While Google+ as a social network has not reached the popularity of its predecessors Facebook and Myspace, Google+Local for local business owners has amassed popularity. But the real debate among business owners is how Google+ Local can help or hurt their business.
In theory, Google+ Local offers a tremendous amount of opportunity for business owners who operate locally such as chiropractors, familyphysicians, and dentists. It provides them with an opportunity to network,attract new patients , get found locally, and interact with existing patients within a single location.
Initially, there was a lot of speculation to whether Google+ Local would be helpful or hurtful to local business owners. After two years, most would conclude that when utilized, Google+ Local provides far more advantages than disadvantages, especially since they made changes to some of the original, more confusing features, such as the 30-point Zagat scoring system.
In contrast to Facebook business pages, Google+ Local offers a more aesthetically pleasing design and an easier-to-use layout that prominently features business information, high quality photos, reviews and social posts. With company information, business hours and reviews prominently displayed, Google+ Local makes it easier for new patients to get the information they need and contact your practice.
Like Facebook business pages, Google+ Local affords you with a one-stop shop to update your business’ information, post pictures and videos, and interact with patients. With Google+ Local you quickly boost your search and social signals at the same time. And, when you play by the rules in Google’s sandbox, they reward you with higher organic ranking.
The SEO benefits of Google+ Local are one of the most substantial advantages for a local business. Google indexes your Google+ Local page across Google Maps, Google+ and Google web results. As a doctor, dentistor chiropractor operating one or many locations, it’s essential for potential patients to find your business online. Google+ Local offers an easy, quick and free way to get top page ranking when new patients are searching for your services. It can only hurt your business if your competitors are ranking and you aren’t.
In order to capitalize on the benefits of Google+ Local, do the following.
- Claim and verify your business listing on Google+.
- Complete ALL fields, even the non-required fields.
- Make sure to use your logo and upload high-quality, eye-catching photos.
- Include a local phone number with the area code of the city your business is located in.
- Optimize your page with strategic keywords but don’t oversaturate your page. Connect with potential patients; don’t spam them with an abundance of keywords.
- Place a priority on generating reviews to help your business really stand out from your competitors.
There are a few complaints that still linger about Google+ Local such as third party reviews not integrating into the review feed as they did with Google Places as well as the inability for non-registered Google users to leave reviews; but, overall, Google+ Local is an asset for local business owners by providing an easy way to rank organically, acquire new patients and engage with existing and potential patients.
How have you leveraged Google+ Local to benefit your business? What are your thoughts so far on it?
About Alan Moore: Alan started his career in 1999 as an Marketing Consultant and is the owner of www.ExtraPatients.com. Over the years, he has migrated his focus of expertise to everything digital. His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies. He manages over $3,600,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government. Give him a call to schedule a Free Online Marketing Consultation for your practice.
To read more of the article that inspired this blog, please visit:http://searchengineland.com/helping-or-hurting-the-debate-over-google-local-128847