Creating Google+ Pages for Local

As promised Google+ has formally opened up pages for businesses, including  Local SMBs. Search Engine Land offers an excellent, extensive write up. Here’s Google’s full discussion of Local 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. Local pages also share the functionality of other Google+ pages — you can create and manage circles, start and join hangouts, and share content like posts and photos.

(emphasis added.)

Here’s the how-to:

To make a local page for your business:

  1. Sign in to Google+ (you’ll have to create a Google+ profile if you don’t already have one).
  2. On the side of your stream, click Create a Google+ page.
  3. Select the Local Business or Place category.
  4. Type in your business’s phone number and click Locate. Make sure that the phone number you use is a business line and not a personal or cell phone number.
  5. If you see your business listed, click on your business’s name. You’ll be able to edit the address later if anything is incorrect. If the name of your business doesn’t appear, click Add your business to Google or Look up a different number to try again.
  6. Enter or edit basic information about your business, including business name, phone number, and address. If Google already has information about your business, you’ll be asked to confirm it. You can also edit any information that’s incorrect.
  7. Add categories to your local page to help users better understand what your business does. In the Category box, select the main category that best describes your business.
  8. Select an age restriction that’s appropriate for your business.
  9. Click Create, and you’re done! Now you can visit your page and add even more details about your business, like hours, your website, and more contact information. Learn more.

It’s not clear from this discussion how much of the information is pre-populated from Google Places or how Places and Google+ Local Pages will precisely interact — but they obviously will.

I’m not able to get into these pages yet myself, but I’m sure we’ll see at least dozen articles on Local+ Pages in the next 48 hours. There are also mobile implications (think offers + notifications) here as well.

This will be more fodder for my “Search vs. Social” panel in London this week at the Local Social Summit.

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