Google Plus Local
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Google Plus Local is a product within the Google portfolio that resembles a dynamic yellow pages. Companies can create and maintain an entry to be present in the Google Search, Google Maps, and the social network Google Plus. When users are looking for products, services or companies, a current profile at Google Plus Local can contribute to new customer acquisitions.
The service was previously called Google Places. In addition to a change of name, additional functions and a design change have recently been added. Google Plus Local is now offered free of charge as part of Google MyBusiness. The latter is also the dashboard used for administration. A Google account is required to be approved for and to maintain a Google Plus Local profile. Each company profile must be confirmed by phone or email. Google wants to check whether real people are the actual business owners. The full range of functions can only be used after Google’s confirmation.
Every company, which is listed in the commercial register of their respective country, already has a rudimentary entry with Google. However, Google takes the data associated with this profile from the Internet. It is therefore recommended to verify the entry and maintain it with current and, above all, correct data.
An entry at Google Plus Local is initially an information source for potential customers, who can:
- Get a first impression of the company, as well as services and products offered
- Use the entry to find the shortest route
- Contact the company via email, phone or news within Google products
- Rate the company after their visit
- Write a review to help others in their decision
If customers and companies are networked, communication via Google can take place.
Setting up a Google Plus Local entry
After the aforementioned steps (setup of Google Account and verification of entry) you can start the actual entry maintenance.
- The first step is to find or create categories for your own business. A concise and precise description of the activity or the area of business is paramount.
- Next, the contact data has to be kept updated: email, telephone, website, address, and other contact options make it easier for customers to contact you.
- The first impression is decisively determined by illustrative images. Therefore, each entry should contain title and profile images, which are suitable for the area of business, portfolio, and the company.
- Corporate design is recommended so that customers can see at a glance which company it is.
- Each profile on Google Plus Local has its own URL. This should be individualized so that the company name is part of it.
- Once the URL is selected, it should be linked to the website.
- In the current version of Google Plus Local, companies can network with customers and prospective customers. Circles can be selected and people with a Google Account can be added. A polite request for a review can never hurt.
- Now companies can write posts to distribute on the network., for example company news or changed opening times.
- To keep track of all these activities, companies can use the dashboard. This can optionally be linked to Google Analytics to gain deeper insight into website visitors and their Search Behavior.
For some of these actions, Google provides guidelines and tips, so that laypersons can make technical changes and optimizations to the Google Plus Local entry. All data should be entered with due diligence. Google’s guidelines must be observed, otherwise the entry may be deleted.
Relevance to online marketing
With Google Plus Local, companies can significantly strengthen their presence in the most widely used search engine. An entry there serves as a first point of contact for users who are looking for companies, services, and products on the Internet. An entry can be especially beneficial for companies that want to gain customers in the local or regional environment. Word of Mouth Marketing which will attract prospective customers is paramount to the success of local entries. Positive reviews create trust in potential new customers. The better the reviews, the higher the probability of new customer acquisition.
A current Google Plus Local entry is already linked to a mobile website or Responsive Design. More and more users are using mobile devices to search for information about businesses or products. Optimized entries for these devices can result in qualified visitors because they are often already in the vicinity of the business and are looking for specific services nearby. With regard to these local aspects, a Google Plus Local entry can also be considered a local search engine optimization action. A current, complete entry with lots of reviews can affect the visibility in Google search.
- How To Love And Use Google Plus Local For More Business And Higher Quality Clients business2community.com. Accessed on 2015/01/30