Google is the most effective search engine in the world, but once again the company has found a way to optimize the information presented to consumers through local search. In an effort to promote the Google Plus social network, Google has recently announced Google+ Local. The tool will be replacing Google Places, giving people an easier way to discover and share local businesses. While this announcement is exciting for the consumer, it is our job to look further into what it means for the business owner.
Every day, millions of consumers use Google to make better buying decisions. By utilizing the power of word-of-mouth through the Google Plus network, Google is taking marketing pressure away from the local business and putting more value in the product or service offered. Here’s how it will work:
The new “Local” tool combines the power of the Google+ social network, the Google search engine, and consumer reviews from Zagat. The “Local” tab on Google+ encourages users to connect with the people in their area to discover and share the places around them. Once a query is entered, a Google+ page appears with photos, Zagat scores, and reviews. The same information will be brought up through a regular Google search. In sum, your Google+ business identity will be capable of being shared across Search, Maps, and Mobile in a more streamlined and consumer friendly way.
While going through this transition, here are three things to consider:
1) Create a Google+ Business Page: If you haven’t already, be sure to create a Google+ page for your business. With the changes coming, it is possible that Google+ Local will completely change the way consumers search for local business information. It is in your best interest to hop on the Google+ bandwagon.
2) Continue Managing through Google Places for Business: Don’t worry, you can still manage your information including your basic listing data, make updates, and respond to reviews.
3) Provide Excellent Service and Consumer Relations: This tool has been created for customers to celebrate your hard work and passion. Make sure you have a clear identity in mind for your business and what you want to get across to your customers. The Google+ Local layout will be putting more focus on photos and reviews. So snap some new pictures, continue providing excellent service, and get people talking!
To make the transition easier for businesses and their marketing teams, Google has chosen a few business owners to get a head start in upgrading their listings. Here is an example of what’s to come.