Converting a Google Places listing into a Google+ Local Page opens up your listing to enhanced content from Yext, as well as ensures review monitoring through the Dashboard. However, the conversion process can be a little tricky, so I've put together this simple guide to walk you through the conversion process.
Note: this information is slightly out of date with respect to Google Places and the conversion wizard. We've noted changes in the process here. Be sure to read that post along with this one!
These guides assume that you already have management or admin access to your clients' Places for Business listing. If you do not have access you will need to request access via Google's system. To do this, first find the Places page associated with your client's business. A Places page will have only two "tabs" rather than four, and will have a map with a pin as its cover photo.
If you scroll down the page, you'll see a button prompting you to "Manage this page" with a link. Click this and you will be asked to sign into Google. Many people do this via a Gmail account; however, if you created a Places account with another email address, use that login instead.
Once you've logged in, you'll be asked to find the listing by location.
Once you select the correct location, if the listing is unclaimed, Google is lead you through the claiming process. If your listing is already claimed/verified, you will see a prompt like this:
If you click "Request admin rights" then you will be redirected to a Google Support page which looks like this:
If you answer both questions ("Is this listing verified in another account which you can control?" "Is this listing verified by a user whom you're able to contact?") with "No" then Google will give you a form to fill out that will automatically message the listing owner asking them to grant you access.
Once you have access as a manager, you will be able to convert the Places listing into a Google+ Local Page.
Google user interface makes this process pretty straightforward. First, log into your Google Places for Business Dashboard. Once logged in, you should see something like this:
If you scroll down the page, there should be a prompt to "Get your Google+ page", which you can also access on the left-hand sidebar.
If you click "Learn more" you'll be taken to a page that show's Google+ Local's features as well as another "Get your page" link.
If you click to get your page, you'll see a loading screen for a moment before being redirected to your new Google+ Local Page's dashboard, which will look something like this:
Note that Google will alert you that your public listing is now configured as a Google+ Local Page, as well:
Even if your business was verified on Google Places for Business, you will need to verify again. Verification is important because if you do not verify your page, your page will not be search-discoverable and your SEO may take a hit. Also, any edits you make to your listing via Google+ will not be pushed to the public until you verify.
If you return to your Google Places for Business dashboard, you will see both your Places listing as well as your Google+ Local page.
If you never claimed your Google Places for Business listing on the site, it's actually very easy to create a Google+ Local Page from inside your Google+ account. These steps are adapted from the Official Google+ Support article: Create a Local Google+ page.
First, you will want to be logged into the Google+ account that you use to manage your clients' pages. This could be your personal account or a professional-only account. Before you proceed, make sure the account name (in the top right-hand corner of the page) is correct.
Next, in the Google+ dropdown sidebar, scroll down and click Pages.
You'll see an array of different Google+ page types for you to create. Choose "Local Business or Place" and not "Company, Institution, or Organization" -- the latter will yield a group page, which is not the same.
Next, you'll be prompted to locate and select your listing by name or address. Select the correct business.
You'll be prompted to verify your business. If you so choose, you can continue without verifying for the time being. However, the longer you aren't verified, the longer your business will not be search-discoverable. It is in your best interest to verify your business via postcard or phonecall.
If you opt to verify via postcard right then, you'll see a final screen prompting you to confirm sending the postcard.
Once you're verified, you'll be search-discoverable, be able to connect fully to the Yext social tools, and take advantage of the various features of a Google+ Local Page.