Boost Your Online Presence with Local Business Listings.
What Is Google+ Local?
Google+ Local, is the replacement of the old Google Places, a free online platform provided of course by Google. Its purpose is twofold – to assist small business owners with their online presence and to help potential customers locate, engage with, and review local businesses in their area. It’s without a doubt the most all-inclusive, most powerful small business directory ever created.
Google+ Local listings are for companies that serve clients mostly in their local area, for example: restaurants, plumbers, accountants, real estate agents, recruitment agencies, builders, salons, couriers, dentists, gyms, photographers, caterers, electricians, garages, driving schools and solicitors.
Each time someone uses anything associated to Google and searches for something which it determines to have local intent, for example ‘plumbers Phoenix’ or ‘Italian restaurant in Scottsdale’, links to Google+ Local listings will be presented – normally 7 of them.
These are usually referred to as the ‘Google 7 Pack, which are listed from A to G. Having your small business listed in the 7 Pack is valuable for several reasons:
- They are typically situated above the organic search results.
- Your companies address and phone number are shown together with them.
- A geo-targeted link to your brick and mortar location is provided on Google Maps.
- Links to your customer reviews are displayed for trustworthiness.
When clicking on and viewing a business’s Google+ Local listing, potential customers can view the following:
- Your business’s name, address and telephone number.
- A description of your products and services.
- Your business’s location on a map.
- Your business’s operating hours.
- A link to your business’s website.
- Photos and videos related to your business.
- Reviews of your business left by previous customers.
- A rating out of 30 for your business (based on scores given by previous customers).
This is an example of what a Google+ Local page looks like:
Now that you know what Google+ Local is, let’s take a look at why you should be actively implementing it in your small business marketing strategy.
Why Use Google+ Local SEO In Your Business?
The answer to the “why” question is pretty straightforward. Here are some eye opening facts that will confirm why you should be using Google+ Local for your company…
- 97% of all shoppers use online searches to look for local businesses
- With over 65% of the market share, the vast majority of these shoppers are using Google to perform these searches; making it the undisputed king of the internet search engines. (Second place Bing has 15.1 percent market share)
- 72% of shoppers research businesses using social media before they make a purchasing decision.
- 71% said reviews from a family member or friend exerts a huge amount of influence on their decision to purchase from a particular company.
Furthermore, Google is undoubtedly placing a lot of emphasis on local listings and as they continue to push into mobile, they will continue to feature what they feel are the most relevant ones on their SERP’s; allowing local shoppers to find your business online.
Considering all these factors, it is obvious that Google+ Local is an excellent tool to get in front of your target customers, at the exact moment that they are looking for your product or service and we don’t expect this to change in the foreseeable future.