Setting Up a Google+ Fan / Business Page

In Google+, you start with your personal page. But, separate from that, you can then create separate Google+ pages for your business or projects that you maintain separately. Here is how to do that.

First, unfortunately, Google+ is not as good as Facebook when it comes to naming things. On Facebook it's nice and clear. You have a personal, private page which is for you the human being. Then you create Fan Pages - as many as you wish - for your various projects and ventures. You log into your personal page. You then administer your fan page for your rock band, your novel, your website, or whatever other project you're running. It's crystal clear how the two are separate and named.

In Google+, all of these pages are just called "pages". This can make it quite confusing! So in this article I'm going to call the non-personal pages you create for your projects "fan pages", just like in Facebook, to help keep them distinct. Otherwise the wording of the article will get confusing.

So, just like in Facebook, you start by making your PERSONAL Google account. This has your real name. It is about you as a person. You don't have to post there or use that page if you don't want to! It can be completely stagnant. The purpose of this personal account is to serve as the administrator for the fan pages you run.

So you log into your personal Google account (or make one if you don't have one). Then you go to plus.google.com to see that page. Once there, click on your icon in the top right. In my case, because I have multiple pages already, it shows the first four pages and then has a link to "All your Google+ Pages". It's on that "All Your Pages" listing that I have a "Create a Page" button option. If you don't have any pages at all I imagine you might see that Create a Page option right there on the first drop-down.

So you click to create a page. First, you need to choose a category, exactly like with Facebook fan pages. I'm seeing a theme here :). It's not hugely important which category you choose - it's just for general layout purposes. I tend to go with Brand - Website for my projects. On the next page you give your fan page a name and use the link to your website. Voila! You have a page and it links to your website. You now can start customizing it with a banner image, a description, and so on!

You'll want a wide rectangular image for the top banner, and a 250x250 square image as a little profile icon to go next to your posts.

If this fan page is a page representing an entire website you own in its entirety, you'll want to officially "link" this page to that website. Google will give you a block of code to add to your website's main homepage to prove you own the webpage. I.e. if I wanted to pretend to create the "official" webpage for iRobot Robots, I wouldn't be able to take this step. It's a way for you to prove to Google that you really do own the entire site site you are connecting to. This just puts a checkmark by your Google+ page to show it was verified. Not necessary, but why not do it if you can.

Important note: This linking is intended for Google+ pages that represent an entire website. So for example there can be a link from the BellaOnline Google+ fanpage to the BellaOnline website. However, there can't be a verified link from the Low Carb Google+ fan page to the entire BellaOnline homepage. The Low Carb Google+ page doesn't represent the entire BellaOnline website. It's just a small piece of it. So yes, you can LINK from the Low Carb Google+ page to the Low Carb area of BellaOnline. But you can't "verify" that the Low Carb Google+ fanpage "represents" the entire BellaOnline website. In this situation what you want to make sure is that you've done the proper "authorship" steps to link your BellaOnline bio page to your Google+ personal writer page. That is described on my Google+ with Author and Rel Tags page.

So now if you go back to your Google+ main homepage - the one you created for you as a human being - you'll see that it is untouched. That page is just the way it's always been. To get to your new Google+ fan page you just created, click on your icon in the top right corner. Your new fan page shows up in the drop-down list.

Google+ Best Practices
Google+ Basics
Benefits of Google+
Google+ with Author and Rel Tags
Google+ and Google Maps
Testing Google+ Search Results
Setting Up a Google+ Fan / Business Page
Authorship on a Google+ Business Page


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