Wednesday, October 17, 2012

5 Characteristics of a Healthy Local Google+ Page

We know your business’ presence on Google, Google+ and Google Maps is important to you -- it’s important to us, too. Here are some tips and tricks for keeping those pages healthy. Simply sign in to your Google Places for Business account (or Google+, for the upgraded pages) to make any of the necessary changes to your listing.

Service Area Businesses without Storefronts Must Hide Their Addresses 
If you serve customers at their location, we ask that you hide your business’ location on Google Maps. A good test to know if you should be hiding your address: could a customer arrive at your location without an appointment and expect to conduct business? If not, your address should be hidden.

If you operate a service area business without a storefront, you must use Google Places to hide your address. Unfortunately, this feature is not yet supported for local pages made in Google+ with social features.

Address Formatting 
If you need to specify where you receive mail within your physical address, put a mailbox or suite number on the second address line. Your address may end up looking reformatted in Google Maps, but it’s important that this information on the second address line in your Google Places for Business dashboard for data processing purposes. There’s no need to put any information other than the address and mailbox number when entering your address.

Real Location and Phone Number 
We don’t accept mail-receiving agencies, like P.O. Boxes or UPS Stores, as business locations. Even if your business normally receives mail like this, please input your actual location into Google Places for Business account. If you do not want to show that address (for example, if that is your home address), there is an option to hide your address and instead specify a general area of service in the Google Places for Business dashboard. The location that you list should be staffed by your business during its operating hours.

Spelling and miscellany 
We’re all for keeping your copy fresh, but you should avoid switching 0ut ©hara©ter$. If your listing is in English, keep the letters you use to the standard alphabet, and so on.

And remember, please do not include any URLs in your title, unless it’s actually the name of your business.

Multiple Businesses
If you manage multiple businesses, remember that you are responsible for keeping all of your listings in compliance with our quality guidelines.

These are just some common mistakes we often see with business owners’ listings. Please review our guidelines in detail and make sure your listing is as healthy as it can be and ensure that your prospective customers are finding your relevant listing information. If you have additional questions or concerns, contact our support team under Fix a Problem.

Posted by Roger Chen, Google+ Local Search Quality

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