It's so easy to screw up your online presence fast - give them an email or create one for social media, make a profile and you are off and running. STOP!
It's not that simple, especially when it comes to Google. Before you dive in to create a profile for Google+ and Google for Business which will tie to YouTube, make sure it's not already there. And, if it's there, that you have access to administrate it, own it and correct it. I've run across clients who have 8 business profiles on Google+ and Google for Business with several variations of a blank YouTube channel. This was all because they didn't slow down or get help researching what already existed. This happens on Facebook too with checkins, but it doesn't cause the costly tangle that happens on Google.
Since search results, the coveted 3-pin position on the results map, reviews, apps and YouTube are all tied to doing this correctly, you want to search for ANY presence your company or brand already has first. It's not just smaller and mid-size businesses that go through this,. Large companies and big start-ups have this issue because of how quickly the faces on the marketing team change - no one can keep up as they are all racing to get their name/brand out there ASAP. Don't be tempted. The extra days or even weeks you take to research and plan can make it a breeze to set up, maintain and flow with changing team members.
- SEARCH for your company using an INCOGNITO window in Google. See what the results are, especially in the right column box.
- Search for variations of your company and brand the same way.
- Make a spreadsheet you can share - Google Sheets is good for this - and keep track of what exists, who owns it, make notes as to the accuracy and what it's tied to, such as YouTube channel, YouTube profile, etc.
- Does your website or any other social account link to any of these?
- How about review sites?
- Do you have a YouTube Channel or PROFILE? You need to know the difference.
- A CHANNEL is like a Page on Facebook, or company PAGE on LinkedIn - it can be managed by people you invite in to manage and you can remove them.
- A PROFILE is just that, it's part of your personal profile - or if you made a company PROFILE instead of a PAGE it's tied to THAT.
- You want your COMPANY or BRAND/PRODUCT to be set up properly in GOOGLE FOR BUSINESS first. That will generate a PAGE, and then you can create a CHANNEL.
If you have some extra profiles and accounts that are not in use or being misused, you'll have to find out who owns those so you can either consolidate, edit or delete them altogether. Be careful if good reviews and videos are tied to those accounts. If you delete an account that had a YouTube profile or channel associated with it, you risk losing all of those videos and search goodness. If you have those videos embedded in posts, those would break as well. This is why you really need to take your time.
This can take weeks to detangle, move, download and upload to your clean business channel and more. If you have a video on one channel, you cannot upload to another without causing serious credibility issues on YouTube and possibly getting the new instance of the video and the new channel penalized or deleted by YouTube. I've had this happen.
If you are a blank slate - this is almost easier. Keep reading for what you need to do next.
- Google for Business to get started: https://www.google.com/business/
- You will have to make sure you have an email that matches your URL that you can check. One that doesn't belong to a person - such as marketing@, social@ so you can give the reins to whomever is in that position or a team of you can check notifications, emails and more. This will also play into your Google Analytics and Search Console for business.
- Once all of that is verified - could take a couple of weeks if Google has to send you a postcard with verification code - you can then begin setting up your PAGE - banner at top, about area, linking to your site, social and more.
- This is also when you can decide who will help administer this business account - you can invite others in to admin your Google+ business page, including map and YouTube.
- Set up Google Analytics at this time. If you have a long history with another analytics account, get this new business account you set up invited in as a full administrator at the first column level: account - to ensure you can verify your website, connect search console, adWords and more.
- Invite other administrators in at the level they need to either review, set up and fully administer analytics.
- Be sure to add your analytics code into your website, if it's not already there. https://analytics.google.com/
- Connect Search Console if you have not already. https://www.google.com/webmasters/
Best of luck. It's really OK to take your time with this. You will save headaches and lost efforts by really thinking it through. Get help if your team cannot do it. Kayak Online Marketing is GREAT at this. There are other companies that are great too, but this author knows this team personally and can recommend them highly, especially for larger companies. They are probably out of range for most small companies.