Consider the situation where someone is looking for your service online. Specifically they are searching on your town name plus the service you offer. For example, it could be St Andrews osteopath, or Edinburgh chiropractor. Here’s the thing, any time you have a search with the name of the service the offer and the town where you provide it, you can guarantee that one of the pages that they will show up will be your Google Plus business page. It’s a page that many businesses don’t know exists!
Google gave out millions of these pages a few years ago when they launched Google Plus. They said here’s your business page, even if you don’t have a website you can have this page, please optimize it, we will rank it well in Google for you. But like I said many people don’t realize that they actually have this page.
So unfortunately when you do search on a lot of different services plus the name of the town you will come across as a bit of a ghost town as many of these pages haven’t been optimized. Thus each of these companies are missing a huge opportunity to create new business from their Google+ Business page.
It’s important to get a handle on your Google Plus business page. Getting it verified is the very first step in this process. Fundamentally Google put these pages out onto the Internet for you to claim.
How To Claim And Verify Your Google+ Business Page
One way to to verify your Google+ Business page is by using phone verification. This takes literally seconds, where you call up Google on a number they give you, they give you a pin number, and you input it into the screen in front of you. This way they know that you’re verifying your address and you are who you say you are.
Then there’s the good old fashioned postcard method which used to be the only way a few years ago, but now it’s just one of the options and can take 1-3 weeks. The only disadvantage to this method is that sometimes the postcard looks like junk mail and gets ignored or thrown away when actually it is important information, because it lists your pin number.
Once you get your Google+ Business page verified, you are allowed to optimize the page with photos and information about your business.
Furthermore you are given permission to control your Google reviews.
Reviews are a very important part of your Google+ listing. The way in which you get listed on the first page of Google will depend on how many reviews you have got
Ideally you should be looking to get five at a minimum as this will give you 5 gold stars against your listing. This in turn will increase the attractiveness of your listing when it’s displayed along side your competitors. Thus I do recommend you work hard to get five reviews. Don’t try to get 5 reviews all in one go, because you’ll have a problem as Google will wonder what’s going on, wonder if you’re manipulating the system. Instead try and get them on a consistent basis, for example one or two a month. You’ll out perform your competition by consistently getting reviews overtime.
If you haven’t already optimized your Google+ Business page or haven’t even claimed it yet, aim to go through the verification process within the next few days. Once you’ve done that you will be ahead of your competition. It’s definitely one of the pages that your customers and clients are frequently visiting. Only yesterday I was looking for a service here in St Andrews and the company I rang up didn’t have a website but they did have a Google+ page. Therefore thankfully I managed to reach them that way. This highlights the important of verifying your Google+ Business page.