To add your business to Google+ Local, or to claim ownership of an existing Google+ Local page (which Google might have automatically created based on information from an old Google Places page or from references to your business found on 3rd party websites), go to www.google.co.uk/local/add and sign in with any Google account (Gmail, YouTube, Analytics, etc.) that you have, or create a new Google account using the ‘Sign Up’ button.
Once you’re signed, to add your business to Google+ Local, first enter your business’s primary phone number into the ‘Phone Number’ field and click ‘Find Business Information’. If Google already has details of your business, they’ll be displayed next to an ‘Edit’ button, which should you click to access the form shown below. If Google doesn’t already have any details of your business, you’ll be taken directly to the form shown below. This form is where you enter or edit basic information about your business.
It’s important to note that Google takes the professionalism and accuracy of their local business listings very seriously, and that they incorporate various automatic filters and manual reviews into their Google+ Local platform to prevent businesses from providing false or misleading information. They have strict guidelines, particulaly regarding the name, phone number and address that businesses provide, that must be followed if you want to be included in their local search results.
The business name you provide should be the exact one that you use to represent your business in offline. This means you shouldn’t include any taglines, phone numbers, web addresses, locations or keywords in the business name field. The phone number you provide should be your primary business phone number – not your home number, mobile number, or a call tracking number. Whilst it’s not absolutely essential to use a phone number with a local area code that matches the town or city in which you say you’re based, having one is beneficial.
The business address you provide should precisely and accurately describe the real location of your business. Don’t submit a PO box, shared address or virtual office as your business’s address. Doing so is against Google’s guidelines and will, sooner or later, result in your business’s presence in Google being downgraded or removed altogether. If you don’t allow customers and clients to visit you at the business address that you specify, then in the ‘Service Areas And Location Settings’, you should select the ‘Yes, this business serves customers at their locations’ option. Complete as much additional information as possible, as the more visitors to your page know about your business, the more they’ll trust you.
After you click the ‘Submit’ button, you’ll be asked to validate your submission by having a postcard sent to the business address that you specified. The postcard (containing your unique personal identification number and activation instructions) should arrive within 2-3 weeks. Once you receive the postcard, and follow the instructions on it, your business will be added to Google+ Local. This alone may be enough to get your business ranking on the 1st page of Google’s local business listings for relevant keywords, however, in competitive industries and locations, or if you want your business to rank higher in the listings, you’ll also need to take additional steps to optimise your Google+ Local page and your business’s website.