If you own a local brick and mortar business or are a local business consultant you need to pay attention to the new tools that are rolling out in Google+ local marketing, mobile search, and how Google Plus Places pages are turning into a new social model right under your nose!
Yesterday I (+Shira Gal) had the pleasure of being part of an esteemed expert panel discussing the Local Marketing Landscape 2013 for +Chris Lang‘s Google+ for Business Hangout On Air Show along with +Lynette Young and +Courtney Engle Robertson . Unfortunately my audio wasn’t working so my actual voice was not heard during the interview.
Read on to get a recap of our best advice for local businesses and local business consultants below!
Local Business Promotion on Google+
Lynette Young, author of Google+ for small businesses on Amazon, speaker, corporate consultant and local business consultant, kicked off the show with a super positive message for small businesses:
Google + is the great equalizer – small business and local businesses can get on Google+ and play with the big box stores. Small businesses are nimble and can adapt easily to the changing markets whereas large corporations are slower moving. That makes Google+ the perfect platform for small businesses to get on the map and fast!
Lynette also covered the 3 part Magic formula for local business promotion on Google+:
- Reach - by publishing your content publicly on Google+ you are going to gain reach that you never could before. This is as opposed to the very limited reach you have on Facebook. If 1000 people follow you on Google+ they can see your content 100% of the time. This makes growing your following more important than ever (see my post on how I got over 1000 Google+ followers in less than 60 days) The more people you have following you or your business page – the greater your reach!
- Relevancy - the more that you talk about things that are in your niche, the more keywords you use in Google+, the narrower the scope will be. If you are a local restaurant and all you talk about are dog parks you will be missing out on relevancy. You should talk about the topics relevant to your business as well as the location your business is in.
- Repetition - the more you post on Google+, the more you get known and get shared. You can’t come over to Google+ and post once a month or do a dump and run. If you follow a daily or wekly regime you will quickly make significant inroads on Google+. In fact, putting constant out on a regular basis on G+ works better than publishing on blogs! If you keep at it and keep churning away – you will be successful! By being connected to important people on Google+ that’s going to get you even more power and exposure.
Mobile Local SEO for ios and Android
Courtney Engle Robertson gave a really cool presentation on how Apple local search gets local business data from Yelp and Google Now is pulling in local data from Foursquare. If you own a local business go to yelp and claim your business listing. Link it to your Facebook business page and your website.
Apple is also beginning to link to Foursquare which is a little less Data Rich. When you check into locations on Foursquare it will show up on your profile map on Facebook
If you are a local business or a local business consultant, make sure to claim Yelp and Foursquare listings and yelp make sure they are present on your Google+ page, FB page and website
If you want to know which to focus on you can see which devices people use to access your site in Google Analytics!
This will give you a good indication of whether you should be more active on yelp or Foursquare, though I recommend integrating both into your weekly marketing activities.
Google+ Local Places Pages and Local Search
Had my audio been working you would have heard my super duper presentation on Google+ local business pages and the new integration in Google Search. Since that didn’t happen I will provide the highlights here:
- If you are a brick and mortar business and have a Google Account get on Google+! Set up a Local Business Page for your business.
- Be aware – Google associates data on your business via your business telephone number so make sure to use the right one and be consistent with the telephone number you use on all social media platforms including your own website! Google will call your business number to verify it is really a business – you must answer with your business name. A simple “hello” won’t do! If you can’t make sure you are answering correctly ask for a snail mail confirmation…
- Add your phone number and address in all of your Google profile / pages and other online profiles.
- Get people to review your business on Google, Yelp and Foursquare to get your visibility jump-started.
- Make sure to set up Google authorship for your website as well as your Google+ local business page!
If this seems too complicated, get an expert (like me) to set it up for you!
When searching for content to comment on, use the Google local search to find relevant content for your area:
Most important is be consistent. Put out content relevant to your local business type as well as location at least a couple of times every week!
As you can see Google+ has made huge social strides in their local search. If you are marketing local businesses in 2013 walk the Gplus Walk and let others talk!