What is Google Plus Local?
Google is the most often used search engine on the planet, so it is important that your business listing is easily searchable. In fact, one in five searches on Google includes a location aspect – for example, “landscaping Manchester”.
Google + Local, formerly known as Google Places for Business, is a directory listing of your business that displays photos, videos, reviews and essential facts about your business (Such as address, phone number, and hours), as well as real time updates and any offers that your customer can take advantage of.
A Google+ Local page connects several Google products to your business, including Google search, Google Maps and Google+. If you want to benefit from customers who are on the go and searching with a mobile phone, Google+ Local is a service you need to adopt and update on a regular basis. You can go to: Google Places to claim your listing.
How would Google Places For Business Benefit me?
Each of the Google products that Google+ Local incorporates will have different benefits for your business, but the most fundamental advantage of having a Google+ Local business listing is that your business has the ability to get found by more and more people in the local area through Google search.
Recommended for YouWebcast: Growth at a Scale Up: How to Grow When You're No Longer a Startup
Increase in organic search rankings
By managing your listing correctly you can influence what people searching for your business find in the organic search results, including your business name, contact information, payment types and the associated categories for your business. In other words it has a direct effect on your search engine optimisation.
A listing on Google Maps
When people are searching for a service in a certain area, one of the benefits of Google+ Local is that your business will appear in Google maps for the relevant search. Again, you can influence what information you share with potential clients: address, directions, phone number, or hours of operation.
To get more information about a business, you either click the market on the map that provides further information about the business or click on the link on the left hand side.
Have you ever conducted a search on Google and noticed that some of the search results come back with gold stars?
These stars are part of the ratings system that Google offers businesses. The ratings are made up of reviews and ratings that your customers have left about your business. Needless to say that the higher the number of positive ratings, the better it looks for your business and the increased likelihood that your business will receive more calls.
Be sure to check out what people are saying about your business because one negative review can have a huge impact. Take the time to respond to both positive and negative reviews. Thank people for their praise and make a real concerted effort to understand why people were disgruntled with your service. Do everything you can to rectify that issue and make the customer happy.
Being proactive about this will generate good will, build advocacy for your business, encourage those who shout the loudest about your business to shout even louder and attract people who have never experienced your business before to pay closer attention.
How can I enhance my Google Plus Local Listing?
There are many ways for you to enhance your Google+ Local page making sure that your listing stands out over and above the competition.
You can upload your own photos that give the potential client a visual interaction as to what you do. This can be particularly beneficial for restaurants or fashion boutiques where you can highlight your products. If you are a local health spa or a Dental surgery you may want to highlight your facilities to support your business.
Add videos to the mix
If you really want to get the client to experience what it is like to work with you then you can upload videos. The videos could be “infomercial” in style, they could be helpful “how to’s”, or a walk-through of your business facilities and an introduction to the friendly staff.
Adding video is a great way to bring your business to life.
Post real time updates.
Now that Google Places for business is incorporated in to Google Plus local it is important to keep your online activity up to date. Post updates to let potential clients and existing loyal customers know what you are doing and more importantly how they can benefit from it. If you are promoting a sale, a special event, or anything else that you want customers to know right now then you can communicate directly. Ultimately remember that Google+ is a social media network so it is about being social and not salesy. SEO and social media now go hand in hand so make sure you play your part and humanise your brand.
Providing an incentive for people to come and visit your store is always a good thing. Google allows you to give that extra incentive to your clients by adding coupons or special offers.
Google+ Local is a great opportunity for you to highlight your business to your local community. The features are intuitive and with the addition of images, video and customer interaction it can really bring your business to life and make it a must visit destination.
To learn more about getting started with Google+ Local click here!