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Uncomplicating the Complicated: Google+ for Multi-Location Businesses

 

Businesses with multiple locations should think of each geographic location as a conglomerate.  Why?  Because Google+ Local is taking its hold within the search engine, and it’s now more important than ever for each individual location to have its own page on Google+ page.

The more locations you have, the more towns and areas your site is going to rank for – so why not take advantage of each location and have multiple pages rank for your business?

When creating multiple location Google+ pages, there are a few key points to consider:

Branding
When you start to think about creating multiple Google+ pages, one of the very first things you will want to think about is branding.

Your image for all location-specific pages should be consistent with your corporate branding guidelines.  You’ll want to make sure the same colors, logo sizing, and look of the pages is consistent across every page.  If you want to give each location a different personality, you can vary the image used, but stay consistent with the same size and color logo used across all pages.

Tip: make sure each location is equipped with a brand style guide, so they can establish their own, unique presence with the local audience, but remain consistent with your overall brand.

Posting Content
Once the pages are created, they are going to need a steady stream of original content for each location.

To create the content, consider an agency who is not only capable of creating content optimized for each location, but also equipped to manage each of your individual social networks and share that content.

Tip: whether you’re managing your social networks internally or with an agency, we recommend creating a Social Media Marketing Policy to outline for each individual location, what is appropriate and what is not appropriate to speak about online. A few things to consider are how customer care questions and complaints are going to be addressed and who is going to respond to comments.  You will also want to consider pre-approving specific copy to ensure the right messages are being delivered across each Google+ page.

Claiming Your Locations & Optimizing Your Google+ Pages
Google uses their Google Maps street views to determine whether or not the business is legitimate.  This means that you can no longer claim a business location where you don’t have a street address, local phone number and office on the street.

If you do not have a separate phone number for the location, consider purchasing a local number to use in addition to any 800 numbers – this will provide each business with their own unique address, phone number and location, which will assist your business in being listed in the multiple locations.

As Google’s goal is to make Google+ as thorough and accurate as possible, they accept and encourage the use of multiple locations as long as you have legitimate listings.

Stream Companies can help you optimize your multiple listings, but if you choose to manage the sites yourself, here are some quick tips:

  • Make sure your Google Places for Business listing and Google+ page has the link to the page on your website where the location of the business is listed.
  • Have each location listed under the same gmail address. For ease of use, you want to have all your Google+ locations registered under one profile.
  • Develop unique content specific to your business location.
  • Build links to your local content to boost your profiles.
  • Gather reviews about your business.  Reviews are of the utmost importance, so make sure that you have a method for driving people to post reviews to your Google+ page.

Spreading the Word
You should always have a link on your website (or websites) to let everyone know you are on Google+.  Consider sending out an email letting to each of your local audiences, letting people know about your new presence on Google+ and ask them to join your Google+ circle (be sure to explain what’s in it for them!).

Additionally, for each Google+ page, reach out to 5 people each day and add them to your circles or share their content and tag them. As with any social circle, the more you use it and interact, the more interest will come from your Google+ profiles.

All the best,

Susan

Susan Connelly is an SEO Manager at Stream Companies, a Philadelphia area advertising agency.

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