I’ve just set up a couple of Google Plus Pages for two local Gold Coast Businesses. Business page branding is pretty simple stuff, you just need to create a profile image, a cover image, and make sure they fit the G+ dimensions. Though sometimes, little obstacles pop up that require a bit of extra effort.
In both of these cases, I didn’t have access to a Vector version of the customer’s logo. So I had to recreate the logo as a vector using a variety of methods. It might seem like this is all I’m writing about lately, and that’s because I’ve had a string of these jobs and they’re fun to do.
The first logo was for CWBTS (City Wide Building and Training Services, a local training provider for the construction industry.
The CWBTS logo I had access to was a JPG, and it was the only version I had that would import into Flash. ShopSafe’s designers are looking after the new CWBTS website and they needed a vector version too. Also, the green in this logo was off compared to their usual design.
I used the WhatTheFont tool from MyFonts.com to identify the two main fonts in this design. Once I had the vector letters matched up, I used the line tool in Flash to trace the existing logo. Here is the work in progress.
I added the outer bevel effects for the text and filled in the colour to be finished with this.
The Border Security Services logo was a little more tricky. Border Security is a Gold Coast based Security Company that has been in operation since 1976. I’m going to admit from the outset, that once I finished re-creating this logo, I found a vector version embedded in a PDF. Which was annoying, because I’d spent about an hour on this one. I’m writing it up anyway because it turned out well.
Here is the largest original Raster version of the logo. The colour in this logo did not match the colour in their other images, so I’ve adjusted it in my recreations.
For the state emblems on the shield I used the vector images from some SVG files that I found on Wikipedia and imported them to Flash. I only needed the Lion and the Crown, and redrew the rest of the emblems to match those on the original logo.
This logo was relatively simple because of its mirrored elements. I only needed to create one side of the wreath, one half of the shield and banner and flip them horizontally.
Once I had a vector outline of the original logo, I could fill it and use it on their Google Plus page. This is the completed logo as it appears online. The vector version of this logo could also be used for printing or in other designs.
Google Plus Page Branding Tips
Now that I have my two logos, I can add them to their respective Google Plus pages.
1. Google Plus Cover Image Dimensions
Your Google Plus Cover image should be at a ratio of 940 x 180. When I’m creating my cover images, I make sure that the graphics on the image do not extend beyond the 580 pixel mark. This prevents the graphics from being obscured by the profile image and leaves a little bit of white space.
I often export my images larger than 940 x 180 pixels, because as long as they are at that ratio, they will still fit perfectly.
Here are the cover images for my two recent customers:
2. Google Plus Profile Image Dimensions
Google recommends that your Google Plus page profile image should be your business’ logo.
Your business page’s profile image will be square, so make sure that you export it as a square. If it’s a rectangle, and your logo is too close to the edge, bits of your image will get cut off by the profile photo cropping process. I export my profile images at large sizes, around 1000 x 1000, and let Google Plus do the re-sizing for me.
Here are the Profile Images for Border Security and CWBTS
3. Verify your business
If you’ve set up your business page as a Place, then you should verify your listing. This will allow your Google Plus page to be linked with Google Maps and display in local search results. Verify your listing by clicking the verify link on the bottom right of the profile. Google will send you an envelope containing a verification code. When it arrives, click ‘In Progress’, which will appear next to your Business name on your Google Plus page, then enter the code. This will merge any existing contact information and photos that Google has for your business with your new Google Plus data. Customers will also be able to write reviews, read your posts and interact with you through your G+ Page.
4. Link Your Website to your Google Plus page.
When you add your website to your G+ Page’s contact details, you will be given the option to link your website. By clicking the link next to your website address on your profile, you will receive your publisher code.
Add this code to your site and then click this link again to verify that your Google Plus page is recognised as your site’s publisher.
This will allow Google to use your Google Plus information and +1’s in your site’s search results and Knowledge Graph.
You might have noticed knowledge graphs on the right site of Google Search pages, they display Google’s summary of information about a topic or business
5. Set up Authorship
I’ve written a few posts about the benefits of Authorship for your website, though Authorship also benefits your Google Plus business page, especially in Places results.
If you set up Authorship and link your website with your Google Plus Business Page, then you will see Authorship show up in Places results as well. Authorship is great for improving click-through-rates and visibility in Search Results.
See how Authorship and Publisher-ship work together in this maps listing for Surekil Pest Control:
6. Be Active, but don’t post spam
It’s important to update your Google Plus Business page often, I usually tell my clients to post from it once or twice a week. Though remember that there’s a difference between posting something interesting, and posting something that looks like spam. Don’t make every post an advertisement about every service that your business provides. This is not interesting to anyone but you. Make your posts relative to your business, and make them worth reading.