Use Google+ Local to Get More Customers
What is it? Google My Business, also known as Google+ Local, is a free service extended to business owners wherever Google searches can be performed. Essentially, Google+ Local is a dynamic, online business directory. Its purpose is to help increase online visibility for business owners, while helping customers find and engage with said local businesses.
Google+ Local information is easily and efficiently managed by business owners using Google My Business, and is organized by type of business. For example, restaurants, dentists, salons, schools, pet stores, transit stations, etc.
Majority of customers who access Google+ Local services are mobile users. Google+ Local works by locating listings for a specific type of business (e.g. restaurants, salons, etc.) in a user's current local area. Each Google+ Local business listing includes the business's current address, phone number (with click-to-call), directions to the business, hours of operation and website URLs.
Local users engage with businesses on Google+ Local in several ways. They can review businesses, rate businesses and can add or view photos of the business (added by the business owner or customers).
The following are five ways you can use Google+ Local as a marketing tool to acquire more customers:
1. Invite Customers In
For many consumers, being able to see your company's products or services helps pique their interest. If your business is a restaurant, pictures of your dishes can lure your future patrons. A music venue would benefit from pictures of its interior, because the ultimate party requires the ultimate decor, in the mind of a consumer.
There's also an option to let users virtually browse your space. A user can access this option from the photos or from the "see inside" link within the photo thumbnails. For an example, "see inside" The Met.
All of these things increase the probability of a consumer visiting a location by making research easy and by making the brand more real.
You probably can't offer all of this, easily, from your website. But It's all completely functional on mobile phones, desktops and tablets through Google+ Local - and it's free to use.
2. Reach More People Online
You'll reach more people online if you have a business listed and managed with Google+ Local. First, you will show up earlier in search results. This is simply because Google likes to put their Local listings at the top of the list.
Second, you'll be visible when people are searching. f you're not listed, mobile users probably won't see you when searching for a local business on their phones. If you are listed, however, all they need to do is enter the right search query and you'll show up. .
3. Reach Even Further with Google Ads
You can use Google AdWords and Google+ Local, in conjunction, for a higher click-through rate. This means, people will click on your Google AdWords ads more often if they can see your Google+ Local info extended below the ads. Showing your Google+ Local business contact information below your ads makes your ad more relevant to the user, making the user more likely to click on your ad and buy your product or service.
4. Take Advantage of Google's Local Guides
Local Guides is a new initiative by Google that allows experts to give information, answer, questions and suggest edits on Google+ Local business listings. Guides are encouraged to give local residents and visitors insight and information about businesses in their areas. Google offers incentives, such as free Google Drive storage space, to users for participating.
Local Guides can catch your mistakes and share things about your business that you didn't even know, which is good for business. The best part about this is It's completely free - and they do all the work.
5. Take Control of Your Google+ Local Business Listing
With all of the advantages above and very little trouble involved in setting it up, there are few reasons why your business shouldn't be on Google+ Local.
Not only this, but if your business has not been added to Google+ Local and verified by you, someone else can add your business for you, without you knowing. If someone else adds your business for you, the information on your listing may be inaccurate, causing potential negative impacts for your business. Therefore, it pays to add your own business on Google+ Local. This way, you can ensure that the information on your listing is correct and what you want your customers to see.
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