Claim Your Custom Google Plus Name Now!

Finally, you can now have a Google+ URL that is your name rather than just a random string of numbers. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have had this for years, and Google is finally making it happen, but in a restricted way. For example, my Facebook link is www.facebook.com/fredjoyal. My Twitter is www.twitter.com/fredjoyal. LinkedIn–www.LinkedIn.com/in/fredjoyal. See a pattern here?

Now, at last, my Google+ link is www.google.com/+fredjoyal. It used to be plus.google.com/u/0/9087854393209822?.  Hard to fit that on a business card, or remember it.

How do you do it?  First, you must have a Google+ profile (that’s you as a person) or a page (your practice).  If you haven’t done a page yet for your business, it means your losing all sorts of SEO and potential patients, so first click here for my blog on how to get it done.

Now go to your profile or your page and if you are eligible for a new name you should see a notation at the top that looks like this:

Click on it, and then you will get the next instruction, which is where it offers up your options for your name.

 

You can add something to the end of your name, but you can’t change or customize what they offer to you as choices. (This is how Google is keeping people from claiming other people’s businesses’ names.)  If this is your personal profile, and you’re a dentist, I would add “DDS” or “DMD” to it.

They are very clear that once you choose this you can’t change it!  So be sure this is what you want. Most of the time it’s exactly what you want, but sometimes, if your name (you or your practice) is common, they won’t let you choose it without appending something to it. This will take some thought. Choose wisely.

If you are trying to customize your Google profile, that is, your personal site, you will need to have at least 10 followers and also have your photo posted before they will offer you the URL.

By the way, for it to work with a page for your website, you have to verify your website, which is done in the “About” section, and then you have to put a button/link to your Google+ page on your website somewhere (it doesn’t have to be prominent).  Otherwise Google won’t offer you a URL choice.

This URL makes it simpler to tell people how to get to your Google page.  It also makes it easier when you are sending Google review requests to your patients.  The only patients who can do that are ones with gmail addresses, so that’s who you should be sending the requests to. This is also explained more on my blog about refining your Google strategy.

I’ve mentioned this before, but make it a point to claim your name (or business) everywhere, both personally and your practice identity. You can click on each one of these for the place to do that: Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Yelp, YouTube (this teaches you how to link your Google+ page to a YouTube channel, creating it at the same time) and Facebook, both a profile and a business page. (I’m praying you are already on Facebook, but just in case!)

Do these even if you don’t plan to post to them yet.  You eventually will use them, and will want to link them to your website.

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6 thoughts on “Claim Your Custom Google Plus Name Now!

    • Kim, all I can think of is that you haven’t verified your business location yet. Go into your “About” section and make sure you’ve done that. The URL offering banner should come up.

        • So, Kim, what you have to do is put a button on your website that links back to your Google+ page. Hopefully you have a website where you can change it easily, but if not your webmaster should be able to do it without a lot of time or cost. They don’t seem to mention this on Google, but this is what I’ve found works.

I welcome your comments--don't pull any punches!