A few weeks ago Google introduced the new Google places, an integration of places and Google+ called Google+ Local. Some complain that this is another move by Google pushing their social media platform on people, and like it or not businesses are now forced to be on Google+ to manage their local pages. What kind of benefit is there to the move of Places for social media marketing and SEO?
Well apparently there is actually a pretty good benefit other than just Google getting more people onto their social network. Google originally tried to make the Google Places pages more social than they had the capacity to be. They even boosted interaction by allowing businesses to post deals and coupons. Unfortunately social interaction never really happened and Places pages became more like nuggets of information than hubs of interaction.
Local pages have taken what places pages lost and brought it to a whole new level. They work kind of like Facebook business pages but more robust because of Google Maps integration, Zagat reviews, and of course Google+. The other huge benefit is that Local pages will be indexed by search engines, where Places pages were not. This once again means that if you own a business you must be on Google+ there are no excuses.
Local pages encourage interruption between users and businesses so make sure you take advantage of that to make the most of your Local page. Provide all of the important business information but also engage with users by responding to reviews, starting hangouts, sharing coupons, etc. By doing all of this, especially keeping your page fresh and having regular interactions with customers you can increase the ranking of your Local page.
Need help with your Google+ Local page? Not sure where to start or how to make the most of it for your company? Contact Wikimotive for a free evaluation and advice on how you can make the most of Google+ Local.