If your company uses Google+, you may have noticed a few changes on your Places for Business interface. The new interface is part of an effort to integrate Places with Google+ pages. Now, businesses that provide their service at the customer’s location, rather than at the company’s headquarters, are able to create a Google+ page for their business. If your company is active on Google+, it can have a tremendous impact on your local internet marketing efforts.
How Google+ Can Help Your Business
It’s critical for your business to get involved with Google. Recently, it surpassed Twitter to become the second largest social network while Facebook remains the largest. As you probably know, Google is the most powerful and popular search engine, and for that reason it’s important for businesses to make sure that their company is highly ranked on Google. With Google+, your company can publish original content and promote it with +1s, which are similar to Facebook Likes. When your content gets +1s, it improves your Google page rank, which brings in more customers. To learn more about improving your rank in Google, see our Ultimate Google guide. It will walk you through how to use Google’s 6 resources to catapult you to the top of search results.
Similar to other social networks like Facebook, Google+ enables business users to create their own pages and reach out to customers and prospects. However, Google+ offers several additional features that help you interact with your followers. Hangouts enable you to communicate with your customers through video chats.
How the Changes will Affect Your Business
The transition to the new interface will be automatic and won’t require any extra work on your part. However, like most rollouts, the new interface will be introduced gradually, so it may be some time before you see the new Places for Business layout. If your business does not have a Google+ profile, you can use your basic Google ID to update your business listing, but if you want to add features such as videos and a social news feed, you’ll be required to start a Google+ Local page rather than the standard Places for Business listing. You won’t be forced to upgrade to a Google+ page, but it’s in your company’s best interest to do so, as Google drives its customers to that format.
Although other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have not lost traction, Google+ is also taking off. As a social media marketer, you can’t pass up any opportunity to connect with your customers and to improve your Google search engine results.