How Local Businesses Can Take Advantage of Google+ Local

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With addition of Google+ Local, Google has introduced huge opportunities for local businesses across the globe to promote and expand their business on this popular social media platform. Through Google+ Local, you can easily get more positive reviews and eyeballs for your business. But, before you get these goodies from the Google+ crowd, you must ensure your business is listed in Google's database. Once you've ensured that, your business will definitely be listed in Google+ Local results to Google+ users nearby your area. This new feature adds credibility to your business resulting in more leads and conversions. Let's see how to use this useful feature to use Google+ as a promotion outpost for getting more visibility.

Ensure your business is listed in Google places - The very first thing that needs to be done is your business presence on Google places. This ensures your business details are in Google's database so that it can be used on Google+ local. You can add or edit your business details easily along with claiming the ownership of the listing. This helps in maintaining your business listing and prevents others from tampering the details of the master record.

Business listing on Google+ Local

Once your business record is verified and updated, it appears as a modified Google+ business page with all the details including address, contact information and photos as shown in the image above. It also includes your Zagat score (ratings) along with reviews of your customers.

Promote you business listing through your Google+ page - Without any delay create your business's Google+ page so that you can start promoting your business listing to your fans and followers. You can directly link to your Google+ Local entry in your Google+ page profile. It's not just the promotion through your Google+ page, but the following two methods can ensure more exposure of your business on Google+.
  • Encourage reviews - This is one of the best ways to increase the visibility of your business listing on Google+ Local. The more organic and positive reviews your business listing gains, the more it is displayed to the relevant users. You must actively encourage your fans for giving reviews through your Google+ page. Whenever a new review is posted by the user, you must cross-post it on your Google+ page to let your fan base know about the good service you're providing to the customers.
  • Promote and showcase ratings - This is one more useful metric to increase the credibility of your business. Google+ Local uses Zagat rating system to asses the quality of your service as shown in the image below.

    user ratings on Google+ local

    This rating system comprises of three main categories - atmosphere, decor and service. Users rate for each of these categories which is then clubbed together to get an average overall rating. You can showcase these ratings on your primary website as well as on your Google+ page.
Keep your listed data updated - Sometimes businesses shift their places and discontinue some offerings or introduce new products. You must edit and update your Google Places business listing data as soon as some changes happen. Upload clear and large pictures of your products, office space to get more potential reviewers for your business listing. You must ensure that you're rating each user review by marking it as 'Helpful' to encourage other users to do the same.

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