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Although recently we have decided to focus our social media marketing efforts away from Google+ they do still have some valuable things to offer. Google+ Local, which used to be Places, is a very valuable resource for any business. The idea is that you create a listing and your listing will appear next to local, relevant search results.
If you’ve been following our Google+ abandon ship, you’ll probably notice right away that you need a Google+ page in order to create a Google+ Local listing. Unfortunately this is a tactic that Google is using to get more people to sign up for their social network. The up side is that you can gain another top spot in local search results if you optimize well.
Results are plotted on a map and listed with their address, average review score, and phone number. Also if you hover over a listing you get even more details like hours, a brief description, and some photos if you’ve uploaded any.
Google+ Local is especially valuable in mobile search as well. Review scores are displayed prominently and there are 3 easy buttons which allow the user to either call, get directions, or visit your website. Mobile users tend to be more actionable when compared to desktop users. Mobile search queries are often about getting some quick information before making a buying decision. For example which restaurant near here has the best seafood, or which Chevy dealership has the best reviews.
When creating your listing you need to remember a few important rules. First, you should always do your best to make your listing stand out. Unique photos, extra information, promotions, and fresh content will go a long way.
Optimization is key here as well, you want your listing to show up for the right search terms. Use a few of your most important keywords in the description section and make sure not to just toss them in there, you’re writing for the customer first and foremost.
Lastly, reviews are extremely important as well. Encourage your customers to write reviews on your Local listing. Listings with positive ratings (25/30 and up) are much more likely to catch the attention of the user and bring them to your store.