Google+ Local, which is replacing the old Google Pages listing, provides information and Zagat user ratings on businesses. Google+ Local is a vast improvement over the basic information provided by the old listing service.
A user on the Google search engine looking for a specific type of business will see various local businesses in the listings. For example, a person who types in “Italian Food” will get a long listing of local Italian restaurants including the number of Google reviews as well as average Google review scores.
The purpose of this article is to detail some of the benefits of and detail how to switch from Google Places to Google+ Local.
Google+ Local | Benefits
There are a couple of benefits for business owners that take advantage of Google+ Local. First of all, there are specific search optimization benefits that can arise from the number of Google pluses. Secondly, there are benefits related to social media optimization as well. That’s why business owners need to optimize for this new service.
Google+ Local | Claim Listing
One of the most important tips regarding Google+ Local service is for the business owner to claim both the old Google Pages listing as well as the new Google+ Local listing for the owner’s specific business. Because the roll out of Google+ Local isn’t complete, it is a good idea for business owners to claim the old listing in order to maintain a consistent presence during the transition until Google Pages has been replaced.
Google+ Local | Promote
The next thing to do is to promote the business’ local listing on Google. Create a link from the business website to the local listing on Google. This will confer a small SEO benefit for the website. It will also encourage customers to interact with the business on Google+, which is usually a good thing.
Google+ Local | Create G+ Account
After creating the local listing, then the next thing to do is to create a Google+ account in order to get active on Google’s social network. Business owners should care about this social network because the data from it is going to be used as quality signals in search engine rankings. That’s why it is a good idea to encourage friends and customers to press the Google +1 button for the business. Expanding the number of people in various Google circles is a good idea as well. Local online search directories for businesses is going to depend a lot more on social networking going forward.
Google+ Local | Get Positive Reviews
Because user reviews of a business are going to be prominent, it is important for business owners to make sure that customers are happy with the product and service provided. If unhappy customers post negative reviews with low scores on Google+, it will make new customers think twice and possibly go to a competitor instead. Although the benefits of SEO are still important, having a low score with negative reviews will not help the business get new customers. It’s very important for business owners to make sure that customers are happy. Otherwise, all of the work with SEO and social networking on Google+ may be wasted since reviews and scores are now quite prominent in search engine results.
Tom Bukacek writes for Black Box Social Media LLC, a national SEO and Social Media Marketing company based out of Austin, Texas. For more information please visit their official blog site at http://blackboxsocialmedia.com/