It was only a couple of months ago that Google announced its new review and recommendation service, Google+ Local. The site is designed to serve as your business’ new home for listings, local information, and online reviews. It’s also integrated with Zagat, one of the world’s original providers of user-generated restaurant ratings and reviews.
Regardless of the type and size of your business, we here at ReviewTrackers recommend that you claim, verify, manage, and monitor your business’ Google+ Local page. An unclaimed listing, after all, can hurt your business; claiming it, on the other hand, gives you control over what kind of information appears on your Google+ business page, allowing you to gain an edge over your local competitors.
Need some advice on how to get started? Read on and check out our list of tips and tricks for pimping your Google+ Local page.
Google+ Local Tips and Tricks for Business
Google+ Local Tips and Tricks for Business
Claim your listing ASAP. You won’t be able to do anything with your business page on Google+ Local unless you’ve actually claimed it as your own. So sign up ASAP and start responding to reviews and learning new insights about your customers.
Add your info and make sure your Google+ Local page is 100 percent complete. Claiming your listing is one thing; filling it up with complete information about your business is another. If you manage to provide all the info that Google+ Local is asking for, the world’s leading search engine will reward you by making your listing more visible in relevant search queries.
Need a checklist to make sure you have everything covered? Actually, forget checklists. This awesome pie chart from Mike Blumenthal’s blog should help guide you as you fill your Google+ Local listing with information about your business.
Ensure consistency of all local information. Some businesses make the mistake of claiming local business listings, pages, and review site profiles and adding information that doesn’t match the original information on their own official website (say, having different times of operation, or having varying business addresses or telephone numbers).
This causes a problem since Google’s Web crawlers always look for consistency in all your business’ local information. So if your Google+ Local info matches all the other info you have on the Web, your page will perform better; if it doesn’t match, you lose authority, adversely affecting your online visibility.
Promote your Google+ Local page. Done with adding your business info? Time to share and promote your listing to various sites and places across the Web. If you already have a network of loyal fans and followers, let them know about your new page and tell them how great it would be to have them add you to their circles. You can also embed a Google+ Local widget or link in your company website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter profile, LinkedIn account, e-mail signature, press releases, and – if you like – your business card. (The more, the merrier!)
Keep optimizing. Google+ Local pages appear in every relevant local search result, and that’s why it’s important to keep applying best practices in SEO (search engine optimization). Your keyword research, content creation, and link-building efforts can certainly go a long way in helping promote your business, products, and services across the Web – particularly in search queries made via Google.
Add photos and videos. Google loves rewarding active users (individuals and businesses) who make full use of their review and recommendation service. So don’t hesitate to show off your Google+ Local business page and dress it up with great photos and videos. Not only will this enhance the visual appeal of your listing; it will also pimp your page for the search engines with extra useful information, meta elements, and geo-location information.
Create valuable offers. Looking for new ways to optimize and promote your Google+ Local page? Try creating special offers that will entice potential customers to choose you instead of the competition.
Bonus tip: Google+ Local allows business owners to write titles and descriptions for every special offer. You know why this is so cool? Because it means you have the ability to add search-engine-friendly keywords, text, links, and descriptions to your offers that can potentially lure human readers as well as search engine robots.
Engage with existing and potential customers on Google+ Local. Did someone leave a glowing review of your business on your Google+ Local page? Check the reviewer’s personal Google+ page and send a sweet “Thank You” message. Someone left a bad review? Respond by asking the customer to add you to his or her circle and taking advantage of the chance to extend your support and service.
The key is to use Google+ Local as a platform for interaction – and not merely as another place for having your business listed on the Web.