Today, we have access to online newspapers in almost every county, we can order milk from Amazon, and can search the travel network for the best diners across the globe, and yet we’re still drawn to the local. We still want to eat and shop at places recommended by our neigbors, and when we travel somewhere new, we want to eat in a quaint local diner that community knows and loves.
Thanks to Google, we can do just that.
According to Google, one in five online searches is related to location. Claiming your location on Google + Local pages can help make your business visible and accessible, and provides a great way to interact with your clients or customers.
Why Should You Care
Google has causally built the second largest social network on the planet. They have done it in a way that is totally different from Facebook and Twitter. Google + is the social layer that connects all their other products together.
A few months ago, over night the Google Maps for iOS app became the #1 most downloaded app. Millions of people around the world are using this app to navigate and discover new locations. Google + Local are integrated right into the Google Maps app experience. Potential customers can search for “auto mechanics near Pittsburgh, PA” and be provided with a slew of options. These options are Google + Local pages with website information, hours of operation, and reviews.
This is also true for traditional desktop search results. Google + Local page listings show up first thing on the first page for local themed searches.
As marketers and business owners, it is vital to tell your story through this platform.
To register your business on Google +, create an account. Click, “Add New Business”, and start filling in all of your vital information. It’s important to include your company’s website, your hours of operation, your address, and your phone number. Displaying your human side by uploading a company profile photo and photo album will make you seem more personable to potential customers.
Right beneath the section for basic information, there is a space to write a short description of what your company does. This presents business owners with the opportunity to claim ownership of their place. If you run a coffee shop, write a short, eye catching description about the fine quality of your beans and baked goods.
On the right hand side of the page, there is an icon to add events. This is a great way to make your Google + Local page an online bulletin board, so that locals and first time visitors alike can see your business’ upcoming events.
Interact with Customers
One of the most exciting aspects about Google + Local pages is that it gives you the opportunity to see what your customers are saying about you. Customers can write a review and post it on the site, enabling potential visitors to find out from a local just how good your business is. You can also write a comment back to customers, start a conversation, and get important feedback for your business.
Having an active, accurate, and informative Google + Local page provides business owners with the opportunity to reacquaint yourself with local traffic. A good Google + Local page, with great reviews from customers is bound to boost your business and keep you in touch with the needs and interests of your clients.