If you have been wondering if your business needs to be on the Google+ network, the answer is a resounding YES! I know, I know, you are already overwhelmed trying to maintain a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and probably Pinterest too, but now more than ever Google + is truly a place you need to be.
On May 30, 2012, Google replaced “Google Places” listings with “Google + Local” bringing the Google + social community direct to local business owners. According to Google, the search giant “aims to improve the way people discover new businesses, rediscover places they love, and share them with their friends across the web.” This means the days of setting and forgetting a Google Places page are out and online reviews and customer engagement are in.
Here are the five key features you should know about the new Google+ Local:
1. Google reviews are now calculated on Zagat’s 30-point scoring system.
2. The page layout focuses much more reviews, photos and videos. In addition to reviews, consumers can post comments, photos and videos to your page.
3. Unlike Google Places pages, Google + Local will be indexed in Google.
4. You can share updates that will stay on your Google+ Local listing for up to 30 days.
5. Google+ Local search results are customized for users so not everyone will see the same results.
The roll out of Google + Local is still ongoing and a definite game changer when it comes to both SEO and social strategies for your business. Google’s search and social merge clearly forces local business owners to get involved with Google+ and those who don’t should do so at their own risk. If you haven’t already, create and complete your Google + Business Page and pay close attention in the coming months as Google continues to integrate all their Google+ Local features. By spending just a little time getting to know Google+ Local now, you are sure to gain a leg up on your local competition in the long run.
Learn more by adding me to your Google+ circles.