What Is Google Plus Local And How Can It Help Local Businesses?
As technology evolves, consumers increasingly rely on the internet to point them towards good products and trustworthy services. As a result, online marketing and advertising are an essential tool for any company. For local businesses, the move away from much more expensive and time-consuming print and television advertising is proving beneficial. If you are looking for an effective way to promote your business, Google Plus Local, a newly created online business directory, could be the ideal solution.
What Is Google Plus Local?
Google created Google Plus Local as a way to combine its search engine, social networking, and business directory features. When you set up and optimize your company’s Google Plus Local page, you can include maps, contact details, photographs, and other important information. From then on, consumers and your customers can use the page to rate your company, write reviews, and add photos. Your page will visible in Google search results and on Google maps.use is to allow customers to search out and find detailed information on goods and services of local busineses. However, by taking advantage of this popular tool, businesses can use their page as an effective advertising platform.
Zagat the new Google Review Site. A key part of this business directory is its Zagat ranking system. Zagat uses a 30 point scale to rate different aspects of a company, like food, decor, and service, from ‘poor’ to ‘perfection’.
A Brief History Of Google Plus Local
Google Plus Local is based on its predecessor Google Places. The most significant change with this newer version is that it is completely integrated with the ‘Google Plus’ social network. In the short time the new social network has been available, it has gained over 100 million members and that number is growing, making it a valuable and relatively untapped marketplace. Here are just a few other changes that have taken place:
- Your business’s page will now be included in Google’s index, making it more visible in searches.
- People’s search results will be influenced by their friends and family’s previous reviews and ratings.
- Through your page, you will be able to respond and interact with comments and customers directly.
- People using the Google social network can share and post comments linking to your business.
How Your Business Can Use Google Plus Local
The primary benefit of this new service is its ability to increase the profile of your business. It also allows you to connect with your customers on a more personal level. As with any form of advertising, to make the most out of your Local page, you need to develop a clear strategy. A concise plan of action should include:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
As part of an official Google service, your page already gets a boost in the search engine’s results. However, to make the most of the service, it is still important to utilize SEO. By including relevant keywords, keyword phrases, backlinks, inbound links, regular updates, and other SEO content, you can guarantee to improve your business’s listing placement.
Integrate Social Networking
With over 100 million members, the social network Google Plus is a valuable place to engage potential customers. An individual’s search results on Google Plus are affected by the opinions and ratings of their friends and family members. By developing a tightknit and friendly relationship with your customers through your use of the social network, you can dramatically improve your profile in the local area.
Making the most of Zagat
The customer ratings you are given will be a very prominent part of your page. Unfortunately, even the best companies get occasional bad reviews. By encouraging your customers, whatever their opinions, to leave a review, you can ensure that you get representative overall results.
Dealing with any negative feedback
It is wise to develop a strategy that deals with negative comments if they occur. Acting in a professional and engaging manner to properly tackle any negative effect a review could have will stop it causing damage to your reputation. It could also help you to win back a customer that would otherwise have been lost forever.
What Results Can You Expect?
After implementing an effective strategy you can expect the following results:
Better Search Rank
Statistics show that the majority of people only visit sites on the first page of their search results. Of that page, the top 3 results are far more likely to be visited than any of the others. By using Google Plus Local to get your company’s page into this prominent position, you can guarantee increased interest in your service.
More Traffic to Your Website
Once you have increased your search engine rank, placing a link on your Google Plus Local page to your official business website will increase its traffic and the number of customers conversions you get.
Useful Marketing Information
You could learn about the demographics of customers using your account. Through their data analysis, Google Plus has learned that:
- 58% of their users are male
- Their three biggest markets are the USA, UK, and India
- Engineer is the most common profession of their users
- Bangalore has the most Google Plus users of any city in the world
Community of Customers
With its integration into Google’s social network, you can build up a solid relationship with your customers as well as repeat visits. Providing prompt and friendly feedback to any comments or reviews is just one way you could do this.
How To Begin
The world of internet marketing and advertising can be very daunting for a small business. If you or your company has never tried to implement a Google Plus Local strategy before, there are many possible pitfalls to run into. Adding content that yields a very low search engine result or building up a bad relationship with your customer are just a couple of potential problems.
If you would rather spend more time running your business and less time promoting it, hiring an online marketing specialist is the ideal solution. Making sure that your company’s Google Plus Local page is in the hands of professionals can not only improve your earnings, but also help to ensure your business’s survival in the future.
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