When local business owners are asked about online promotional strategies, the usual answers include Yelp reviews and local directory listings. And only a few have been paying attention to Google Plus Local: the new social media moniker customers are using to search for detailed information about local coffee shops, hotels, movie theaters and other businesses.
Search Engine Land published a post that revealed 43% of the searches made by Googlers have a local motive. These search engine users are usually looking for NAP information, which can easily be listed on Google+ Local and this is a great way to promote the business online even if you don’t have a business website.
After making the Google Plus Local Page, you can also see search engine results for your brand as it will be indexed in Google Search, which in turn increase its visibility. Also, those who are members of Google+ can directly link to this page when posting pictures and comments, so you can directly reach out to new and existing customers and answer their queries through the business page.
The page not only holds importance for capturing the attention of desktop users, but for mobile users as well. A report shows that 40% of Google searches made through mobile have a local motive, while another study points out that 20 million mobile users (unique) are active on Google+ on a monthly basis, and both these numbers will continue to grow as consumers use their smartphones to discover local services and products.
Other advantages of having a Google+ Local page
1. Search engine optimization
Many local businesses complain about their website rankings and even get scammed by unsolicited SEO companies that promise to offer that magic solution. However, most of them often neglect social media signals: a ranking factor that grows in importance every day.
Google Plus Local, as well as other social media platforms, has a deep influence on search rankings, and business query results from Google+ are listed over organic queries. Shared a success study on its LinkedIn page that reveals how optimizing the Google+ page of a local business along with other local SEO efforts ranked it in the number one spot for local Google searches in a couple of cities, even passing a few large-sized businesses for important keywords.
2. Online reputation
Google+ Local is one page where you can actually reply to negative feedback. This means you have more control over the page and therefore you can engage people in a professional manner.
With the right strategy, you can even turn the tables and use the negativity to your advantage by showing that your business cares about customers concerns and complaints. It can also bring in new customers, as you get labeled as a ‘business that cares’.
Google+ Local provides a free and effective route for your business to gain popularity. This can be done by increasing the number of +1s on your page, which will increase the page’s popularity in search engine rankings.
Moreover, getting more +1s from existing customers mean that their circles can see their preferences and this gives your business a chance to acquire new customers from existing referrals.
Do you use Google+ Local? Feel free to leave comments.
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