Google+ Local pages, the business profile pages that replaced Google Place Pages, are a key source of local business information online. If completed 100%, a Google+ Local page provides potential customers with everything they would want to know about your business, in one localized spot. Now more search and social-friendly than ever, your Google+ Local page serves as an information hub for your business and helps it index organically on Google and its maps listings when consumers search your business name or keywords. Here are four tips tor optimizing your Google+ Local page.
Claim and Merge Your Google+ Local Page
The new Google+ Local pages provide more robust information about your business, so it’s important to make sure it’s accurate and complete. For example, your profile page displays basic business information such as your address, phone number, business hours, and a website link, but unlike your previous Google Places pages, your new profile page also serves as a hub for reviews, photos, and videos of your business. If you previously claimed your Google Places page, you already have a Google+ Local page. But, if you did not already claim your Google Places page, or if you did not have a Google Places page at all, you have a little work to do to get started. Once you have claimed and added your business details, familiarize yourself with your Google+ Local page and begin promoting your page so consumers can connect with you there. Then, by merging this page with your Google+ Business page, you’ll have an even more robust hub that allows you to share social-friendly content with consumers.
Get More Reviews for Your Page
With 72% of consumers claiming that they consider online reviews as trustworthy as personal recommendations, you can see just how significant a role reviews play in whether or not a consumer will do business with you. So to increase your Zagat rating on Google+ Local, ask satisfied consumers to leave you a review on your Google+ Local page. The more positive reviews you have, the higher your score will be, which can lead to more consumers trying your business. Having a high score is important as your reviews are highlighted in the map listings when consumers search for your business type.
Use SEO Best Practices
With 85% of consumers searching for local businesses online, the importance of maintaining a strong and active Web presence for your business is becoming increasingly valuable. Regularly updating your photos and videos and asking happy customers to leave you reviews are two great ways to keep your page relevant to the search engines. In addition, doing simple things like making sure your address is correct on your Google+ Local profile can help ensure that your business shows up in the maps section of the Google SERP. Also, including a description about your business that includes some of your business-related keywords can help your business show up in the local search results, especially if you don’t have a website. If your pages are merged, the integration of search and social on Google+ means it’s more important than ever to make sure your page and stream of content is optimized for local search.
Inform and Engage Your Audience
A Google+ Local Page is local listing page for your business information, but when merged with your Google+ Business page, it also serves as a social site for you to interact with your current and prospective consumers. With the new option to post updates, you can add content similar to what you would post on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog, such as business updates, industry news, photos, videos and more. Posting fresh and relevant content on a regular basis can help you reach more consumers who want to connect with you, engage with you, and share your posts on the site.
With more people using information online to help them make purchasing decisions – and more competitors using the Web to market their businesses – it is more significant than ever for your business to make it easy for potential customers to find you and learn about you online. Claiming and optimizing your Google+ Local page will provide an additional resource for you to inform and educate your consumers, as well as help you portray a positive online reputation, taking your businesses’ Web presence from meek to robust without requiring much additional investment.
Have you claimed and optimized your Google+ Local page yet? What Google+ Local features are you getting the most out of?
To learn more about claiming, merging, and optimizing your Google+ Local page, check out our ebook Google+ Plus Local: Your Guide to Optimizing Local Google+ Pages.
About the Author
Jillian Chopin is a Senior Web Presence Professional for ReachCast. Leading a team of WPP’s who focus on cosmetic and medical campaigns, Jillian is passionate about her career and about serving as a Web presence expert and “go-to-girl” for her clients.