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Archive for the ‘google places’ Category

Google Moves Local Businesses to Google Plus With Brute Force

In a move that many predicted from the very beginning, Google has finally scrapped the Google Places offering and rolled all Places profiles into what they are calling Google+ Local.

Google+ Local offering

Now, you could argue, and some will, that forcing local business owners on to Google+ is yet another sign that Google is putting way too much emphasis on their desire to become relevant in social media, but the fact is, it’s still very much Google’s world that we playing in.

The most frustrating aspect of this in my opinion is that it took so long. I’m guessing a lot of local business owners jumped in and built brand pages, so now what?

If you’ve created a Google Place page, as I’ve been advising as part of any local search plan, then you may already be aware that Google has moved your page onto Google+.

If you’ve got a Google+ account you can find your page through either local search or through the Local button that now appears on the left sidebar when logged into Google+.

If you don’t have a Google+ account, well, I guess you’ll get one now if you still want to play with Google.

Google has already flipped the switch and is showing these new Google+ Local pages when you conduct local searches in Google and on Google Maps. While you can still gain access to and edit your Places profile pages through the Places login, my guess is that will give way to Google+ profile editing at some point.

Here are some things to note:

Clean up your profile.

Now is the time to clean up your profile

When Google moved the pages to Google+ it made a mess. A bit like moving anything does, I suppose. Go jump in and choose and edit your profile image and banner image. Right now Google is either picking from photos you uploaded or simply using a map.

You might want to add some things to your profile as some of the customization you may have done previously could be lost. Add links to your page.

Check out the reviews

Google purchased the restaurant rating service Zagat a while back and it appears they intend to inject the Zagat ratings system into the entire review process.

Visitors now have the opportunity to rate your business using a point scale. Not sure how this will translate over into the services of a plumber or insurance agency, but it’s certainly worth noting.

Reviews that came over from your previous page are very messy now. You, as the page owners, have a period of time to clean this up. When you first sign into Google+ and find your page you’ll be able to tell Google+ if you want all your photos and reviews from your Places page to be moved and be attributed to you or remain private.

So, now any reviews that you had previously will simply show up as anonymous Google user. Seems like if you really didn’t have much going in the way of reviews, this is a bit of a do over.

It will be interesting to see how much more emphasis Google puts on reviews.

Here’s the bottom line in my view. No mater how you feel about this rather forceful move, Google looks poised to make it a significant part of the Local Search landscape and you can’t ignore that. My guess is there will be plenty of tinkering, adding and tweaking in the weeks and months to come. You can bet advertising and offers will move into this somehow.

Now is the time to get in there and claim, prune, decorate and otherwise take control of your Google+ Local offering. As always Team Internet Marketing is ahead of the pack and can update and manage all your Google+ Local listing. Please call 404-920-8041 or contact us here to get a free consultation about your marketing needs.

Google

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Why Yelp Helps Your Business

What you don’t know about local search could be killing your business

Local Business Listings and local directories feed the local search engines their information, With Google Maps, Local Business Listings, Yahoo Local and Bing – ALL businesses are given a centralized place to present information about their company to the public. THIS is where local search engine takes their LOCAL search results from. The biggest problem is, most business owners don’t know how to make these listings as effective as possible. Leaving out even one important detail could mean your local prospect could end up choosing a competitor with a better optimized listing.

It seems like there are as many online review sites as there are pores on your face, and Yelp has been the king of them for some time.

Why is that? The developers must have been extremely insightful, as they have recognized the delight with which people share information online and have capitalized on the notion of letting people connect this to their own identity.  Yelp users are able to do much more with the site than rant about the terrible service they received at Big Nancy’s House of Waffles.

The social aspect of Yelp allows those who have signed up for it to connect to one another on a personal level through the forums. People get to know their neighbors in a sense and learn to trust their judgment.  This dual-birded slingshot gives users what they want while strengthening the primary structure of the website.

Graphic courtesy of Statista.com.

Here are 5 reasons why Yelp should be a business best friend:

1. Increases the opportunity to be found. Exposure is everything in the  business.

2. Promotes conversation. Reviews are a fantastic source of information that are given freely and without prejudice and the beauty of it all is that many people love to write them. Technology allows people to share their experiences with their network and catalog their favorite products or services.

3. Creates fans. Checked in before? – if you haven’t, odds are someone you know has. People love sharing great experiences – Yelp provides the platform to do so.

4. Increases accountability. It’s one thing to promise a great service or product in an ad but another to have a customer say it is great in a review. Business become accountable when they are opened up for criticism.

However, this can lead to other problems for the business owner. What happens if someone leaves a negative review?

This is where Team Internet Marketing can help you wade thru all the misleading information about sites like Yelp and Google Places. To get more information on local search or reputation management just give us a call at  (404) 920-8041 for a free consultation to see if Team Internet Marketing can help your see what works best in your market.

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