Google+ Local Is Now Available for Businesses

Chris Marentis
Chris Marentis Founder, CEO, Surefire Social

Posted on March 9th 2013

Google+ Local Is Now Available for Businesses

Google+ Local Is Now Available Specifically For Business

Since 2007, Google has been pushing local results. This push from the world’s largest search engine created a shift towards local internet marketing services. Google’s attitude has always been "Play the game, or get left behind." In the last few years, Google has begun to push businesses to use Google’s local business listing service, known as the Google Plus page. Google has even gone as far as to reserve prime real estate on the first page of its search results for correctly optimized Google Plus pages.

Google Has Taken It One Step Further

Google has recently taken the Google+ page one step further by creating a separate space for Google+ pages for business. Google is currently calling this Google+ Business. The ultimate goal of Google+ Business is to help businesses become more socially active online. Their approach to achieving this is three-fold. According to Google, Google+ Business will help a business:

  1. Be more easily found on Google.
  2. Interact “face-to-face” with its customers.
  3. Better track and analyze its social media marketing strategies.

Your Business Will Be More Easily Found On Google

With Google+ Business page, when people search locally for products and services your business offers, Google has reserved a section at the top right of the search results to include your business information, such as contact information, pictures, videos, and reviews straight from your Google+ Business page. Quite a bit of the information about your business contained on your business’s page is eligible for display in the reserved top right section of results. With this innovation, customers can actually be less than a click away from learning about and contacting your business.

google+ business

Interact Socially Online With Your Customers

Google+ Business allows a business to “humanize” itself by providing a means for your business to socially interact online with your customers and followers. One of the features Google+ Business offers is “Hangouts”. Hangouts allow for up to 10 people to connect via video chat to your business online. Hangouts even offers the ability to record the interaction for later replay. Hangouts can be very beneficial for demonstrations, customer feedback, and focus groups. For example, if you own a business that sells kitchen gadgets, you could use Hangouts to demo specific products to an online group of customers. This type of broad-reach social interaction with customers and clients is relatively new and has amazing potential.

Better Analysis and Understanding of Social Media Marketing Strategies

One of the hardest parts for businesses with the new trend in social media marketing is analyzing and tracking return on investment. Word of mouth type advertising can be very inexpensive, but it is very difficult to attribute a customer’s purchase to an online social media interaction, which happened possibly 6 months prior to the purchase. 

Google+ Business offers tools for businesses to better track and analyze online social conversions. For its users, Google promises in-depth analysis of +1 recording, along with robust conversion reporting. The analysis features even include a tool called Google+ Ripples, which creates a visual representation for users to better understand, who is sharing or re-sharing information about their business. Google+ Ripples is the online version of tracking word-of-mouth advertising. Google absolutely wants you and your business to have a clear understanding of how Google+ Business helps increase the success of your business.

Google has positioned itself to be the leader in local internet marketing services. Google has again reinvented the way businesses are found online and the way businesses interact online with their customers. Google+ Business is easy to setup, and the benefits can be great. A well optimized, well maintained Google+ Business page will allow your business to be more visible on Google and increase your business’s exposure. It will allow your business to better interact socially with its customers. It will also allow your business to better understand the benefits of using Google+ Business with improved analysis capabilities. Google+ Business is a necessary tool in the future online growth and success of your business.

Chris Marentis

Chris Marentis

Founder, CEO, Surefire Social

For nearly three decades, Chris Marentis, Founder and CEO of Surefire Social, has been responsible for driving innovation and sales growth for large media and e-commerce brands as well as start-ups. With a long-history of counseling local businesses about their marketing efforts, Marentis provides insight on what it takes for small businesses to succeed and thrive in today’s evolving digital environment. His notable career includes creating the foundational blueprints for online marketing, e-commerce and content branding for AOL's Interactive Marketing group, where he served as Senior Vice President. While CEO of Clearspring Technologies, Marentis developed one of the most widely adopted venture-backed Web 2.0 technology platforms. Marentis is a frequent speaker at local digital marketing conferences and a contributor to SMB and technology-focused publications.

 

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Comments

Kent Ong
Posted on March 9th 2013 at 6:08PM

Hi Chris, do you have demo or image for this:

"With Google+ Business page, when people search locally for products and services your business offers, Google has reserved a section at the top right of the search results to include your business information, such as contact information, pictures, videos, and reviews straight from your Google+ Business page."

Morgan Murphy
Posted on March 12th 2013 at 6:01PM

To answer Kent's question. It seems as though the author is conflating Google+ Business with Knowledge Graph results. 

If you go to Google's page about the Knowledge Graph it will display some examples using individuals. An example of a business using it is Magnolia Bakery in NYC. These results are a combination of data from the Business' own website using rich snippets/structured data, maps, zagat, G+ reviews and photos, and of course the business' own G+ page.

While the article does provide an overview of how G+ is improving the landscape for businesses, it could address some areas with more specificty. Furthermore, the recency of the information is questionable as many of the features have been out for some time and the logo used has now been retired.

PROSALESGUY
Posted on March 10th 2013 at 5:12AM

This is a very useful article.  Obviously, Google+ would favor businesses using its services in its Google search engine.

jaowao
Posted on March 10th 2013 at 5:32AM

Goole is trying to catch up with Facebook

Nick Ker
Posted on March 10th 2013 at 12:50PM

Um, maybe I am missing something... Didn't Google+ Business pages roll out about a year and a half ago?!

Austintenantadvisors
Posted on March 11th 2013 at 1:38AM

I agree with Nick.  Is there something different than the google business pages that rolled out over a year ago?