An Introduction to Google+ Local

January 17, 2014

In this post we are going to be covering the key areas of ‘Google+ Local’. The main areas that we are going to be focusing on will be; what it is used for, why you should be using it and the many potential ways rankings can be improved.

What is Google+ Local all about?

Firstly, ‘Google+ Local’ is a portal that allows business owners to submit important company information. This can qualify them to come up on Google search results pages for specific localised keywords. E.g. ‘Florists Liverpool’, Restaurants London, Plumber Manchester’. In order to qualify for a Google+ Local, you need to have a Google+ account and all the necessary information available to register the business.

If you are a regular user of Google you will undoubtedly come across the typical Google+ Local ‘7 pack’ as displayed below. (Note: Google does not always provide 7 local listings)

Google+ Local SERP

Google Local Search Result Page. Click to Enlarge

The ‘7 pack’ is typically displayed when you type in a keyword followed by a location. E.g. ‘Restaurants London’.

What’s in it for you?

Setting up a local business profile is a 100% free service provided by Google. Additionally to this, the local listings are a great way to generate some quality traffic to your profile page and even your company website (if you have one).

Google+ Local allows you to display key information about your business, which other users may find useful, when looking for a specific product or service.

When setting up a profile, Google+ allows you to display the following:

  • Company Name
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Email Address
  • Opening Hours
  • Company Description
  • Business Photographs and Videos

As you can see, this creates a huge opportunity to provide potential customers with as much information about your company as possible.

One of the main benefits of  Google+ local, is that it provides a platform for customers to give feedback on your company through a reviewing system. This can provide key, impartial opinions from previous customers that can increase the chances of gaining new business. Having a good review rating with Google+ Local can be a key reinforcement to others, to show that your business provides a quality service.

Google+ Local Reviews

Google+ Local Reviews Example. Click to Enlarge.

How do you get listed higher?

Ultimately Google controls who and where profiles are displayed in the Local pack. However, it is widely understood that there are several factors that can contribute to getting a higher ranking. These factors include:

  • Location – Being located to what Google deems to be the centre of a given location is said to influence local pack rankings.
  • Positive Reviews – Having a good amount of positive feedback/reviews on Google+ Local, Yell, Thompson Local, Trip Advisor and several other review websites is said to be beneficial to your rankings.
  • NAP Consistency – Having a consistent name, address and telephone number across trusted directory websites is said to give Google positive ranking signals.
  • Profile Completeness – Many people believe that the amount of time you dedicate to ensuring all fields are filled out on your profile and updated regularly contributes to gaining a great local ranking.

These are to name just a few.  Other theories include; relevant link building to your profile, verifying your profile to your company website, adding related videos and much more.

It is impossible to tell which factors Google using in their algorithm however, it is clear to see that Google+ Local is an extremely powerful platform, free platform in which you can promote your business on.

With every local SEO campaign, we setup your business on Google+ Local. If you would like to discuss some of the ways we can generate you more local business, call us on 0151 426 9977.

This article was written by . Jon is the Technical Director at Pixus.

Jonathan

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