If you don’t have a Google+ Local Page (or more to the point if you haven’t claimed and verified your Google+ Local Page) the move by Google to launch Vanity URL’s should really make you consider investing some resources into a Google+ Page for your business some time very soon.
To be clear on what a Google+ URL looks like – until this week if you went to our Bear Web Design Google+ page in Lebanon you would use the URL:
As you can see with this image above – the Google Search Engine also uses this URL in search results….
BUT – As of last week Google commenced offering Google+ Pages (and Google+ Local Pages) vanity URL’s….
And now our Lebanon Google+ Local Page’s URL is this http://www.google.com/+BearWebDesignLebanon
I suspect shortly this will start to appear in the Google Search as well – making your Google+ Local Pages listings even more valuable! And for companies that have multiple locations Google will offer variations of the vanity URL (usually adding location) – so you can see our Nashville Office location is now http://www.google.com/+BearWebDesignNashville.
This also happened with the Google+ Social Media Page – My Google+ Page is now http://www.google.com/+PeterBeare – so this is not just Business owners that have this opportunity.
So What Is The Big Deal About This?
This is definitely a new form of a domain name for your company being offered by the most powerful search engine in the world that delivers more traffic to your website (and businesses) than all of the other search engines combined….
As with current domain names (and .com’s in particular), if you share the same name as other companies, only one company can have your Google+ vanity URL…. (e.g. there cannot be 2 companies using +BearWebDesign). So technically speaking the race is on!
Future Business will come through Google+ Local Pages
During this year’s Wilson County Fair we had a call from the Fair Office that a Google+ Local Page online was showing incorrect opening times for the fair. Of course this was a page setup by Google (not by anyone at the Fair) and had completely incorrect information. But people were literally going to Google and typing Wilson County Fair and Google+ info was being presented incorrectly. We immediately claimed the page (and updated the information) and linked the page to the website. (Later that week we established that Google+ page was receiving 5000 visitors a day) which really clarified how critical it is to have full ownership of your affiliated Google+ pages.
So What Should Your Company Do?
Before the vanity URL’s were released by Google we were already encouraging all clients to claim their Google+ Local Pages. If you search for Bear Web Design (your company name) Google+ you should see any Google+ Local Pages that have been set up. Google sets these pages up automatically and they are generally tied to Google Maps (and your business location). But the information is general and may be inaccurate, so it is critical to take ownership of your page (at worst someone else may attempt to claim your page) so here are the basic steps:
Step 1 – Find your Google+ Local Page (Google Your Company Name and Google+)
Step 2 – Select Manage this Page (and Claim Ownership) – Note you must have a Google e-mail account and a Google+ Page setup to do this generally)
Step 3 – Verify your business LOCATION – This is the most critical element to Google+ Listings – taking full ownership of your page.
Step 4 –Update your Google+ Local Page with your accurate corporate information and start posting blogs and updates (just like you do in other social media websites).
Step 5 – Keep an eye out for the URL Vanity Offer from Google (and hopefully you will get the one you want)
If you need help with this process Bear Web Design can assist you. Generally this process can take 2-4 hours with verification usually taking up to a week or so. But what a small investment for such a great potential return.
And just like domains – when the Vanity URL for your business is gone, it is gone, so get to this as soon as you can!