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Google Plus Local: What Your Business Should Know – and Do!

Google Plus Local: What Your Business Should Know – and Do!

Check out this blog by Jenn Mayer as she tells why you as a dealership should be using Google+ and how to use it!

Previously, Google Places was always on the “SEO checklist” for dealerships and other businesses that were interested in climbing to the top of the search results page. Creating a Google Places page for your business was fairly simple and required little attention afterwards from the business owner.

All that has changed. Google recently announced its new platform for businesses, called Google+ Local. Those businesses with Google Places pages will automatically be merged to the new platform, but the time-frame for this to happen is not certain. Now, your Google presence is not just a vertical listing, but also a social media page. Google+ Local is a necessity for SEO value, but it also enhances your social media presence. However, with this new development, businesses looking to stay ahead of the competition can no longer “set it and forget it” as they could before.

Google+ Local Pages will give businesses a method to communicate with users in much the same way businesses can use Twitter and Facebook, and therefore needs to be maintained in order to keep pace with the competition. The new layout is part of Google’s mission to expand it’s own social platform, Google+. Google+ users will be able to see local businesses on their sidebar, and you must have a Google + account to review a local business. Google hopes that this will prompt people who have previously avoided Google+ to create an account and become more active users.

Google+ Local Pages will be much more visible than its predecessor. Google+ Local Pages will get precedent when a user makes a Google search for a place. So, if you have a Google+ Local Page, you will automatically get an advantage over the competition. In addition to being integrated into search, Google+ Local pages will also appear in Google Maps, the mobile version of Google and as a new tab in the Google+ sidebar. In essence, it’s crucial to build and grow your page as quickly as possible in order to appear at the top of the search results and above your competition.

A new and integral feature of Google+ Local pages is the scoring system. Since Google bought Zagat last year, they have integrated their famous reviews and scoring system into all Google+ Local pages. Because Google+ users can now leave reviews that are seen on your page and affect your score, it is essential that you are constantly monitoring your page and its content.

Another intriguing thing about Google+ Local is that Google has actually scarified a large part of its ad revenue in order to promote these pages. Now, there is only one paid aid showing up on these local searches. Now, the top organic, or unpaid, listings are even more valuable – and completely free!

Your Google+ Local page is now a vital part of both your social media and SEO efforts, and it is indispensable in placing you on the first page of the Google search results. Google uses an extremely complicated algorithm that takes hundreds of factors into account. While you can’t control all these factors, the number one driver of ranking results is a strong presence on Facebook and other social media accounts. Effectively, search is now social. If you want to be successful in search, you have to be successful in social media.

Does this new platform seem like a lot of work? Let us manage your social media presence. Contact us today!

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Tags: ad, advertising, agency, automotive, car, company, dealership, marketing

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Comment by Aaron Wirtz on July 15, 2012 at 8:45pm

@Nicole--Yes indeed! It's a really awesome feature. Here's our showroom: 

https://www.google.com/maps?layer=c&z=17&sll=37.679908,-97....

Comment by Nicole Heyart on July 2, 2012 at 6:38am

Additionally, Google has also rolled out Google Business Photos which embed 360 spin tours of a business interior right on their G+ Local page.  It is the same technology as Street View but for interiors.  You need a Google Trusted Photographer to do this.  They can be found here, http://maps.google.com/help/maps/businessphotos/get-started.html

Here are some examples of dealers who have utilized this service.  This is there G+ Page so you can see how it looks.  LaFontaine Honda, https://plus.google.com/104762543428830184329/about?gl=us&hl=en   Tom Holzer Ford, https://plus.google.com/109304065516551976171/about?gl=us&hl=en

Comment by Kathleen Perley on June 29, 2012 at 7:14am

Google+ Local is game changer for the automotive industry and integrates social sharing and reviews.  As mentioned above it is more important than ever for your dealership to establish a presence on both Google+ and Google+ Local.  As with any new roll-out there have been some kinks we noticed in the transition and developed a Dealership Conversion Checklist that you can download on our blog http://info.localsearchgroup.com/blog.

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