The mobile web makes every business local. So what is Google Local and how can it help your business?
If you are a local business owner I’m sure you will agree that local customers regularly use their smart phones to search for products and services.
Whatever your business, Google Local is the tool that will help get your business found when people search. Google Local literally puts your business on the map.
For example, let’s say you are looking for a printer
Now, whether you are searching at home on your PC or out and about on your mobile, Google knows roughly where you are. It will find all of the printers close to your location that have a listing on Google Local, and show you:
- a map of where you can find them
- some basic details about them
Once you get your search result you have the option to click on any of the links and view more details about that business.
Recently Google turned their local search system upside down.
Overnight they converted over 80 million Google Places pages into Google+ Local Pages. These upgraded Google+ Local listings are now the first to show up in search results when you are looking for a local service.
Back in 2011 the Google Search mobile landing page followed the same path, making ready for mobile users with an enabled GPS (Smartphone location tracking) to easily find local restaurants, coffee shops, bars, gas stations, and more while they are out-and-about on the go.
The convenience of mobile optimisation allows people to locate, call, see and write reviews of, and get door-to-door directions of any business – simply with the tap of a finger. No wonder the traditional Yellow Pages seems cumbersome, and fewer and fewer people are using it.
So what exactly is Google+ Local (Places) and what is Google+ Local Business Page?
Google+ Local works like an online version of the old Yellow Pages – but with added punch. Simply by initiating a local search for businesses in your area it aggregates:
- local business information
- reviews from Google users and credible sites like Yelp and City Search.
Anyone can now easily:
- read customer reviews
- get a business contact phone numbers
- get directions to your location
- post a detailed review and appraisal of your business (with Zagat)
- share information about your business and services with all their G+ contacts and social media friends with one quick click
Just as with Google Places, Google+ Local allows business owners to update and manage their physical business location information.
To do this, you need to claim your FREE Google Places page.
Here is an example of an unclaimed business listing in Google+ Local. I have followed it with an example of a claimed and optimized one. The difference, and the advantage is clear:
Unclaimed business listing in Google+ Local:
Claimed and optimized business listing in Google+ Local:
And, what are the main advantages of Google+ Local and why it’s so important to claim your Google+ Local (Places) page for your business today?
Let me count the ways:
- Local customers searching for your products and services will find you more
- GPS tracking brings customers right to your door (with no additional effort
- or expense on your part)
- The latest statistics shows that only a small percentage of local
- businesses have claimed their Google Places pages, so …..
- Having a Google+ Local page will make you stand out from your competitors who have not claimed their listing yet.
- Customer reviews not only build up your online credibility, they also serve as a powerful influence when decide on which service provider or business to frequent.
- Google+ Local’s Dashboard brings you detailed data to analyze your traffic and marketing efforts. For example, do you currently know how many times your business is found through different keyword searches?
- You are able to showcase and promote your business by adding photos and videos to your Google+ Local page.
- Google+ Local is mobile ready, and I don’t need to let you the benefits of that. Mobile users can easily call your business number, get the direction to your office or check customer reviews from his Smartphone.
- You can integrate mobile coupons and special offers via your Google+ Local page to generate leads and encourage customers to come back for more.
If you are an offline local business, I am sure you recognise the tremendous opportunities I am talking about here.
To put it in a nut shell, savvy business owners can grab local search traffic simply by optimizing their Google+ Local business page and embracing mobile as part of their marketing strategy.
To take advantage of Google+ Local you don’t even need a website of your own.
What many business owners have failed to notice is that Google+ Local page re FREE.
However, in a competitive market I would say that it makes sense to invest in a mobile-ready website as well so that you can give local searchers more details of your business, and entice them to try you out (before they visit your competitors) with specially designed mobile lead generation pages and coupons.
We would love to help you set up your Google+ Local (places) page and show you how to make it stand out among your competitors.
As a first step, you can get a FREE e-book: The Essential Guide to Google+ Local.
You may also want to join a FREE Google+ Local WEBINAR:
Google+ Local For Business
“Everything You Need To Know To Attract
More Customers And Increase Your Revenue”