Google Plus Local and Social Media Marketing for Local Businesses
Local based businesses are missing the boat if they are not utilizing online advertising. A recent study from BIA Kelsey revealed that 97% of consumers research a purchase on the internet before making a decision. Thinking that online marketing is not necessary for a business, even if they do not have an online presence, is a mistake; businesses need to be where their customers are looking for them.
Google is still the dominant force in online search and therefore, Google Plus Local is a must for local based businesses. In addition to Google Plus, local businesses can also benefit from other social media sites even if they do not sell online, or even have a website.
Other important statistics from the study:
- 90 percent use search engines
- 48 percent use Internet Yellow Pages
- 24 percent use vertical sites
- 42 percent use comparison shopping sites
- 50% of all mobile searches are local in nature
Set Up or Claim Your Business’ Google Places Listing
Google recently updated their local listings to Google Plus Local and optimizing a Google Plus Local page for gives business an unfair advantage against competition that is not set up on Google Plus Local. The Google Plus Local listing is something that the business can actually edit, add pictures and a description to, unlike regular listings that Google pulls from a website or maps. This can be done by claiming and verifying your Google Plus listing.
Here are 5 best practices to use when claiming and setting up your Google Pages Listing or Google Plus Listing:
- Integrate the look, feel, and personality with logos, slogans and pictures.
- Tell potential visitors about your business. Include your products and services and any special offers.
- Fill in all the available spaces with information about your business, even the fields that are not required. This will help you come up in searches for keywords relating to your business.
- Add your telephone number with the local area code so that nearby shoppers will easily recognize that you are located in the area.
- Encourage reviews; ask customers to rate and talk about their experience. The review option also leaves some opportunity for networking because you can leave reviews for other businesses while logged in as your business name. If you leave reviews for the businesses you interact with, they are likely to leave reviews for you as well.
Get Social to Gain Exposure
In addition to Google Plus Local, businesses should also gather from the data in this study that social media is a great avenue for them to get more exposure for their business. Businesses do not have to sell online in order to benefit from a presence online and social media is one of the best ways for local businesses to get the word out there when so many people are searching online before making purchases at local businesses.
Setting up social media channels such as a Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube channel, and more depending on the type of business will go a long way towards not only getting the word about a local business out there, but also gives the opportunity for the community to interact with your business more, bring in positive reviews, and keeps your business in the minds of the potential consumers.
Conclusion and Takeaways
- The key takeaway is that local based businesses need to have an online presence that is optimized for potential customers searching for local products and services online.
- Being online gets a business connected with the local community through social media and reviews.
- Hiring a local online marketing professional would result in a great return on investment. Of course, local business owners can read up on how to maintain social media sites and Google Plus listings with articles like this one online.
- Keep in mind that even though signing up for social media sites is free, that the time needed to be invested in properly setting them up for a business is the cost involved.
Post Tags: google, google plus local, local business marketing, online advertising, social media marketing