There are now several doorways for your customers to reach and discover your local business. What used to be called Google Places is now over, and as of May 30th more than 80 million local business' places pages have been converted into Google Plus pages.
Here’s an overview of (some) of the major changes:
- Google+ Local pages replace old “Google Places” pages
- The appearance of a “Local” tab within Google+
- The integration and free availability of Zagat reviews…which replace the old “stars” rating system (Yikes!):
- The integration of Google+ Local pages across Google properties (search, Maps, mobile)
- New “Circles filter” that allows you to see reviews & recommendations from friends/family/colleagues
With the new local tab within the Google Plus platform, searching for local businesses just got a lot more social and interactive. Google can automatically detect your location, and will feed you suggestions about cool places around your area.
When you specify a service in that location it will pull up all of the local businesses that are listed in that area - and the ones that were optimized the best for Google places will be the first ones to show up.
This makes these three factors of local optimization extremely important:
- Strong places information with relevant information and alluring photos
- High reviews and as many as possible
- Getting your site listed in the top citations is an absolute must
There are many different platforms that "Googler's" Can find your local Google plus page on:
- The regular search
- The maps search
- The mobile and tablet search & Apps
- The new local tab in the Google Plus platform