Introducing Google My Business
Since mid-2014, Google have been heavily pushing their 'Google My Business' platform, which it claims fixes much of the earlier confusion surrounding businesses and organisations who ended up with multiple pages, map entries and listings which contained erroneous data. If you already have a Google+ or Google Maps/Local page, there is a good chance you will find your page on your My Business Dashboard. You will need to log in with your Google username and password to be able to access the pages you have set up.
Once you log in, you'll see a list of all the pages you have management access for, each with a link to 'Manage this page'. Prefer to manage your pages on the go? There's an app for that - Android & Apple Devices versions available.
To update your page, click on 'Manage this page' and you will be taken to an editing interface where you can make changes to any areas of the page to which you have access. Some changes (such as changing the address, for example) will need verification before they are approved.
If your page is not verified, it's a good idea to go through the process as this ensures that you are located in the place you have specified (note, only businesses which service a specified area can have a location-enabled page). Verification by phone is much quicker than by postcard, but sometimes postcard will be the only option presented. Verification may happen immediately if your website is already verified under Google Webmaster Tools. For a step-by-step walkthrough, visit this help page.
Note that if you manage more than 10 locations, you may be eligible for bulk-verification - see more here.
Merging Google+ and Google Maps/Local/Places pages
If you find, like we did, that there are numerous entries for the same business, you can choose to selectively merge pages - this often happens if you set up a normal Google+ page, and also had a Google Maps entry - the latter then later became a Google+ page of its own, hence resulting in widespread duplication. There is a step-by-step walk through on how to merge a regular Google+ page with a Google Local page here.
Need more information?
For a really helpful interactive overview which goes into a lot more detail, check out this great infographic: http://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/microsites/google-my-business-guide/ - it walks you through a number of processes related to managing your Google pages, and common tasks you'll need to perform.