All too often owners and managers think that their type of business, in their industry or with their demographic of customers makes social media unnecessary. While it’s understandable that not every business wants to have a twitter account to update, Google Places, or a G+ Local is a little different.
67% of US population turns towards Google to find the information they are looking for on the web; Google is dominating the search industry. As somebody who runs a business, you have to be keenly aware of how well your organization is showing up in the results. Below are the results that a visitor see’s when they search for “Food”:
A few things you’ll notice… First, Google is usually able to determine the location of its visitors, in my case, Verona, WI at the Powderkeg office. The results for that search are then tailored to location. If there are businesses that Google knows are near that location, they will likely rank higher.
Also because of its location sensitivity, you can see that the first results that show up are not actually just websites, but places. Those results that are with the yellow line are all referencing Google+ Local locations; the green line is where actual web results begin.
Places vary from normal web results as they link to a Google+ Local page (formally called Google Places). This page features reviews, contact information, location, hours and other info. As somebody who runs a business, this is critical information that you want your visitors seeing when they search for keywords relevant to your organization. Below is an example of Econoprint’s Google+ Page.
Depending on how detailed you want to get, there is actually quite a lot of information you can put on the page. For Econoprint, we even have a virtual tour of our shop floor for visitors to view. However, it’s a good idea to at the very least have the basics: name, contact info, hours, descriptions and logo. The more information you put on the page, the more relevant keywords Google will be able to link with you.
To setup Google+ local, you will need a Google+ account. If you already have one, or a Gmail, then it’s very easy to do. If you don’t already have a Google account, you will need to create one, but this takes very little time. Here is a good page with instructions on how to setup a Google+ Local page.