A Google+ Local profile you can be proud of: 4 step process

by on November 6, 2013

Google+Local (formerly referred to as Google Places) is a free on-line directory where you can list your business. It’s like a telephone directory or Yellow Pages listing, internet style. Whenever you’re doing a search for a local business, you probably notice right at the top all the Google listings.  So of course, you definitely want to get your business up there!

Google + Local Profile You Can Be Proud Of

Why have a Google+ Local Profile in the first place?

Google+ Local states that “97% of consumers search for local businesses on-line.”  This is a great way to advertise your small business on the web while also helping to boost your search rankings. You can add your hours, location and pictures.  Google+ members can review you and you can respond to customer reviews. Little bit of controversy here as ONLY Google+ members can write reviews.  Some say this is Google’s way of pushing Google+. Whatever your opinion, it is what it is! And if you have negative reviews sitting there that you can’t respond to, you’re not alone.

Claim my Google listingIf you’ve never set up a Google+ profile for your small business, first go ahead and do a search to see if you’re listed already – if you are, click to claim your business and you’ll be ready to properly customize your listing. If you have one already but haven’t visited it in a while or haven’t done much with it, make sure that you’ve leveraged it to its full potential with the tips below.

4 Steps for a Google+ Local Profile You Can Be Proud Of:

  1. Location lovin’: Don’t leave any part of the address or contact fields blank.  The more complete it is the better is for search and of course all this information should match what’s on your website. If your business has multiple locations with different addresses then you need to create a Google+Local Profile for each address.
  2. Fabulous media: You can have up to 10 photos, so maximize this.  The more eye candy the better. And don’t forget your You Tube videos!
  3. Rockin’ reviews: As mentioned above, only Google+ members can write reviews. Previously, on Google Places, anyone could write a review. This takes a little extra effort, but you should encourage your customers to join the Google+ community and write a review for you.
  4. Keyword happiness: as always in internet marketing, be sure to include all your juicy keywords while creating your profile. There are plenty of places in your profile where you can maximize this: in your description; for the categories (you can use ones that already exist as well as create your own); in the additional details section (you can write whatever you want here so have fun and use your keywords).

How can I get my business higher up in the listings?

If you work in a competitive industry there will be tons of other businesses listed in Google. But only the first few are shown in organic search rankings (search marketing speak for when you do a Google search for something and you get results that match your search).

So how do you get higher?

Essentially, the more content rich your profile is and the more active it is, the higher it should rank. So make sure you follow the tips above to fully fill out your profile (you should be aiming for a profile that is 100% complete) and get working on those reviews. It is said that the more reviews, the more weight your profile is given. However, there is a lot of grumbling about how those profiles are ranked. I’ve noticed that businesses with really poorly filled out profiles, or employing tactics that technically are against the rules (such as jamming in keywords in the “Company” field instead of the business name) might sit really high. So just do the best you can with your profile and try not to get too frustrated with it 🙂

Google Plus Local versus just regular Google Plus

So what’s the difference between the two? Well, essentially nothing as Google is taking steps to make them one and the same. Or in other words, making your local listing a “Plus” social profile as well where you can do the social activity, such as post your latest blogs and share content. Now I have been telling you all how merging the two has been problematic and glitchy in the past and Google has been working on it. You should get an email from Google when your local account has been automatically upgraded to social features. So I recommend to just sit tight and wait for that to happen.

If doing this kind of online stuff is your bane, or you just know you’re never going to get around to properly setting up your profile with that massive to-do list of yours, let me take a load off. Just get in touch and I’ll be happy to get your profile rocking for you!

Image source: Google+ Local

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