Google Plus and the Power of Google Local for Small Businesses
With so many new forms of social media emerging all the time, it can be hard for businesses to keep up. It can be especially hard for small businesses that have smaller budgets and less time to devote to these types of things. For these businesses, who may only have the resources to focus on one social media platform, the answer might be Google Plus. While Google Plus is still in its early stages of development when compared to Facebook or Twitter, it already presents some great marketing opportunities for small businesses.
Perhaps the greatest opportunities for small business marketing on Google Plus lie within Google+ Local. This internal search platform, which exists within Google Plus, is designed for local businesses. Google+ Local presents a search platform where small businesses without the budgets or time for proper SEO can rank highly and effectively.
This is because the rankings in Google+ Local are calculated differently than a typical Google SERP (search engine results page). These rankings are based off number of Google+ Local reviews and the quality of those reviews (reviews are based off a 30-point scoring system, and the average of all reviews is taken to help determine ranking). This gives smaller businesses the opportunity to rank higher by providing great service and interacting with customers on Google Plus; and ranking well in Google+ Local certainly has its benefits.
Due to the fact that Google+ Local is part of Google, ranking high in a Google+ Local SERP has extra value as a Google Map will show up next to the results with the locations of the top results. This makes it very easy for potential customers to find a business and as with standard Google SERPs, they are much more likely to choose between the higher ranking results.
Google Plus Business Pages and Customer Engagement
Another important aspect of Google Plus that small businesses need to keep in mind is the condition of their corresponding Google Plus Business Page.
It is important that they maintain this page if for no other reason than the fact that the links in Google+ Local mentioned above direct users to these pages. After all, it would be inexcusable to lose a potential customer due to a poorly constructed business page. These pages are easy to maintain and can provide prospective customers with valuable contact information such as phone numbers, email, website, etc. It is also to include a large Google map as the cover photo for this page, making it even easier for customers to find a local business.
These pages also present some opportunities for small businesses to engage and interact with their customers. Local business can post deals or promotions here or share important information related to their industry. While these same ideas can be applied to Facebook or Twitter, Google Plus offers a unique opportunity. It is unique because by selecting which circles a company wants to share certain content with, they can convey segmented and targeted messages to a specific audience. This presents a situation where businesses can deliver some very powerful marketing.
Google+ Local offers an advantageous situation for small businesses where they have the chance to rank highly without spending money on SEO. Also, Google Plus as a social media platform presents some interesting ways for businesses to engage with customers and send targeted messages tailored for a particular audience. As small businesses struggle to find the resources necessary to effectively market on all the different social media platforms available, Google Plus is one that small businesses must not overlook.
Paul Richardson is a n experienced content marketing professional who specializes in small business marketing and local seo. When he’s not writing about small business marketing he tries to attend as many different concert venues as he can.