This week, Google announced the option for connecting Google+ business pages to Google local listings. If you are among the single-location businesses with an active Google+ page and a verified Google Places listing that’s been upgraded to Google+, you can now merge the two together if you want.
The process involves connecting your non-local Google+ page to your Google Maps local listing through your Google+ local page. Sound confusing? Discussing Google+ and local usually is, but it’s really a fairly simple process. And, after going through it, you will no longer need to manage your local and social Google+ pages separately.
Why Would You Want to Bring Google+ Business and Local Together?
Many small business owners have asked the same question.
In the past, small business owners created a Google+ page and took advantage of the social networking features to connect with customers, industry professionals and more.
Through Google Places for Business, companies also managed their Google Maps local business information (address, phone, hours, etc.) and reviews. As Google moved those Places listings to Google+, companies ended up with two or three different Google+ pages to manage. You could have an active Google+ Business page in one account and an upgraded local page under another, both with the same login.
Some business owners spent a lot of time optimizing and posting to their Google+ business pages, ensuring they properly represented their brand, and then found the upgraded local Google+ pages displayed in search results with much less information and no images. So they managed both, waiting for a way to merge the two.
Although merging a non-local Google+ page with a local one is not possible, through your verified local page you can connect your Google Maps listing (with local business information and reviews) to your brand’s Google+ page with full social features. You can then delete the local page, if you choose to do so, leaving you with the owner-verified Google+ page displaying Maps information for your business with full social networking features.
Make Sure Merging Business and Local Is the Right Move for Your Busniess
Before you approve any merger between your Google+ business page and your local listing, it’s important to understand what such a move might look like.
The newly connected Google+ page will display:
- The business name and verification badge from the previous local page
- Local business data (address, phone, hours, etc.)
- Reviews from the previous local page
Other significant Google+ changes
- Any responses your business made to reviews will not carry over, so you may want to copy them and add afterward
- Your Google+ page’s followers, posts and managers remain, as does the custom URL, if you set one up
- Your followers, posts and managers from the local page do not transfer over
- You will lose the Story, Tagline and links from your Google+ page
- You may also lose ad campaigns associated with the page and need to start a new one
What your local page loses, if you keep it:
- If you decide to keep your local page, it will be renamed a “backup” and no longer displayed on Google Maps
- It will not show your local business information or reviews, and you lose any associated AdWords Express campaigns
- The backup local page will, however, retain its followers, posts and page managers as well as its custom URL, if it had one
How to Connect Your Google+ Business & Local Pages
Before getting started, you should know you can only connect a Google+ page with your local Map listing if the page represents a local business and meets Google quality guidelines. And, you can only connect a Google+ page to one business location. Hopefully, Google will offer an option for businesses with multiple locations soon.
Making the Connection
Log into your account and open the verified Google+ local page. Those who still log in through Places can scroll down on the left of the dashboard to ‘Google+ Page’ and click to open it. Hopefully you will see the owner verified check mark. Otherwise, you need to verify before going further.
If verified, click at the top right to access Page Settings.
Under Page Settings, scroll down to Profile and look for “This page is connected to Google Maps.” Click on “Connect to a Different Page.”
If you have at least one non-local Google+ page, you will see the option to connect your local Map data to it.
Select the option and confirm. You will then have the option of deleting the local page you made the connection from.
That’s it! If you run into issues, you can check Google’s help page here.