Google+ Local: Why Should You Care?
Since the launch of Google+ in June 2011, many people have been trying to figure out if it's right for them. After all, it's not a traditional social network (ala Facebook) but does seem to have features that could be helpful.
One feature that small business owners should be aware of is Google+ Local
. G+ Local is the successor of Google Places (something I discuss in more detail on LocalMarketingWatch.com
) and is intended to make it easier for people to find local businesses in their area. What's absolutely amazing about G+ Local is how integrated the whole thing is - particularly on your smart phone.
When you search for a business, the Google result page will display a map including links to Google+ Local businesses. When you click on the pins on the map, the G+ Local page will display. This page includes really helpful info like: business hours, address, a live link to call, a G+ button, a link to get directions to the business via Google Maps - loads and loads of integrated tools to get you to connect with the business.
From a potential customer perspective, Google has really made it easy to locate and contact a business - all from a deceptively simple design capable of surviving the fat-fingered.
If you're a small business, you need to take every advantage you can in order to market yourself effectively. G+ Local is one of the simplest and most cost-effective (can you say free
?) ways to be where your customers can find you.