This, and other articles about Google+ are based on the assumption that you already have a well designed website that's optimised and doing well in the Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for your chosen products or services in the area that you operate and that you're familiar with basic SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) concepts.
We're going to use a common enough business for our case study that's also community or locally based. Hairdressers, you would think, is a pretty comon search term but in reality the singular gets about 20% more search traffic so the search term "Hairdresser + Location" would be more appropriate.
OK, so let's assume our hairdressing salon is in a relatively small town, somewhere like Lincoln. Let's also assume that the hairdressing salon in question already has a website that's optimised or at the very least a Facebook business page.
Either of these will be indexed by Google and if there's no website present then the Facebook business page will take prominence in the SERPs (providing it has been created correctly) and the business can be found. However, as cited in the above article a Google places listing has significantly more prominence as it comes with a map, directions, hours of operation, address, contact details and a whole lot more witout the user even having to click through to your website, Google+ business page listing or any other page available.
This, along with other factors such as Google site listings for example or satellite sites or landing pages is by far the best way of getting noticed when someone searches for your business + location.
How Do I Do This Myself...?
Creating a Google+ Business page is actually easier than you think. It also automatically comes with a YouTube channel, Insights, Analytics, reviews and of course (as it's Google+) a platform to engage your prospects and clients.
Since the development of Google+ Google maps is no longer used to generate maps and although places uses maps to create maps it actually takes the business data from a Google+ page listing. Take the Google+ listing for What No Website for example, if you view the page you'll notice a small shield with a tick next to the name. This means we are a verified local business. To create a page you simply go to Google+ Business and create a page.
Verifying Your Listing
The next step is to verify your business and Google's quite good with this as they take you through a step by step guide when setting up your page to help. One of these steps is verifying your business in which Google ask to send you a PIN. Once you have updated your listing with the PIN your business is verified and the listing typically goes live within a week or so.
Keeping it Simple
That, as they say, is all there is to it. However, you do have to be patient and bide your time as verifying your listing can take time but once done you'll see the benefits. one client of our recently commented on how they had new customers walking into their restaurant they'd never seen before purely because of the places listing as new customers were able to find them easily.