Optimising Your Listings on the New Google+ Local

It’s official. Google+ and Google Places are now one and the same, forming the latest service from the world’s biggest search engine: Google+ Local. The recent integration of these two top services has the web abuzz with blog posts, reactions, and comments. What exactly is Google+ Local? How will it affect search engine optimisation efforts?

Thousands upon thousands of searchers are looking for more information about this major change, and chances are it is exactly the reason you are reading this blog. Fear not; Google+ Local is for the better and is even more organic than its predecessors. The following are some tips to help with your local SEO efforts.

Tip #1 – Stake your Claim on a Listing now.

Search around on Google+ Local and you’ll notice that one thing is clear: many have not yet laid claim to their business. Naturally, it would follow that there is also a lack of Google+ business profiles. The absence of these two major profile components can hurt businesses and will only worsen over time. Avoid the potentially harmful effects of maintaining such a stance; stay one-step ahead of your competition and by claiming your listing as soon as possible.

Tip #2 – Polish and Optimise your Business Page and Listing

Creating your Google+ Business Page profile is the next step. Avoid making the mistake of focusing too much on your listing – remember that it is only one component of your local SEO efforts. You need to optimise your social media business pages as well and ensure that it’s complete with all the necessary details. Incomplete profiles that have only your business name, address, and telephone number won’t be an effective way of bringing in potential customers.

Tip #3 – Validate your page/listing

Tedious as it might be, the result of taking such action will be beneficial to your efforts. Verified listings and profiles shape and enhance your reliability and credibility. This keeps your current customer base loyal and brings in more potential customers. The Google+ Local verification process is simple, secure, and gives you full ownership of the profile.

Tip #4 – Testimonials and Reviews Establish Authority

The tight integration of Zagat into Google’s services means customer feedback in the form of reviews and testimonials is extremely important. After ensuring a fully optimised and functional profile, you need to start encouraging interaction through the channel. Some great examples of the ways you can do this include the following:

  • Connect all your social media profiles to your Google+ Local profile. Interconnectivity means your message reaches a wider audience and pushes business growth.
  • Use press releases and other publicity activities to promote your Google+ Local page.
  • Politely encourage followers, fans, and customers to submit reviews. Testimonials from industry leaders and big names also add a nice touch and beef up your credibility.

Tip #5 – Look for and Work with an Established SEO Service Provider

Managing all of these tasks can take away from the time you could be spending focusing on core business growth and development. If you lack the time or knowledge about this platform, get the services of a reliable SEO company and have all the work done for you. It’s a win-win situation for all parties involved.