How to Get Started with Google Plus for Local Seattle Businesses

If you pay any attention at all to the ‘hot topics’ in the world of search marketing and integration then you know that Google + is quickly becoming one of the most important things you can do for your online marketing efforts. With Google’s favoritism in full swing, Google + is more valuable to your search than Facebook and Twitter combined, and their +1 button has been proven by Search Engine Land and SEOMoz to affect search almost as much as your websites PR. With that in mind, any marketer who ignores their Google + is definitely missing out on a lot of social and search opportunities. While many businesses take this to mean international marketing, Google + can also be used for localized Seattle social media marketing and optimization. How? Keep reading to find out.

Set up a Page

While you can work with a Google + profile, you should really have a page for any sort of business. To do this, simply go to Google.com/+/business, sign in, and then click ‘Create a Google + Page’. From there you can easily add your business data, location, opening hours, and branding to Google Plus. Because Google + has gained more than 100 million users in the last year alone, exposure to this audience is definitely in your favor.

Google Places

Google Places listings show businesses on the map in response to keyword lookups for localized business and if you are in the top three, you’re highly likely to get a great deal of traffic from it. To do this, just add your local Seattle address into Google Places, and go from there. You can choose to use free features, or pay for options like Adwords integration and Google Offers to hand out free deals and coupons to people who find you in search.

Google Local

Google Local is very similar to Google Places but make sure that you have all of your information handy before you sign up. The process involves verifying that you own your business, verifying the location, and creating a page for your business. This allows you to show up in Google’s search results as a local business, which can do wonders for your search results. Because your reviews and recommendations also show up in these search results, quality business practices can turn into a lot of extra clicks and views.

Getting Reviews and Recommendation

Studies have proven that Google + Reviews and Recommendations can increase traffic and clicks by as much as 23%, and a high number of quality reviews can also increase your ranking on Google Local, meaning that you show up higher on the list. While this only works if you have Google Local, it is a great way to increase your ranking for search and help new customers with making a decision. Your ‘review this page’ box is located just under the page as well as next to the cover photo. Users have to be signed in with a confirmed Google + account in order to leave reviews, and any review they post will have their name on it. For the most part, you can gain reviews by simply asking your customers to leave a review on your page. Because the majority of them might not already have a Google +, it may also be beneficial to offer an incentive, as well as instructions on how to set up a Google + page, when you ask. Incentives, should of course, not be for offering a ‘good review’ but rather for an honest opinion.
A Google + Page can do wonders for your Seattle search engine optimization but it can take a while to get everything set up.

Remember that in addition to creating your page, you also have to keep it active with quality content and interaction. Otherwise, it’s just one more useless page that does nothing for your site.

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