Google Places has changed. Again. This time they’re trying to give users a more “active” feel and offer features that work towards benefiting your target audience, making your business stand out. In other words, your Google Places listing is not totally gone; it has just turned social.
But there is no need to panic; here’s what yo need to know about Google+ Local pages to help you adapt to the changes.
What Does Your Business Need to Do?
If Your Business Already Had a Verified Google Places Page:
Google+ Local pages are generated automatically for any business that had a prior Google Places page. As of right now, you should still manage your listing through the Google Places platform.
However, if you do not have a Google+ account, you should setup an account in order to really take your listing to the next level.
If Your Business Did Not Have a Verified Google Places Page:
If you did not have a verified Google Places page, you can still claim your company listing via the Google Places platform. If you did not have a page at all, you can also setup a Google+ Local page by signing up to Google’s social networking site, Google+ (or Google Plus).
Either way, be sure to complete your listing as much as possible for the best results; use your real address and a local phone number, fill out all fields, carefully incorporate targeted keywords in the “description,” and upload as many pictures as possible to fully optimize your listing.
Once your page is verified, start using the many tools located within Google+ that will eventually be responsible for helping you gain even more exposure. This includes joining circles, encouraging your customers to leave reviews, posting updates about your business, and more.
Google+ Local Features
There are several powerful features that have been introduced with the new Google+ Local pages and all are aimed at making life easier for business owners when it comes to enhancing their online presence. Not only that, but these features make it simple for users to rate businesses, recommend businesses, and find businesses who have what they are looking for.
Here’s more information about how you can get involved with Google+ local to grow your business and an overview of some of its features:
Google+ Local Tab
Google+ now offers a “Local” tab on sidebar. This tab will take users to the Google+ Local platform, which is where they can search for local businesses. When they click on a listing, they will be taken to that business’ Google+ Local page where they will have access to information such as photos, Zagat scores and summaries, reviews, and contact information.
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