When using online methods to be found locally, it’s important to know about all the various methods that can ensure that you do get found. In the old days, the Yellow Pages was the common way to find a local business. Today, it’s Google. Most Google searches result in offline purchases, so it is a very powerful local marketing method that your business can take advantage of.
What’s really awesome is that local search results are free – all you have to do is take a little time to ensure that you show up in a local search. First, claim your Google Places business listing which is now called Google+ Local Page. Fill out all the information that you can about your business. You’ll be sent a postcard confirmation in the mail, or verify by phone or SMS. Be sure to confirm and verify so that your page will be listed.
Everyone sees a Local tab when they get on Google+. This allows them to see recommended businesses and products in their local area and to create testimonials that will be seen by anyone they are connected to. All of these are connected to other types of social media as well, such as posts, videos, photos, and reviews. Via your Dashboard you can update all your information, choose the right category for your business, mark the map, enhance your business description, add in photos with captions and more.
You’ll want to both leave reviews and ask for reviews for your business. Via your Google+ Local Pages you’ll be able to post content, attract followers, send messages to customers, and share information with your network. What’s more, if you use good search terms in your descriptions, your Google+ pages will be indexed and show up in results. Ensure that you enhance your Google+ listing with pictures and keyword terms.
Promote your Google+ Local Page to your social network. Interact with others on Google+ Local for best results. Ensure that your Google+ Local Page is merged with your Google+ Business Page instead of keeping them separate. There is no point in having them separate now that they’re doing away with Google Places. Always ask other users to share your content, and participate in sharing their content too.
Ensure that you have your business name, address, phone number, keyword-rich description, categories, hours of operation, payment options, photos, videos and anything else you can think of on your Google+ Local Listing. Always review your listings and updates so that you know exactly how they look in the listing on Google via someone’s search. Use proper punctuation so that your listing looks really good. Make use of your URLs, testimonials, and every bit of the listing that you can to ensure the highest search results.
In addition to using Google+ Local Pages, add your data to Yelp!, City Search, Local.com, Zagat, Merchant Circle and others. Offer incentives for customers to put reviews about you on Google and other places to help move you up in the results.