How to Claim & Set Up Local Profiles: From Google+ to Yelp

Claiming and setting up local profiles is an important branding activity that has tremendous SEO value. Most websites that offer local business listings follow the same listing process, with a few points of differences here and there.

Last year I took on the position of Director of Marketing at Ogle School, a .EDU that has over 8 locations in the Texas area. As you can imagine, local SEO is incredibly important (as is local social) so claiming, setting up, managing and updating all of the local listings for our school is quite a task.

This article will take you through the process of claiming and setting up local profiles across diverse online platforms, and help them get a better idea about what they need to do to connect with local customers. I’ve put together tactics and tips for Google+, Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Yahoo Local, ChamberofCommerce.com and Yelp.

Let’s begin:

Google + Local

Let’s start with the Big Daddy of them all – Google+ Local. The local pages on Google+ Local closely resemble company Facebook Pages — they interact with Google Maps, Zagat reviews, and Google+. But the really sweet deal is that your local pages will be indexed by search engines.

Step 1: Create a Google Places Listing

It all begins at https://plus.google.com/local‎. Sign in with your Google username and password, which will take you to the Google Places dashboard.

google places

Select your country and enter your phone number. If you already have a Google Places listing, make sure that you enter the phone number that’s on your listing. You will then need to enter your business details. Fill in all the details and submit.

Step 2: Verify Listing

verify listing

You will now come to the verification page. You can choose how the verification PIN will be sent to you — whether by phone, SMS or postcard. If you choose ‘By Phone’, you will need to enter your mobile phone number and choose your carrier. Once you are done, click on ‘Finish’ and your phone will ring within minutes. You will receive an automated message that will reveal to you your PIN. In case of new businesses with a brand new phone number, the ‘Postcard’ should be the preferred choice. Once you receive the PIN, enter it in the required field to create a verified Google Places Listing.

*If you don’t receive a PIN the first time, you can request another through your Google Places dashboard.

Step 3: Google+ Local Listing

For this you will first need a Google+ Profile. To get one, go to https://plus.google.com/‎

You must now create a Google+ Local Page by clicking on the tab and choosing the ‘Local Business’ or ‘Place’ category. Fill in the business details the page asks for and click ‘Locate’. You should now see your business listing(s). Choose the verified business listing on Google Places and click ‘Ok’.

You will now come to this page:

create a google plus page

You must now enter the name of your business. You also have the option to enter the link to your website.

Once you are through, click on the ‘Verify Now’ button to verify your Google+ local page.

verify now

Add an optional contact name and click on ‘Request Postcard’. When you get your PIN, open this page again and enter the number.

I am sure you are wondering why merge the Google Places and Google+ Local listings? Why won’t one suffice? Well, that’s because you need an account on Google Places if you want to create a Google+ Local profile. Also, each has its own strength so it makes good business sense to have an account on both.

Facebook

If you want to build brand awareness and connect with your customers, there is no beating Facebook. To claim and set up the Facebook Places page for your business, follow the steps given below:

Step 1: Create your Page as Local Business

The first step is to create your Facebook Page by going to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php

create a facebook page

Step 2 – Filling the Details

When you click on Local Business or Place, you will be taken to this page:

local business or page

Fill in the required details. After this you can use your admin panel to edit your page, build your audience, and fill your page with the requisite content.

Step 3: Claiming your Facebook Page for your Business

Once you have created your official local business page on Facebook, it’s time to claim your Facebook Places page.

how to claim your facebook place page

Go to your Facebook Business Page and click on the arrow on the box next to “edit” and select ‘Is this your Business?’ When you click on it you will be taken through a series of steps that will ask for information about your business.

is this your business

Step 4: Verification

You will now need to verify your connection to the business by either choosing an email verification process or by uploading the necessary documentation.

business authentication

Choose the email option only if you have an email address linked to your Facebook account and which also serves as your business email address. In terms of documentation, you will need to scan or click a picture of an official business document, like business license, tax file, phone bill, etc., and upload it.

That’s it. You are done claiming and setting up a Facebook profile for your local business. All you need to do now is start managing it.

A word about Facebook’s Parent-Child Framework

Big businesses with multiple locations (five or more) can connect their different local Facebook Pages to their corporate Facebook Page – this in essence is the Parent-Child Framework. If you operate from multiple locations you can claim your local pages under the Facebook Parent-Child Framework.

facebook parent child form

Jeff Chiarelli

Jeff Chiarelli

Director of Marketing at Ogle Schools
Jeff Chiarelli is the Director of Marketing at Ogle School and his background includes a decade of SEO & PPC in the financial space, SuperPages.com, Dex Media and various eCommerce firms.Responsibilities include managing Ogle School's online web properties, TV advertising, outdoor advertising, PPC/PPL, print advertising to build the brand and student inquiries.
Jeff Chiarelli
Jeff Chiarelli

Comments are closed.

11 thoughts on “How to Claim & Set Up Local Profiles: From Google+ to Yelp

  1. This was a great article. I think for my new web design store I had all of them done except the yahoo one. I didnt know they had a local listing. Thanks for the great info.

  2. nice post Jeff.
    Like the way you explain the all steps to register business in different websites.
    But I guess you also aware that in recent update (Penguin 2.0) – in report it shows that their are drop in ranking for Yelp and other listing website too. So how important or useful is this not sure. But for branding it is nice practice.

    I observe that Google is now more consecrate to clean search result and at same time it promote their own product like G+ and other. I don’t why google want this but its happening.

    Please share your thoughts too.

  3. Hi Jeff
    Thanks for the post – really useful information all in one place. However, I believe that you automatically get a Google+ Local page once you have created a Google Places listing. Have you experienced this?
    Susie

    1. Hi Susie Culhane,

      Yes your right – Google is now work with Google Places which is used for Google Search Engine too.

  4. I was researching about the new Google update “Zebra” and found this great article. Unfortunately not all the tools listed above can be used for local listings in other areas besides US. For instance Yahoo Local will not work for businesses residing outside US or Yelp. However Google +, Facebook and LinkedIn works perfect. Thank you again for the great info.

    1. Bogdan Stanica, their is nothing called “Google Zebra” – it is rumor only. Yes, Google updated it algorithm but it called Google Penguin 2.0 – upgrade to earlier Penguin 1.0.

      Kindly refer the article about those.

  5. Greetings. I appreciate your positive motivation, but I have to tell you I have had a very difficult time with Google places/maps to get my listing that I created in February corrected. I’ve tried correcting my pin many times (and yes I know how) and it just won’t take. I’ve emailed them about the fact that they show a road where there is none, and the road that is only 100 feet away from my location is incorrectly named. To add confusion for the Interstate travelers looking for me, the active pin shows me inside a mall, which I am not. A Google agent actually called me and said they were correcting it, but not successfully.

  6. I was looking for yahoo local posting help from quite some time. But found this as a help for posting on Yelp too. The screen shared from each step is of great help. Building local listing presence is of great help to every business nowadays. Will be definitely of great help to many people. All credits to you Jeff.

  7. This is a great post, but I am confused about Facebook’s Parent-Child framework. I’ve searched EVERYWHERE on how to even begin setting this up, and I can’t find anything. How did you get to the Parent-Child form? What is the URL? Who do I contact? Sorry to be dense, We have 321 locations across the country and I’m sure you can imagine how insane it is for us to not have this.

    Thanks so much for your help! Feel free to email me directly.

    Selina

  8. Wonderful article. There are lots of things that I have learned from it and most of them are very important. What I like about it is that it teaches specifics. It includes a step by step process of the things being taught. I find all of it so useful especially since we are putting up a restaurant business next year. I will certainly apply what I have learned here.