Today Google released Google+ pages for business. This will walk you through what a Google+ page is, and why you would want one for your clinic.
What is Google+?
Google+ is google’s version of facebook. It integrates tightly with your google account if you have one (you might use this for gmail or google calendar). It is designed to be an easy way to stay in touch and share information (photos, status updates) with your friends. The key point of different Google+ has over facebook is the concept of circles, which basically make it easier to control who you share your information with. Facebook however has since implemented very similar features.
What are Google+ pages?
Google+ pages are very similar to facebook business pages (fan pages). You can see an example of a facebook business page here http://www.facebook.com/cliniko (make sure you click the “like” button while you are there). You can see more details about Google+ pages here Google+ for your business
Why should I have a Google+ page for my business
Well Google would say you should have a Google+ page because it helps you connect with your customers/clients. I think it’s a bit soon for that, and Google+ doesn’t have the traction to really make that viable. I think you should have a Google+ page to reserve your name, and also because Google+ pages will be appearing in Google search results soon, and it’s likely to be a bonus to your search engine optimization and possibly just bring my organic (not paid) visitors to your website.
Anything I need to do before I create my Google+ page
Yes! Good thing you asked. You will need to have a Google+ account yourself first. You can sign up here Google+. I won’t provide details on how to do this, it is pretty straight forward.
Note: If you are signing up with a Google Apps account, you will need to “allow” Google+ from the manage services area of your Google Apps domain. You can find details on that here Turn services on/off for certain users.
Okay, you won me over, I want to create one. How do I do it?
- 1.Visit the Google+ pages creation site here Create a Google+ Page.
- 2.Pick a category (probably “Local business or Place” for you).
- 1.Enter your location details.
- 1.Unless you are already in Google Places with that phone number, you will need to select “Add your business to Google” and then provide details of your business. Click “Create” once you’re done.
- 1.You can now set a tagline that best represents your business. This should be your slogan if you have one, but ideally also contain the words people might use to search for your business. You can also upload your logo/avatar here too.
- 1.Lastly you can now share the new page with anyone you have in your Circles (most likely noone yet unless you were already a Google+ user).
You should now have your Google+ page that looks something like this (it may vary slightly as the Cliniko page is for a product not a local business).
The last thing to do (this is optional) is to link to your Google+ page from your website to encourage your visitors to add it to their circles and encourage engagement. Google have released a code snippet generator for you to use on your website (or get your webmaster to do so). Visit this site and follow the instructions Link your Google+ page to your site
That’s it! You now have your business on Google+ pages, it’s now up to you what you do with it. The more status updates, photos and information you share the more likely you are to get value out of it. At least now you have a presence there.