The world’s number one search engine is offering your business the opportunity to be listed in the largest online business directory, completely free of charge. This isn’t the same as your other social media accounts. Google+Local is a social media platform designed specifically to give your website a higher rank in the search engine, on a first page listing. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest all have their perks, but here’s how you can use Google+Local to grow your business and increase your brand visibility..
How It Works
Like every social media platform you have to build an extensive and complete profile to reap the benefits. Create a thorough description of your business that includes the following: explanation of product or service
- phone numbers
- additional links(website, Facebook, Twitter, etc).
Your page should also contain rich visual content. Add photos of the business space, products, employees, logos, cover photos, YouTube videos and any other additional company media. Provide the customer with all the information they need to make an informed buying decision, and drive traffic to your website/company.
Instead of friends, followers, or fans; G+Local has “circles”. Group your contacts into targeted customer segments and create updates for each circle. When someone in your circle does a search that is related to your business or keywords, you appear closer to the top of the search results page. On the other hand, if a person that’s not in your circle does the same search, you end up at the bottom of the page but still in their results. Increase your reach and expand your network by inviting all your contacts from other sites to join your circles. As an incentive to engage with you and build customer loyalty, offer discounts and specials only available to those customers.
Create targeted, keyword specific content daily to keep your customers engaged; interact with them on a regular basis.The updates section is where you address concerns, reply directly to people in your circles, and respond to reviews. Of course, you also post updates about sales, products, trends in your industry, blog posts, business related hash tags, and company milestones. Keeping this section current can be a challenge, so you should consider establishing an account with a service like Buffer or Hootsuite. This allows you to plan and pre-schedule your updates.
- When you register, you have to claim your page and allow Google to verify it. Once the verification process is complete your business will appear on Google Maps, allowing the customer to see exactly where it is, in real time.
- Use Google AdWords or consult a SEO checklist for keywords.
- Include reverse links from your other sites back to your G+Local page.
- Check all the content for grammer and make sure all the information listed is current and correct.
- Sync your Google+Local page with your Google Places page, and any other business related pages you have on the internet.
- Make sure all the information across all your media channels is clear, concise, and consistent with your brand messaging.
- Track your progress using Google analytics.
- If you can afford it, hire a social media manager.
Local searches account for 20% of all web based search, and 40% of those inquiries occur on a mobile device. That’s a clear sign that you can’t ignore your local patrons and survive. Gone are the days you could reel in sales face to face with your customers. Your web presence may be the only contact you have with them before they make a purchase. Make a lasting impression with Google+Local and gain increased brand visibility, increase sales, and raise your search engine ranking.
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