Google+ Local for Small Business
Research shows that 82% of all Australian’s now go online to find their local business services and of those 92% use Google. This is 12 times greater than the use of the Yellow Pages.
Question is – when customers are searching for your services or products can your business be found? Almost all businesses will rank for their own business name but not for their product and service related keywords. A typical search query from a new customer will typically include ‘keyword + location’ not ‘your business name’.
Recently Google made a massive change to the way they display the search engine results and it directly affects local business. Google incorporated their social media product ‘Google+’ into their local search engine ‘Google Places’ and this new interface is known as ‘Google+ Local’. This update directly affects how your business appears in the search results.
Google+ Local organizes the world’s information around geographical places and displays the results on a social media interface. For the end user, Google+ Local search results appear automatically in the form of snippets and pushpins when Google predicts you’re looking for local information. This is Google’s direct online challenge to the Yellow Pages and the statistics show it is working.
For local business – this opportunity opens a new frontier for marketing and those who get in first will have the advantage.
Google+ Local offers your business a mini-site featuring photos, testimonials and reviews, opening times, images, videos and other details about your business. It also allows your customers to directly get involved in providing reviews, promoting your business and sharing it with their friends.
If you own or operate a local business then now is the time to ensure your listing is claimed, verified and complete. Importantly, every business needs to go through this process even if they don’t have a website. An unclaimed business listing is open to editing by the general community including competitive businesses and can be a security risk if left unattended.
It doesn’t stop there, claiming your listing just isn’t enough. The local search results will only show the top 7 results and sometimes only the top 3 unless your listing is well optimised for the Search Engines. An optimised listing will target more customers; show up in the search results more frequently and will convert new business at a higher rate.