In addition to your website being ranked in the search engines, another powerful tool is Google+ Local, previously Google Maps. Google has now transitioned to this new service when displaying the “maps” results on Google searches and mobile phone searches. It is also a more social version of the previous Google Maps – for you and your customers.
With the new ‘Local’ tab, which is on the left-hand sidebar of Google+, people search for a specific business name or can browse through the various listings which include categories like restaurants, department stores, bars, dentists and so on.
A Google Local page will show information about your business including contact information, location, reviews, videos, special offers and photos.
What About Google Places?
What’s great about Google Local pages is they are similar to company Facebook pages. They’re also indexed by search engines. Google Places were not indexed by search engines. If you had a Google Places page, you’ll find that it’s been replaced with a Google+ Local page. Your information has been switched over to the new format.
Google+ Local listings have many advantages over other types of business profile pages, and the listings can be optimized to show up in more Google search results, giving you even greater exposure and far more leads.
The combination of search, mobile and Google+ along with user reviews makes Google+ Local the greatest opportunity for businesses to do social media marketing.
If you don’t have an optimized Google+ business page yet, now is the time to get started.