How to Customize Your Google+ Profile to Match Your Brand

Tara Hornor

As of today’s date, Google makes it possible for you to brand your Google+ pages for your business. You could just work with the small, basic profile picture, but a few minutes spent adding extra polish will impress both your clients and their customers. So, I made a template to help designers build branded Google+ profiles quickly and easily. Below, I’ll show you how to use the template to get your Google+ page branded in no time.

The tech specs are as follows: the images across the top of the Google+ profile are 125px by 125px. The space between the images across the top is 15px. The main profile picture is 200px by 200px.

You can download the template here: Template PSD (zipped).

Before we get started, however, here are a few examples of how brands are taking advantage of the photo array in their profile. Unlike Facebook, Google+ allows you to assign which uploaded photos you want to feature – meaning they don’t automatically change or update when you upload new photos to your profile.

You don’t necessarily have to split a large graphic into five smaller images at the top of your Google+ profile. Some companies are just putting colored squares, but you have to be careful. In the design below, the five images look like functional buttons and could confuse the viewer.

So, I recommend sticking with a large, segmented image or series of images that are clearly not buttons or navigational elements.

Getting Started

I made up a fake printing company for demonstration purposes. You can use your own graphics, but if you want to follow along, here are the resources I’ll be using:

Company Logo at 200px by 200px

Image to be used across the top of the Google+ profile.

Template Layout

Some of this design work may be obvious, but I’ll describe the complete process for beginners. First, open up the template. I have four layers in place, one of which is for your own imagery.

You can hide any part of the layered template if needed. The placeholder graphics will help you plan your image placement on your Google+ page. I made the dividing lines light gray instead of white because I was testing with a white logo initially.

Adding Your Graphics

Using the example above, I placed my graphic in the “YOUR DESIGN HERE” layer (of course). You can see where the dividing spaces between the images on your profile are going to cause visual gaps in your design.

Cropping Graphics

Grab your Crop Tool, hold down shift to make your crop a perfect square, and select the first section of the graphic.

Save that selection to a file name that will help you remember the order. Consider including the brand in the file name. Printers-of-glory01.jpg, printers-of-glory02.jpg, etc. worked for me.

Repeat this step for each of the five images.

Adding Your Graphics to your Google+ Profile

You may have noticed how hard it is to find the link to manage your Google+ page after you’ve created it. I have a link I keep in my bookmarks that helps me get to the Google+ page management interface quickly: Manage Google+ Pages.

Once to your page, click the “Profile” button at the top.

You now should be able to edit your profile, including profile images, by clicking the “Edit Profile” button along the top-right.

Click on the area of the page where the five header images will go, and Google will prompt you with a menu that allows you to start adding your photos.

Definitely make sure you keep the images set to “Public” so that anyone who views your page will see these across the top. Add each graphic, one at a time, until you’ve got all five images in place.

Hit OK and you’re all set!

Wrapping It Up

Once I had the profile pic updated, here are my final results:

What did I miss? Any other ways you can brand your Google+ page for your business? Have you found any examples of impressive Google+ profile designs?

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  • http://shadowdev.com Kyle

    Thanks for the great tip. This looks good for really branding a company on Google+ Pages.

    However, I have come across one small issue: if you have already shared photos (via posts, shares, etc), and then upload some photos to show off on your page banner, Google+ puts those images at the end of your album. At this time, photos cannot be rearranged so the ones that you want on your banner are at the front.

    You _can_ manually shift through the photos (by clicking “Edit Profile”, then Banner photos, then “Delete Photo” for all 5 to make room for the new photos), but that will delete the photos from your album as well.

    I’ve tried to look for some workarounds to this issue (including using Picasa), but those solutions all work for personal G+ pages, not business pages.

    Just a head’s up.

    If anybody has a solution to this issue, please let me (and others) know

    • http://shadowdev.com Kyle

      In addition: even after deleting the first 5 photos from the banner page, then selecting the new ones (and clicking “OK” and “Done Editing”), I hit Refresh and it loaded the first 5 images from my Scrapbook Album, which were not the 5 I picked. I had to eliminate all photos from my Scrapbook Album before the 5 I wanted came up.

      Google may be #1 when it comes to Search and Mail, but they have a ways to go for a Social Network.

      • Tara Hornor

        Kyle,
        Thanks for reading and taking the time to ask your questions.

        On my profile, the images I add to the banner go into the “Scrapbook Photos” folder. I’m using Google Chrome (17.0.963.56 m) and I have a U.S.-based G+ page account.

        My process is to click on my profile page (URL ends in ‘posts’), where I have an “Edit Profile” button. From there you can click on the banner images area where you then get the option of manually adding the photos.

        Hope that helps!!

        • http://shadowdev.com Kyle

          Hi Tara,

          Thanks for taking the time to get back to me. I agree that the area does allow for the manual adding of photos, but if you already have photos in the Scrapbook album, G+ will show the first 5 photos in the album regardless of what is uploaded or what order you put them in (after clicking “Done Editing” and refreshing the page).

          I, too, use Chrome 17 (“17.0.963.56 m” to be exact )and have a US based G+ account, but this issue has been in all browsers I have tested with (IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, etc), so it seems to be an issue with G+.

          It seems that if the photos selected for the banner are to show up, then those should be the only photos in the “Scrapbook” album. If any more are added (regardless of the method of adding them), then it could mess up the banner.

          The main issue I was discussing was the fact of having photos already exist in the Scrapbook album (or adding more). G+ doesn’t have a method to rearrange them or to select which ones are shown on the page. I’ve looked at Pepsi, Toyota, and Google Chrome pages (as mentioned in the article), and it seems they all have all 5 of their “Page” photos in the scrapbook album, and that is all they have in that album.

          I hate to go on a rant, if that is what this sounds like, but I just wanted to raise the point that G+ will only show the first 5 photos in the Scrapbook album (regardless of the order picked), and any additions could mess up the banner order. For example, say I upload Photos called (for the sake of this post): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. I want the order to be shown: 3, 5, 2, 1, 4. I click “Done Editing”, refresh the page, and the photos show up as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

          It seems that G+ needs a way to have selected photos to show up as specified instead of just showing the first 5.

          Your advice is certainly informative for those creating branding pages, and I am glad you raised this point to let others know. I just wanted to put my two cents in as a result of experience and hopefully someone will either see this and fix it, or find a solution that was overlooked.

          • Tara Hornor

            Hmm…I agree. Sounds like this is a Google+ problem then, which is really annoying. I only have the 5 on my page, which is probably why I haven’t come across this problem. I appreciate you pointing it out.

            Seems like this branding works fine for businesses since most have no need to upload photos, but I can see it being a pain for personal Google+ profiles or for photographers and designers.

          • Tara Hornor

            Wait a minute…I think I just figured out your problem when I visited Kathy’s page. She has the images she displays in a single album. Try organizing your images into an album and see if this solves your problem. :)

  • http://www.collinscreative.co.uk/wordpress Steven

    Hi, I came across this article on google whilst experimenting with a google+ business page. Our company logo consists of 5 square product icons so this is ideal. Thanks for the tips ;)

  • http://www.anchorstl.com michael meininger

    Good read and great advice. I am a sucker for branded social layouts.

  • http://www.xstudiosinc.com/ Jeff @ Xstudios Web Design

    Good tutorial. Google+ is becoming more and more important. I look forward to seeing 1 yr. from now if the early adopters were forward thinking or just jumped on the bandwagon too soon, if this G initiative fizzles out like others in the past.

    • Tara Hornor

      Me too!

  • http://wtpomag.com Jan

    Thanks, this is really helpful especially as I was just thinking of setting up a page. Gonna give this a try tomorrow and hopefully it will look as good as your example.

  • http://barbados.org Kathy

    Great tip Tara; followed your instructions and all went well. The blandness of Google+ was getting to me!

    The result: https://plus.google.com/112550343446892890682/

    • Tara Hornor

      Nice, Kathy! What a beautiful Google+ page!

  • https://twitter.com/#!/jhapik Antonio

    Hi there, Tara! It’s a good idea for branding. I will follow your advices with a page of my own. BTW I like the result on Kathy’s page. :)

  • http://www.grandtechnologies.net Web Designer Dubai

    Hi Tara, Really cool stuff for the branding at Google+. Really like your article will do the same. Thanks a lot.