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Increasing Visibility: Adding social media pages to your Google business listing

When you search on Google for a brand or business, it sometimes comes with a special section on the right, showing business details such as the address and opening hours (Figure 1). This special section is a business listing available in the form of a Knowledge Panel.

Figure 1: Knowledge Panel with business details

For some businesses, this includes their social media pages as we see here for Uniqlo (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Social profiles featured on Knowledge Panel

Including your social media pages in the knowledge panel greatly increases their visibility. In today’s article, we’ll talk about how you can add your social media pages to your Google business listing. Ready? Let’s start!

Google My Business

Before we get into the main topic, have you ever wondered how Google gets accurate information required to form such business listings? Simple. Part of the information is provided by business owners such as yourself. This can be done easily through setting up a free Google My Business account. By adding and verifying your business, it will become available to users on Google Search and Maps. You can then proceed to edit your business details. Apart from what you provide, Google also gathers information from your website and takes into account users’ feedback to include information such as reviews, photos and popular times.

Google Search Console

Other than Google My Business, it is also recommended to register your website with Google Search Console (GSC). This provides another level of verification. Other than its verifying purposes, the main function of GSC is to collect data about your site’s performance on Google Search. There are many ways to use GSC but here is one of our articles where GSC played a part.

So, what about social media pages?

Social media pages, or as Google calls it, social profiles, are automatically added. This means you cannot add them directly. However, you can lead Google to the right social profiles through a few easy steps.

1) Be consistent in the naming

Use the same business name in both Google My Business and your social media pages. This will help Google to identify the appropriate social profiles to feature on your Google business listing.

2) Authenticity

Verify your social media pages if there are available processes for that. This helps Google to confirm that the social profiles are managed by authorized personnel of the business. For Facebook, you can request for a verification badge to prove your page is authentic (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Blue verification badge for Changi Airport’s Facebook page

A blue verification badge is for celebrities, public figures or brands while a gray verification badge is for normal companies and businesses.

3) Use structured data

Structured data is a form of coding that can be added to help Google understand more about your site. In this situation, you want Google to add your social profiles to your business listing. This is how you can do that.

a) Edit the bold sections of this template to fit your business

<script type=”application/ld+json”>

{ “@context” : “http://schema.org”,

“@type” : “LocalBusiness”,

“name” : “Your business’s Name“,

“url” : “http://www.your-site.com“,

“sameAs” : [ “http://www.facebook.com/yourprofile”,

http://instagram.com/yourProfile”,

“http://www.linkedin.com/in/yourprofile”,

“http://plus.google.com/yourprofile”]

}

</script>

b) Copy and paste the edited version into the coding of your site (Consult your web developer if you are not sure how to do this!)

c) Check that the structured data works by using the Google Structured Data Testing Tool (Figure 4). The tool will help to identify errors such as missing required information or syntax errors. It will also remind the user about further information that can be included to improve the structured data.

Figure 4: Google Structured Data Testing Tool

Of course, structured data is not limited to just adding your social profiles. Its possibilities are almost endless, especially with the availability of templates from schema.org. You can also make use of structured data to highlight business details but do take note that the data provided via Google My Business will still take priority. Do check out this Google Search guide which provides more information about how structured data can be used for local businesses.

Moving Forward

Indeed, having a Google business listing and adding your social media pages are not paramount to your business’s success. However, without them, you are losing out on the extra visibility you may acquire without any additional cost. If you are holding back because of the technical skills involved in the process, let us help you with that! Our team of SEO experts is always ready to lend a hand!

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Zachary is a Business Development Executive in Appiloque. In the after-hours, he serves as a Division Agent, taking back the city of New York when all else fails.

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