Google+ Local Search Changes You Need to Know
Google has recently merged Google Places for Business into Google+, creating Google+ Local – a powerful tool for your local marketing arsenal. Here’s a brief rundown of the changes that took effect:
- A Google+ Local profile will represent your business in its entirety by providing as much information as possible, including addresses, operating hours, reviews, and even coupons and videos. Select details from your Google+ Local profile will appear on Google search engine results pages (SERPs) when a query returns your listing as a result.
- Business listings on Google SERPs will now include a location regardless of whether user queries specify one or not. Google will reference the user’s IP address if the user does not specify a location.
- Business reviews will show beneath a business listing. This also applies to ad placements within Google’s network. You can also choose to show coupons or special offers.
While on the surface Google+ Local might seem to be simply a convenient collaboration between Google’s social platform and its business listings, it actually has a huge impact on local marketing. Your profile, in conjunction to a properly optimized website, will weigh in heavily with Google Search’s ranking algorithm. As location information is always shown, relevance and proximity become better drivers of traffic and conversion. Showing reviews or special deals allow for better search marketing via SERP listings. To leverage this recent change in Google’s products and services to improve your local marketing, you should:
- Complete and properly optimize your Google+ Local profile. Your Google+ Local profile will have more information than your Google Places listing, which means you should complete your profile and optimize it by including all relevant addresses, targeted keywords, and product or service categories and additional info.
- Leverage reviews and coupons or deals. Constantly and consistently encourage your clients and customers to leave reviews and incorporate these into your profile. Do this for your brick and mortar stores too through online terminals or short surveys. Always make your special promotions and discount offers visible and add them to your profile.
Make the most of this change for your local marketing – move your Google Places for Business content over to a Google+ Local profile, or simply create a new one through choosing the business listing option on Google+. Put your Google+ Local profile to good use and leverage location, proximity, third-party reviews, and special offers for your local marketing efforts.