Digital marketers have become more aware that mobile device search is becoming increasingly more popular than search on the normal bog standard computer or laptop. Bearing this in mind, it has come to our attention that local search and optimising websites for their local areas is of key importance to get the local trade and customers needed to keep businesses going.
What is Google +Local?
Described as a Facebook page for businesses, the Google+ Local pages have been created to be more sociable and to create more interaction online than the usual bog standard Google Places that were in its place before.
The idea is helpful for travellers and locals searching for nearby businesses or attractions on Google+ Local. Google maps detect not only their location, but can also provide useful recommendations for any type of business they search for.
The social media side of Google+ has meant that getting opinions from friends and family for your business is even easier than before. Not only can you get recommendations from them for your business, but you can also see what your friends and contacts think about a specific business or location before you yourself check out a new restaurant, shop or hotel.
Search on Mobile
What do searchers usually use their mobiles for? Local search! Google stats state that almost 85% of the population will search for local information on a mobile device, which is why it has become more abundant that you should optimise your website and business in all the local fields of marketing for your top areas on your website and mobile site. You should also sign your business up to any local communities or directories and in general get yourself known on any local website you can.
Google Places For Local Businesses
Google+ Local has taken over what used to be known as Google Places and merged with Google+. As we see Google attempting to get more people interacting with their social media network, we have seen a difference in the look and the interactions available through the use of Google+.
Used to drive more traffic in the local area, a Google Places account can help your business appear in relevant local search results. This helps to appeal to the customers more suited to the local aspect of a business, rather than someone in a complete different country or county.
Local listings within Google have now been made to be more useful than the older listings. The search function is still the same for when you require shops and services in your local area, though to interact and write a review for a business, you need to set up yourself a Google + account (A very coy ploy to get more people to sign up and use their social media platform).
Usability of Google+ Local
Now in maps search results, you can hover over a listing within the map and find all the information you may need without even clicking on the link. This is one good aspect to the new way Google Places has changed. Google really is making it even easier for search with their new search results.
Verifying Your Listing
To verify your places listing for a business you have to get a post card sent to you with a special code on. With the amount of issues users have had with Google+ Local verification, Google have cottoned on and given the old postcard method a back-up. Google is now offering phone support for verification issues surrounding business listings. After filling out a form, entering your email and phone number, Google will give you a call within a minute to verify your address by phone. (Easy, if you know how)
The Power of +1: The power of reviews…
If you thought it was as easy as putting some keywords into your listing, then you were wrong. Reviews will help to make you rise to the top of the chain, as well as people using the +1 icon on your listing. +1 is popping up all over the place, so be sure to +1 your own page too!
The Zagat System – Dive Bombed?
Zagat was a scoring system introduced on the listings of the Google+ Local. It took data when a review was written and created a score out of 30 to summarise how good a restaurant or business was. Zagat summarises millions of scores and reviews into one easy system.
With Google+ Local, the idea was for the readers not to have to search through 1,000s of reviews to get 1,000 opinions. Instead the idea was to use a points system when someone writes a review to make it into an easier method for someone to find out how good a business is.
This system was only introduced for a short period of time and has now been overtaken again by the normal poor, good, very good and excellent quality scores. The new way to review is certainly a more user friendly way to get people to write business reviews, though it’s getting customers to go back and review your business in the first place which is the real challenge.
The Google Local+1 Tab Tricks & Tips
- Make sure that you claim your old business listing and get it set up properly to retrieve any comments, reviews and +1’s from fellow customers and employees.
- Add all of your friends, family, twitter followers, customers and anyone else you know to your Google+ account so they can see your whole profile. Ask them to 1+ your page, why wouldn’t they?
- Make sure you link to your website so potential customers can get a hold of your products or services easily.
- Gain advantage over your competitors today and get yourself set up on Google+ Local.
For more of my contributions to the blog, please visit my profile.