In this computer-centric era, digital marketing is a necessity for all businesses. Although individual brand strategies vary, a presence is suggested on the top social sites: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube. In particular, Google+ is predicted to be a vital social channel in 2013.
Although incorporating all SEO tactics in your strategy is recommended, local SEO is especially important for businesses looking to translate online success into offline sales. Google+ Local (previously Google Places) is the integration of Google Search, Google+ Social and Google Maps.
How to Optimize Google+ for Local SEO
“97% of consumers search for local businesses online.” – Google
Your Google+ Local profile should be 100% completed to receive maximum SEO benefits – meaning address, business category and descriptions, as well as keywords and linking. Because of the local, keyword-specific focus, you should create separate profiles for each of your business locations.
Since Google gives priority to its own pages first, Google+ Local is indexed thoroughly for accurate results. Buzz and engagement surrounding your business is also taken into account – mainly in terms of features such as reviews.
In partnership with Zagat, Google+ Local allows users to search and browse businesses according to top reviews, offers, cuisine and specials such as “happy hour.” Each business is given a score – from 1 to 30 – displayed along with user opinions, photos and updates.
Reviews are incredibly important when it comes to appealing to individuals along with search engines. 72% of consumers surveyed said that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Therefore, the more positive reviews, the better in increasing company credibility. User-uploaded information about your business, such as photos, favorite specials and décor are encouraged to further create a digital brand experience for potential customers.
By presenting those alternative features, Google+ Local is optimized to perfectly complement the social efforts of your business. Along with viewing others photos and opinion, it allows users to +1 and share your page while browsing reviews and location information. The seamless integration of all Google features gives even more reason to establish a presence as soon as possible.