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Google created Google Plus Local as a way to combine its search engine, social networking, and business directory features.
Google Plus Local’s primary use is to allow customers to search out and find detailed information on local restaurants, shops, and other services. By taking advantage of this popular tool, businesses can use their page as an effective advertising platform.
The History Of Google Plus Local
Google Plus Local is based on its predecessor Google Places. The most significant change with this newer version is that it is completely integrated with the ‘Google Plus’ social network.
In the short time the new social network has been available it has gained over 100 million members and that number is growing, making it a valuable and relatively untapped marketplace.
Here are just a few other changes that have taken place:
Your business’s page will now be included in Google’s index, making it more visible in searches
People’s search results will be influenced by their friends and family’s previous reviews and ratings
Through your Google Plus Local page, you will be able to respond and interact with comments and customers directly
People using the Google social network can share and post comments linking to your business
How to Use Google Plus Local in Your Business
The primary benefit of Google Plus Local is its ability to increase the profile of your business and allow you to connect with your customers on a more personal level.
As with any form of advertising, to make the most out of your Local page, you need to develop a clear strategy. A concise plan of action should include:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
As part of an official Google service, your page already gets a boost in the search engine’s results. However, to make the most of the service, it is still important to utilize SEO. By including relevant keywords, keyword phrases, backlinks, inbound links, regular updates, and other SEO content, you can guarantee to improve your business’s listing placement.
Integrate Social Networking
With over 100 million members, the social network Google Plus is a valuable place to engage potential customers. An individual’s search results on Google Plus are affected by the opinions and ratings of their friends and family members. By developing a tight knit and friendly relationship with your customers through your use of the social network, you can dramatically improve your profile in the local area.
Making the Most of Zagat
The customer ratings you are given will be a very prominent part of your page. Unfortunately, even the best companies get occasional bad reviews. By encouraging your customers, whatever their opinions, to leave a review, you can ensure that you get representative overall results.
Dealing with any negative feedback
Develop a strategy that deals with negative comments if they occur. Acting in a professional and engaging manner to properly tackle any negative effect a review could have will stop it causing damage to your reputation. It could also help you to win back a customer that would otherwise have been lost forever.