It's 3 days before the big kickoff of the 2011 Holiday Season and we're hoping you are all set with your online marketing. Today's topic will help you set up a last-minute local internet presence.
We're going to give you some pointers on setting up your Google+ Page. The Google+ Page and Google Places Page are two different website properties, and you will need to manage both right now. Google has hinted that Google+ will eventually absorb the features of Google Places, but let's not hold our breath on that today. Instead we need to deal with 2 Google business profiles for your jewelry store.
Google+ Pages will help you win your local market, so you need to step up and get this done. Google+ Pages will be important for you because they are already showing up in the Google SERP. Here's an excerpt from the Google+ Pages launch announcement:
"People search on Google billions of times a day, and very often, they’re looking for businesses and brands. Today’s launch of Google+ Pages can help people transform their queries into meaningful connections, so we’re rolling out two ways to add pages to circles from Google search. The first is by including Google+ pages in search results, and the second is a new feature called Direct Connect."
Theoretically, as soon as you get your Google+ Page set up it will start to appear in the SERP. You should set it up now... this will only take a few minutes.
Let's first review some new lexicon for the service. As you may recall, on Facebook your business profile is called a Facebook Business Page, or just Business Page for short. When the Google+ team announced the Google+ Page they quickly shortened that to just saying "+Page."
So from now on, whenever you see someone write +Page they will be talking about their Google+ Business Page. Got it? Good, let's continue...
First of all let's review some important points.
Point #1. The +Page service is still very new. Google rushed this service in time for the Holiday 2011 Season, and there is at least 1 very important feature still missing: multiple admins.
Point #2. Functionality wise, there is little difference between a +Page and your personal profile, except the terms of service that Google has stipulated and the privacy methods.
Point #3. You need to set up a personal Google+ account first, and then the +Page. Both are easy to set up.
To set up your Google+ account go here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/up/start/
You will need to sign in with your Google account or create a new one if you don't have one yet.
If you have a Google Apps account through your store, do yourself a favor and DO NOT create your Google account using your jewelry store's Google Apps domain--unless you are the store owner and expect to never retire and expect to always use the Google Apps service.
Jewelry store employees should especially use their own Google account to create a Google+ account because otherwise your Google+ account will be permanently associated with work.
Speaking of jewelry store owners and jewelry store employees, you need to put some thought into who will be in charge of your +Page in the beginning. For the moment only 1 person can create and manage a +Page, and only that person has the ability to post to the +Page. Google has announced that multiple admins and the ability to transfer ownership between accounts is top priority.
One thing is certain, you should not create your store's +Page and let it flounder. If you, as the store owner, do not have the time to learn this then you need to delegate the job to your resident techie. If you don't want that techie to log into your Google Account then you either need to let them create the account using their personal account, or better yet, create a new Google Account using [jewelrystorename]@gmail.com as the email. This method would allow you to share the username and password for the Gmail account between multiple employees.
Once you figure out which personal Google+ account to use you will need to visit this page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/pages/create and create your jewelry store's +Page.
You will see 5 general page categories: Local Business or Place, Product or Brand, Company, Arts, or Other.
So far, from what we have seen, the only functionality difference between the categories is whether or not a map and address show up on the +Page. So if you have a brick and mortar jewelry store, you will want to select the Local Business category. If you are strictly a jewelry e-tailer and have no physical store, then you should select Product or Brand category.
For the Brick & Mortar Jeweler:
Click the Local Business button and you should be able to enter your business phone number and have Google locate you in their Google Places database. They will display a map and a pointer if they find you, otherwise click the "Add your business to Google" option.
When you click on the map pointer, it will pull your Google Places information and give you the option to edit your store name, address, and phone number. Select "Stores and Shopping" from the category drop down list. Lastly, check the box to agree to the Pages Terms and click the red CREATE button.
For the E-Tail Jeweler:
Click the Product or Brand button and you should enter your business name, website, and then select Jewelry and Watches from the drop down list. Check the box to agree to their terms and click the red CREATE button.
After a few seconds you will see the next page of the setup. From this screen you should upload your profile photo (company logo). Also on this screen we see the most notable difference is between an e-tail store and a brick & mortar store. The e-tail store will have the option for a "Tagline" but the Local Business setup does not. Instead of a tagline the Local Business +Page will always show your store's address.
Click the blue Continue button once you have a profile logo uploaded. The next screen you see invites you to get the word out to your friends. You don't have to do this now, and we suggest you skip the announcement until your +Page is more filled out anyway. So click the blue Finish button to complete the setup.
If you've followed these steps you will find yourself at the "Congratulations" page right now.
Okay, pay attention to this next thing. There won't be a quiz later, but if you don't pay attention right now we guarantee you will be totally lost later! Take a careful look at that Congratulations page and to the left you will see the name of your jewelry store next to the photo you just uploaded. Right below your store name you should see (in very light gray color) "1 page" with a down arrow.
Whenever you view your Google+ Stream you will see that "1 page" option. Go ahead and click it. That's how you switch between your +Page and your personal Google+ account. We're making a big deal about this only because this is the #1 tech support question asked of Google+ since they announced the +Pages a few weeks ago.
Tomorrow we will explain how to set up your +Page circles and ideas to invite people into those circles.