The arrival of Google+, and the opportunity to set up a company page within it, has created something of an issue for the majority of businesses that have been around for a few years or more. In most cases, they will already have a Google Local Listing, or Google Places Page as they were once known, which begs the question of whether it’s necessary or practical to have both a Google Local Listing and a Google+ Page for your company.
After all, it’s hard enough to keep one updated, never mind two. Additionally, you can’t engage with followers by posting status updates on your Local Listing, as you can on your Google+ Page. Meanwhile, on your Google+ Page, you can’t add all of the stylish features you’re able to add to your Google Local Listing, such as a map, and have it show up with lots of great information within a Google search for your company.
It’s almost as if neither gives you exactly what you want. The obvious answer would be to merge the pages together. Surely Google, in its infinite wisdom, has foreseen the need to merge Local Listings with Google+ Pages?
Well, no, actually. But don’t despair, there is a solution; albeit a very round-the-houses and ‘you must be joking, that seems ridiculous’ sort of solution.
You see, what you need to do is upgrade your Google Local Listing to a Google+ Page – which is quite easy to do, so long as your Google Local Listing is on the NEW admin control panel, of course. If it isn’t, and your Local Listing was formerly a Google Places Page, you’ll be on the OLD admin control panel and your options are severely restricted. Google doesn’t appear bothered about upgrading people’s control panels either.
If you have the old style interface, it will look like this:
You will also notice the message:
“Coming soon: An easier to use Google Places for Business
We’re making Google Places for Business easier to use. You don’t have to do anything to get the new Google Places for Business, it’ll be automatically updated when available.”
However, Google has been promising this for some time and nothing has changed. With this old interface, you are not able to access the great new features available, nor are you able to create a combined Google+ Page and Google Local Listing.
Now, this is where the crazy part comes in!
What you need to do is create a brand new Google Account, with a new email address and login. Then, when you’re logged in with this new account, you need to visit your Google Places Page and claim it as yours. This, believe it or not, will pull it from the old control panel of your former account, to a shiny new control panel on your new account.
The new Google Places interface
Once you have verified the business as yours (by entering the PIN received via either postcard or automated phone call) you’re able to add lots of new data and, finally, upgrade it to a Google+ Page.
You will have a brand new Google Places/Local Listing that also acts as a Google+ Page. You’ll have one page, with the features and power of both systems, and you’ll be able to engage with your followers and see your page appear in Google searches when you search for your company, complete with a map, photos, opening times, reviews and (and this is the important bit) posts from Google+.
Why Google doesn’t allow you to just merge two existing pages is another matter – but at least you will now be able to have the all-singing, all-dancing page you so crave.
What the finished Google Local Listing and combined Google+ Page displays in Google
If you would like your business to have a combined Google+ Page and Google Local Listing, contact us today on 0345 621 4321, or email email@example.com.
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