If you are like most other small businesses in Canberra, you are always on the lookout for inexpensive ways to promote your businesses and attract new customers to it.
You may already have a website, which may not be performing very well. Or maybe you don’t have a website, and don’t want to go to the expense of building one, only to find it doesn’t rank well.
Yet almost every small business would LOVE to be on Page One of Google. Now there’s a way.
It’s called a Google+ Local (a.k.a. Google Places) Listing.
According to Google, one in five searches includes a “location”, which prompted them to create what is today eveolving into Google+ Local.
Just as the Yellow Pages sometimes lists services according to their locations, Google+ Local compiles lists of local businesses that offer the services and products that consumers search for online.
Therefore, having a claimed, verified, high-ranking Google Places listing is now crucial to every small business’ local success. You can lead, or follow your competitors. The choice is yours.
Google Places Summarised
Google+ Local is a free service that is a part of the Google search engine that focuses specifically on businesses and their locations. It links to Google Maps, and displays a list of businesses in the area that offer services or products, based on the user’s search terms.
For instance, if a search is made for bookstores in a specific location, all of the listed bookstores within that area will be marked on a Google Map with short reviews and often pictures and/or videos related to the business.
Google+ Local Listings are usually generated automatically for any business that has an online presence, such as a company website. They are also generated for businesses that are already listed in other online directories such as the Yahoo directory, Bing Local, and others.
These listings are considered as “citations” and are very important in the ranking factors of Google+ Local pages. We will talk more about citations in a later section of this report.
When a user performs a search, Google+ Local Listings are displayed and ranked in the search results based mainly on five simple factors. Based on these factors, each listing is given a score, which determines where it ranks in the results.
Google explains their Google+ Local (or Google Places) listing.
These are the major factors that contribute to the ranking of your Google+ Local Listing. To get them all optimised takes a lot of work.
Once all of the factors have been considered by the Google Algorithm, your Listing is given its placement for certain local keyword phrases. More work can improve your ranking. As your competition improve their Listings, you could drop down. It’s an ongoing battle.
Research has shown that consumers would rather take their business to a local company than make a purchase online. However, they usually go online first to actually “find” a local company to do business with.
While they’re there, they also read comments from other consumers about these companies to help them make a decision.
A Canberra Example of a Google Search With Local Result
For instance, someone in Canberra who needs an Electrician may go to Google and type in “Canberra Electrician” and a list of Electricians in Canberra will come up in the Google+ Places results.
This graphic shows the results for a Google Search done for “Canberra electrician” on December 29th., 2012.
Google+ Local takes advantage of these very concrete search terms to return very precise search engine results to pinpoint the closest and highest rated businesses that match the query.
Users can then easily choose the closest business to their location that meets their needs or the one with the best customer reviews.
A Google+ Local Listing For Your Local Business
Google+ Local currently has 5 million listings2 that have been claimed by businesses around the world, with 2.3 million of them being in the United States alone.
Because Google generates Local Pages automatically, there are presently 50 million Google+ Local Pages that are waiting to be claimed by businesses. Yours is probably one of them.
Studies show that 20% of all of Google’s 14.3 billion monthly searches include the location as one of the search parameters.
But many businesses are missing out on this massive number of potential sales because they are not taking full advantage of this huge local market, and you’re probably one of them!
A Google+ Local listing can be a powerful source of leads, sales and profit for your business. While the listing itself is free, there’s a large amoun tof work that goesd into producing a fully-optimised, high- ranking listing. And there are traps for the unwary, even at the very first stages.
Underdog Marketing can help you avoid the pitfalls, and maximise the results you enjoy from your Google+ Local listing. Call us today on 0434 509 853, or email john(at)underdogmarketing.com.au