Local directories are web properties that allow businesses to list the details of their business at no cost. These directories can be vitally important for any local businesses. These listings can show up in the online search results and on apps on mobile phones like CitySearch, Google Maps, Yelp, and many more.
The reason this is critical for any local business is that according to a comScore-Localeze survey, 50% of Local Searches on mobile devices are done using these Directory Apps. It’s like every person with a smart phone is walking around with access to 15 different phone books at their disposal at any second, right in the palm of their hand!
So which one is it most important to be listed in?…
The simple answer is all of them!
You may have heard of Google+ Local because it is the largest local directory on the Internet. It actually gives information for local business as a listing in Google. This allows clients a way to actually show up on the first page of Google whenever someone searches for their industry and city. If you put in “Atlanta Dentist,” as I mentioned earlier, it will show up with dentists in Atlanta that are on a map shown on Google.
Simply put: Google+ Local is the way for any local business to put information online and have it show up on the first page. As a matter of fact, there are businesses who don’t even have a website who have first page Google listings because they have put the correct information on their Google+ page.
Many business owners are not as familiar with Google+ as they are with other social media websites. However, with approximately 343 million active users, the site is gaining in popularity and should be considered as part of your marketing plan.
One of the most popular aspects of Google+ is that it allows users to create circles. These circles can include friends, businesses, work colleagues, and customers. By creating different circles for each of these groups, you can then share specific information with a specific circle.
This technique allows you to create customer and business related content that you can then share in the respective circle. This is a great way for businesses to tailor their marketing plan to reach their target market using Google+.
Another benefit that Google+ has to offer is that it allows you to share coupons, announce new products, host contests, share blog posts, and publicize current promotions. This is a great way for businesses to share information that is relevant to their existing clients and helpful in attracting new ones. Businesses also have the opportunity to use their Google+ page as a way to humanize their business. This can be done by sharing videos or stories about your employees and what they do each day.
In addition to the benefits we have already mentioned, another important benefit to using Google+ is that it can have a positive effect on your online visibility. When people interact with your Google+ page or +1 your content, it is demonstrating to Google that people are interested in your business. When Google notices this, they will begin to reward your activity on Google+ with a higher search engine ranking. This means that when people search for a product or service that you offer, you will become easier to find and be placed closer to the top of the search results provided.
Another way that being an active member on Google+ can help your business is that when your posts are properly optimized, Google will take notice. To ensure that your posts are properly optimized, you should include keywords and topics that relate to your specific business niche. When optimizing your content, it is important that you include these terms in your content naturally. If you include too many keywords, or they do not flow organically they may have the opposite effect. Keep your content natural and organic and you will get the attention of Google.
Google+ is a valuable marketing tool for any business. If you are already using social media as part of your marketing plan you should definitely consider what Google+ has to offer. It is a great way to increase awareness about your business and attract new clients.
Dr. Marjukka Miinala, DBA
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