Google+ local used to be known as Google places, so you may have heard of it or read about it in the past.
This is a free platform that Google provides, and has two main purposes for users.
It can help business owners to increase their visibility online, as well as help people find and engage with businesses in their local area.
However, since the roll out of this platform in 2012, it has evolved into a smarter platform that people can use to connect with businesses and events.
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Even now, Google are still tweaking and tinkering with the platform to make sure that users are getting the best out of it.
Essentially, this is the most comprehensive and accessible business directory created. However, it isn’t just a directory; it is social and interactive too.
People are now able to create and join events using the platform, and there are more tools for community moderators as well as ways to add images and links to comments.
That being said, some businesses do prefer to use it solely as a directory rather than a social platform.
Social platforms like Facebook and Twitter can be extremely lucrative for businesses, but over the years Google+Local has not become nearly as successful in that respect.
Google+ Local pages are for businesses that serve customers primarily in their local area.
Any number of different businesses can use this free platform, including dentists, driving schools, salons, estate agents, and garages.
If you have a business, you can set up a page on Google+ Local.
What Does Google+ Local Do?
Whenever anybody uses Google to search with local intent, for instance, ‘Salons in Manchester’, links to three Google+ Local pages will come up in the results. Example pic below
These listings are valuable because they are located above standard search results.
This means your audience will see them first and foremost.
Your business address and number will be shown with them, a direct link to your location on a map will be shown, and even a link to reviews left by customers is shown.
This means somebody in your area will be able to learn a lot of relevant information about your business right away, and be able to decide whether you’re a good fit for them.
You may get instant custom by using Google+ Local.
What People See With Google+ Local
When people click through to these Google+ Local links they will find:
- A rating for your business out of 5 stars, depending on what the majority of people have rated it.
- Reviews left by real customers to give social proof (social proof is one of the most effective ways to gain custom, or even lose custom if your reviews are negative).
- Photos and videos are shown to get a good idea of what the company is about.
- A link to the business’s website so people can click through straight away.
- The opening hours of the business.
- A description of the business to ensure it’s a good fit.
- A location on a map to find the business.
- The name, address, and phone number of the business so a customer can easily get in contact.
All businesses should be actively embracing the Google+Local platform, as it can greatly improve your local reach.
You get access to more people who are looking for your service in your area, and you probably know that Google is the starting point for most people who are searching for things online.
People use this platform every single day to look for a variety of services in different industries, so if you aren’t utilizing your reach with the platform, you are definitely missing out.
Using Google+ Local
You can gain trust from customers and potential customers by showing reviews and ratings, and you can engage with customers by showing appreciation, following one another, and messaging.
However, you must bear in mind that using a platform like Google+Local makes amazing customer service all the more important.
If you’re not getting amazing reviews and ratings, then this could be hindering your business. Having 100% 5 star reviews isn’t necessary, but you do want to ensure you are an authority.
As Google+ Local is free, easy to use, and easy to set up, why wouldn’t you start using the platform today? Your business will become more visible when people in your area search for keywords relevant to what you do, so you should start receiving a steady flow of customers this way.