Google+ Local pages allow business owners to market to local consumers by letting them know where they are located as well as providing them with other important information about their companies.
Google+ Local Pages
Just as the Yellow Pages book lists services and products according to their locations, Google+ Local does the same thing, but it’s done electronically which makes it even more powerful. In fact, it delivers extremely targeted results based on search phrases that consumers enter into the search engines when looking for local products and services.
As a small business owner, you are probably always hunting for inexpensive ways to put your business in front of your local consumers. Since consumers today spend a great deal of time online researching businesses, an online presence is no longer an option – it’s a must. A Google+ Local Page is one way to accomplish this goal by helping you establish a strong online presence geared specifically to your local consumers.
If you are familiar with Google Places, you have probably noticed that the listing pages don’t look quite the same. Your previous Google Places page has likely been migrated over to Google+ Local already by Google. If this is the case, consumers are now directed to your Google+ Local page instead of your previous Google Places page and you’re wondering if there’s anything you should do on your end.
The following changes have occurred as a result of the Google pages transition:
- Google Places pages are now Google+ Local pages
- A “Local” tab has been added to Google+ so users can easily search for and recommend specific Google+ Local pages
- The Zagat review and scoring system has replaced Google’s old five-star system
- Google+ Local pages integrate with Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Mobile Maps
We will help you understand:
- The important features of the new Google+ Local
- How Google+ Local differs from Google Places
- How all of this it impacts your business
- How all of this impacts your local target audience (consumers)
Google+ Local Explained
Google+ Local (http://plus.google.com/local) is a free service that is a part of the Google search engine that focuses specifically on businesses and their locations. These pages are now integrated with Google’s social networking site, Google+ and also link to Google Maps, Organic Search, and Google Mobile Maps. They display a list of companies in the area that offer services or products based on the user’s search terms.
When local customers go online to search for products or services in their local area, most of them stop in the Google+ Local section to find businesses who can meet their needs.
Here’s a sample Google+ Local search result with the term “Los Angeles Caterer.”
Not only is Google+ Local a great source to provide information about your business, such as the type of services and/or products you offer, photos of your office, your hours of operation, payment methods and directions, but this is where your customers can leave reviews about your business for others to see.
You may have noticed that the former 5-star rating system that we knew with Google Places is completely gone. Instead you will see the new Zagat scores for each business in the search results. Customer reviews play a huge part in these scores, but they entail many other factors. We will discuss Zagat in more detail later in this report.
When a user performs a search for a specific type of product or service in their local area, Google+ Local recommends places based on places they’ve liked and reviewed in the past, as well as places their friends have liked.
Google+ Local also recommends places based on the specified location to generate geo-targeted results. Users also have the capability to perform searches for local businesses all within their Google + Local accounts.
In addition, your customers can easily review your business as well as recommend your business to their family, friends, and colleagues all within the Google + Local pages platform.