Could your business benefit from more local custom? Then Google+ Local could be the marketing channel for you.
Previously known as Google Places, Google+ Local is a free, online local business directory. You simply register your business and when customers are looking for the service you provide in the right area, your specially selected business details will show up in the Google search results.
You can display your company location, contact information, description, opening hours, prices, payment, photos and logos and you’ll appear on Google Maps. Customers’ reviews of your business will also show up in the search, which is great for optimising your presence in search engine results. While your business will probably still show up on the results without a Google+ Local listing, the listing gives you control to impact where that listing is and what information is shown.
Signing up is easy and only takes a few minutes. Firstly, sign up to Google+ Local, create a new account for your business, and follow the steps. You will have to verify your business by post, phone or text at some point to prove the business is yours-none of the details you have entered while registering will show up online until you have been verified.
The next step is to make sure your account is fully optimised (meaning it will show up high in the list of search results )-
- fill in all the requested information in detail
- add good quality photographs, making sure you put a picture of your logo or shop front so that customers can recognise you
- ask happy customers to give you reviews (the more reviews the merrier)
- put your Google listing on your other relevant forms of advertising
A major benefit of the service is that you are able to see local insights for your Google+ page, including analytics displaying how many customers saw your posts, shares, and business information on Google.
With Google being the biggest search engine on the net and 1 in 5 searches on the search engine has local intent, a Google+ Local listing is a great way to get your business out there and can have faster results than other, more traditional advertising methods. You also gain an insight into what words customers are using in their searches, which gives you a chance to add those keywords to your listing information for further optimisation.
To be the first port of call for customers in your area, a listing on an online directory like Google+ Local can really help.
Have you already listed yourself? What difference have you noticed? Let us know in the comments below.