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Friday, July 19, 2013

5 Reasons why your business should have a Google Plus local page

If you own a local business, have a storefront, and people can actually visit and step foot inside your establishment, I am hereby requiring you to create a business listing on Google Plus Local Pages. If you don’t currently have any kind of Google Local listing for your business, you are missing out on a HUGE (and simple) opportunity to increase awareness for your business.
Some of you may be aware, the new Google Plus Local Pages have officially replaced Google Places (although you can still get started with a general listing and manage your already created Google Places account from there). Simply a directory type, location based listing; Google Places has been replaced with Google Plus Local Pages in order to increase capabilities for search, social, engagement, and functionality.
First let me answer your question of what are Google Plus Local Pages? Simply: location based search results in Google that contain directory style info. Name, address, phone number, hours, details, AND some other great features that i’ll get into below.
Now, I’ll dive into the 5 reasons I am forcing every local business owner reading this article to immediately go create a listing on Google Plus Local Pages for their business (after they’re finished reading, of course.)

#1) Google Plus Local Pages Create a Listing in Search Results

First: Did you know that 43% of Google searches are location based? Or that 1 in 3 searches on mobile devices have local intent?
What does that really mean? Essentially, your customers are typing general (“sandwiches in pacific beach”) or specific (“EZ-J’s Sandwich shop pacific beach”) search queries into Google in hopes of finding what they are looking for, close to their current location. If you have a local storefront, clearly you want to show up here. 
As you’ve probably noticed from personal searches, Google loves to put location-based results at the top, because they deem them to be the most relevant to the person. Remember, Google rules the world internet. When Google tells you something is important to increase the chances of your success in organic search, just do it.
**Side note: Google Plus local pages also integrate with Google Maps and show up as listings on the maps tab.
For example, below I typed a general, location-based search query (“sandwiches in pacific beach”) into Google. Notice that the entire top portion of results are Google Plus Local Pages for local sandwich shops in PB. Fitting, right?

Google Plus Local Pages Listing

Then, let’s say I choose to click on “EZ-J’s Sandwich shop” to find out more. Automatically, the entire page will update with info about EZ-J’s, still with the Google Plus Local Page at the top of the results.

Google Plus Local Pages Listing
 Once I choose to click on the EZ-J’s Google Plus Local Page, it will contain all of the info i’ll need to help make my final decision on whether or not I will visit this location.

#2) Google Plus Local Pages Support the SoLoMoCo Revolution

What’s SoLoMoCo you ask? Social, Local, Mobile, Commerce.
Understanding the SoLoMoCo revolution is going to become a must for online marketers of both B2B and B2C brands. Google Plus local pages will be essential in your mastery of the “local” inside of “SoLoMoCo”.  It will be the most important platform you can use to market your local business.

#3) Google Plus Local Pages Integrate Social Recommendations

Google Places, as mentioned above, was a directory style informational listing of your local business. Google Plus local pages take the listing a step further to integrate features that will increase awareness for your brand, on a personal level.
With features that allow for recommendations, “+1’s”, and follows, your Google Plus local business listing will become a relevant search result for a person who’s friend has recommended and “+1’d” your business. Once the page is set up, these functions run on their own and provide immense value to you and your visitors. Why wouldn’t you want to let your customers rave about you, recommend you, and help their friends find you?

Google Plus Local Business Page

#4) Google Plus Local Pages are Easy to Create and Manage

Google Plus Local Pages will take you a maximum of 15 minutes to create.
Visit: -> click on “Local”
 Create a Google Plus Local Page
Follow the step-by-step instructions, fill out your business info, add some pictures (highly recommended), and viola –that’s it.
Do keep in mind that there is some verification that must take place in order to get your page fully up and running; but again, it’s all very simple.

#5) Google Plus Local Pages are FREE

Reasons #1-4 should be enough to convince you to go create a Google Plus local page, but if not…how about the fact that it can do the following without investing any money:
  • market your business
  • increase your rankings in organic search results (without paying an SEO expert)
  • acceptable replacement for a website if you can’t afford one
There are really only benefits to creating a Google Plus local business page. All you have to invest is a little bit of time, and the aftermath is all good.
Are you convinced? Have you clicked out of this article and started creating your page yet?

*This is a great article I came across written by Sydney De Bear.  Hope you enjoy it.  
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