Google Plus Pages are becoming more and more important to local businesses who are working to market to a local audience of potential customers. Many businesses do not give their Google Plus Page enough attention. The list below is intended as a list of tips to help a local firm use a Google Plus Page to more effectively market to a local audience. Google has recently put in some new standards for Google Plus Pages. These tips will help you to convert more visitors to customers, have a positive effect on local rankings, and reach out more effectively to existing customers who use the Google Plus platform. You may wish to consult the Google My Business Page for updated standards for your Google Plus Page.
Add “descriptor” to your business name.
Find a descriptor for your local business that is 1-3 words long. It should help searchers make a choice without needing to click through to your Google page or site. If your name is “Zenergy Works,” including a descriptor that says “Online Marketing Agency” would help to explain to a potential customer what your business focus is.
Add a Google Business View photo shoot.
As a Google Business View Photography Strategic Partner, Zenergy Works has shot, moderated, and posted hundreds of Google Business View Tours. Google has made this feature a condition of having a fully optimized Google Plus Page for a business. You can get even more exposure for your photo shoot if you embed it on your site. See some examples of Google Business View Tours here.
Create an upscale cover photo.
An original (not stock) photo or piece of artwork for your cover photo is important to create a truly unique Google Plus Page.
Include a bilingual description.
If you have multilingual employees, then a bilingual description is a must. This feature will broaden your appeal and help you focus on different target markets.
Include a unique coupon or offer.
If you create a separate page for your unique coupons and offers on your Google Plus Page, then you will not only be able to track the return on that page, but also incentivize potential customers to come to your page.
Get Google+ Reviews.
You cannot incentivize customers to do this, but you can ask them to help you out, or even create a kiosk in the sales area or waiting room to encourage them to review your local business. Those golden stars next to your listing in the search results are cool! You also may wish to embed (copy and paste is a violation of Google’s Guidelines) your reviews on your site to help those visiting your site to make a buying decision.
Always reply to your reviews.
Replying to each review, whether it’s good, bad, or lukewarm, is an important part of the review process. A business that is grateful for the good reviews and appropriately concerned about and willing to address possible issues is an important part of the puzzle.
Add your customers and other people you know to your circles.
Make friends on Google Plus. Some will add you back and want to communicate with you. They’ll all be noticeable on your page (under the “posts” tab), which will at least give you the appearance of being more popular.
Do at least a couple of posts every week.
Write about what is relevant to your business, and new products, employees, or general news that relates to your business or industry. Include photos in your posts as often as possible to make the posts more appealing. Encourage users to leave comments on your posts by asking questions of the users who read your posts. You will be surprised how many will respond.
Upload a profile photo.
Most businesses are best represented by a photo of a person or of a small group of people that work at your company. It can be a little goofy, especially for those that routinely interact with the public.
Upload photos and videos.
The most effective videos and photos tell a story about your local business. Use them to show the problem that you can help solve, plus your solution, and the people who provide the solutions. Don’t be shy about showing certifications or awards.
If you do not have any videos to add, please remove the You Tube or video tab from your page.
Bottom Line: Google is making sure that Google Plus Pages are relevant in search results, and Google Plus remains the basis for a lot of search engine information, not to mention it’s the fastest growing social media platform out there. Most of all, have fun with this, and Google will reward you for having original and valuable content on your Google Plus Page.