your business on Google.
You will want to create a Google My Business page for each business location that you have. Once you create a location, Google will send you a verification postcard in 5 days to confirm that the location is real. After you input the code from that postcard, Google will list your location on their search engine.
As well as a dashboard for your business, the Google My Business page connects you to your Google+ Page, Google Analytics, and AdWords Express; creating ease when managing your Google accounts.
When it comes to filling out your company’s Google My Business account it is important to enter in all the information accurately. When typing the address, Google knows the difference between “St” and “Street” so make sure to have the same address listed everywhere. From the phone number, to business hours, address, and photos, everything needs to be consistent and up to date.
Checklist for Optimizing your Google My Business Account
- Use your real business name
- Confirm your address is correct and consistent. All addresses have to be listed the same
- Contact Information – Make sure to use a local phone number
- Listing a category – Can list multiple categories if it makes sense for your business
- List your normal business hours – If hours change must go back and change manually
- A detailed and thorough introduction about your business
- Managing Photos – There are multiple sections to focus on to make sure this section is filled out completely.
- Identity Photos: A Profile Photo, a Logo Photo, and a Cover Photo.
- Interior Photos
- Exterior Photo
- Photos at Work
- Team Photos
- Additional Photos
Google Plus, to put in simplest terms is just like Facebook. Although not as popular a social media site as Facebook, it is still vital to understand the basics behind this platform. Once you create a Google My Business page you automatically have a Google + Page and it is attached to your Google My Business dashboard. Once signed up, start by filling out your profile and creating segments or circles. Then, add people that are relevant to each one. You might have a customer circle, vendor circle, or industry circle.
There are also “Communities” and “Collections” in which people can engage with and follow. “Communities” are a great way to build buzz around a certain topic and actively engage the audience, whether it’s through comments or hangouts. “Collections” are posts grouped by content and works slightly like Pinterest in the sense the viewer can find pages of interest with different posts from different websites.
There are many active members of Google+ in smaller niche communities. Getting involved with these groups online could open up new doors for your business. By sharing updates, pictures and organizing events thanks to the event feature of Google+, to the right audience is likely to create a buzz and boost your brand awareness by allowing this audience engages with your content
Optimizing Your Google Plus Account:
- Upload a Cover Photo & Profile Photo
- Business Name – Make sure this is consistent across all platforms
- Contact Info Should Be Up to Date and Accurate
- SEO Meta Description – Combines tagline and the first two sentences of introduction
- 160 Characters
- Custom Page URL- Make URL Personal
- Encourage Clients to Write Reviews
- Consistently Sharing Content – Adding content and linking social profiles
When it comes down to it it’s important to post content on Google+ consistently and keep up to date the basic information of your business on Google My Business. It is more likely that your content published on Google+ is going to appear in search results than content published on other social networks.
In the simplest terms, Google My Business is the dashboard that allows you to change any information about your business while Google Plus is the social network that allows you to connect with potential new customers. Both together help improve your SEO rankings on a local standpoint. If you have questions about Google My Business or Google Plus feel free to r each out to Google’s support team.
Google My Business Support
To contact Google My Business:
- Go to: https://support.google.com/business/?hl=en Then Click “Fix Issue”.
- This will bring up options for you to choose from that best describe that issue you are having. Follow the prompts that come up based off of the issue you choose.
Google Plus Support
To contact Google Plus:
- Go to: https://support.google.com/plus/?hl=en Then Click “Help Forum”
- This will bring you to the Help Forum page where you are able to join the group and ask questions you may have. You can also search through questions that have already been answered.