You may have heard that Google Place Pages are now called Goolge+ Local pages and have been integrated into Google’s social network, Google+. But, did you know that local businesses can now merge a social Google+ Business page with their Google+ Local listing? Google recently announced this news, so here is what you need to know.
What’s the Difference Between a Google+ Business Page and a Google+ Local Page?
As a quick refresher, a Google+ Business page is essentially a social profile for your business, sort of like a business Facebook page. It allows your business to post content and share updates with those who have have “circled” or followed you on the network. The content on these pages can also show up in Google’s search results for any Google+ user who conducts a search while logged into their Google+ account.
A Google+ Local page is a local business listing that is tied into the Google search results system as well as to Google maps. It includes basic information about your business, like your physical location, phone number, website, hours, and services, and it integrates reviews of your business along with a rating. If you had a Google Place Page, your page has now been automatically converted into a Google+ Local Page.
What Businesses Can Merge Their Pages?
Any local business that has a local listing on Google + Local can either merge their page with an existing Google+ Business page that has been categorized as a “Local Business or Place” or create a new Google+ Business page classified as that type and merge it with their Google+ Local listing. Google+ Business pages that are classified as a product or band, company; institution or organization; arts, entertainment, or sports; or other non-local business type cannot merge their pages at this time, even if they also have a Google+ Local listing. The page type is an attribute of the Google+ Business page itself and cannot be controlled from the listing information.
Why Merge Pages?
By merging an existing Google+ Business page with your Google+ Local listing, you add a variety of new tools and resources to make your Google+ Local listing more dynamic and engaging to consumers visiting your page. Because this listing will show up in Google+ search as well as Google organic search, merging the two adds increased visibility for your social presence on Google+ and also provides more information about you to consumers searching for a local business. Not only will they see your business information, photos, and reviews, but there will also be more emphasis placed on other types of content, like your posts, videos, links to social media profiles, and more.
In addition, this process will allow you to verify your Google+ Business page, because once you merge these pages, Google will send you a verification postcard to the address of the business listing.
Plus, when you merge your pages, you will be able to monitor and manage both your Google+ Local listing and your Google+ Business page from one place – the Google+ Pages admin page.
Here is an example of a verified, merged page that includes both listing information and the social components of Google+:
To get started, you must have a personal Google+ profile associated with your own email address. This profile must have either created the Google+ Business page you want to merge or be designated as an administrator. To get started:
- Simply log into this account and then, on the left-hand sidebar, scroll down to the to “more” icon and select “pages.”
- This will take you to a section called “Manage Your Pages,” and from there, you can select the page you want to manage or choose to create a new page.
- Then, follow the prompts to either set up a new Google+ Business page to merge with your listing, or begin to merge your existing local Google+ Business page with your Google+ Local listing.
- You will use the business phone number associated with your listing to identify which page you want to merge and then confirm all the business listing information on the listing is accurate.
- In this process, you need to make sure to verify your page by selecting the “Verify Now” button on the right side of your page admin panel.
- Then, Google will send you a postcard in the mail to the address you confirm on the listing and prompt you to verify this listing by going to www.google.com/local/verify and entering the pin number on the postcard.
- Once you have merged your pages, you will be prompted to set up your page, add new content, and share your page with people in your circles.
- By merging your Google+ Local listing with your Google+ Business account, you can build a more dynamic Web presence for your local business, connect with customers and consumers, and build your reputation online through reviews.
Have you merged your Google+ Local page with a Google+ Business page yet? What do you think about the new pages? Share your thoughts in a comment!