My business partner Martin Russell of Word of Mouth Magic suggested a new version of our Ebook is needed now that Google+ is in the process of being rolled out in joined up form with Google Places for Business.
The first thing to look at is Google’s own
Google Places quality guidelines
The first field in a Places entry we need to think about is the Business Name.
This needs to be name in the ‘real world’ and must be the name used in answering phone calls to the business. The phone no is used as a ‘unique’ key for a business entity by Google so if you have several self owned businesses, but in different Category areas, each needs its own phone no.
Tests in search show that having the prime Category of the business in the name is the highest ranking position for this information.
And this name needs to be used consistently across the Web.
One issue with the business name is Google’s new offering of Vanity URLs for pages driven by your web data.
Martin suggested for my WordPress blog I register in my own name as a professional. And in these days a domain name URL registered in a child’s name can be a valuable christening gift. I can see double-barreled names making a resurgence as there are only so many unique URLs out there.
But you will notice my Blog title is what I do, rather than who I am.
This is my new + Local Business page created by Google as they roll out the new functionally linked page and Places entry. + Local Business page:
Google+ search result page driven by my Places entry:
My Blog is put in as the website link and you can see two things.
Firstly I have been given a Vanity URL in exactly my Blog URLs name. This is because I registered a .com as an international business. For other country suffixes you are initially asked to add a few characters to make it unique. The advice is to not accept and wait if you know your URL is unique across all domains and eventually you may be offered the clean name you want.
Secondly the page name has ‘Consultant’ on the end rather than ‘Help’. When I started out 5 years ago posting help in the Google and Your Business forum and was hoping for business, prior to Google’s new phone support, I set up a simple Google website with details of my product and my professional references. www.googlemapsbusinessconsultant.co.uk
You need to remember your Places entry is only your suggestion as to what you want Google to show in search for your Google+ search page and Google trust more what they find on the web. So I presume this is where the Consultant comes from. Do not worry about punctuation differences as its the keywords Google are looking for.
If you have several retail or walk in service locations you need to be careful not to add a location name to the Places entry and + Local Business page. Tests show adding a location to the business name has no ranking effect anyway.
For your business or brand set up one + Business or + Brand page first and hopefully that will drive the Vanity URL creation. All the + Local Business pages should be in the same name. Google knows they are separate from the local phone nos they must each have and the address. Internal local phone no redirects can be used but they must be answered as the local business name.