After waiting and one major false start, I’m pleased to announce that Google+ Pages are here. It was announced earlier today on the Google Blog (h/t Pat Strader) and they’ve been rolling out permissions apparently throughout the day. So if you’re trying to sign up and you’re not able to at the moment, listen to your good friend Underdog and fret not. Just keep trying back and you should be able to get in at some point.
By making us wait so long (they kicked off notorious troublemakers like Sesame Street for trying to use the original launch of Google+ for persons as an organizational page), they really built up anticipation, so we were all pretty excited at the news today. Heck, even SEOdog was running around and barking like a rabies-addled pooch. Or maybe that was just because there were scary-looking 10-year-olds walking out front.
How Do I set Up a Google+ Page for My Business?
We’re glad you asked, Rhetorical Writing Device. Just click here. You’ll first have to sign in, so you’ll either need to have an existing Google account (maybe you have gmail or have hooked up your existing email to services like Docs or Calendar) or create a new one.
NOTE: Unless this changes in the future, this Google+ Page is going to be tied to your Google+ profile like facebook pages. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure you’re doing it from an account with a person least likely to leave your employ. I believe you could also set up a business account with Google Apps and tie it through that, but trust me – that’s a pain in the tuchus if a Google+ Page is your only reason for creating an account.
Once you get in, you have five basic choices for page type:
- Local Business or Place
- Product or Brand
- Company, Institution or Organization
- Arts, Entertainment or Sports
Even though it doesn’t have as many choices as facebook pages (6 basic variations: Local Business or Place; Company, Organization or Institution; Brand or Product; Artist, Band or Public Figure; Entertainment; and Cause or Community), I really like the Other choice as a catchall since you can’t anticipate all the different legitimate variations.
From there, you can write a short description of the page, upload a logo, and add a status update. You should also be able to add photos and videos, but they don’t make it easy on you to do so, at least with videos – why no easy YouTube integration?
Alright, I’m Set Up. Now What?
Well, there’s not really much to do at the moment besides update statuses and add folks to your circles. It’s really kind of a letdown after so much time in beta. But features will be coming soon and there may be some SEO benefits down the road. It will also be nice to comment and
like, I mean +1 things publicly as the company as opposed to needing to do it through a personal Google+ profile. Update for clarity: You can only add individual Google+ ‘ers if they’ve added you to their circles. Same thing about +1’ing their statuses. There’s also no way currently to +1 search results or other pages off the Google+ site itself as your page.
Although, if you’re a big enough brand, there is one cool feature called Direct Connect. If people type “+” in front of your company name in the search bar, they can be taken directly to your Google+ Page from the dropdown. Here’s what it looks like if you search for “+Pepsi“:
See An Example of a Google+ Page
Want to see an example? Check out our Google+ Page. Not much going on so far, but be sure to check back soon and add us to your circles.
One snark – Google makes it easy for you to create a Google+ Page badge. I do find it amusing that the alt tag is neglected. Call Matt Cutts!