Why Businesses Need G+ Listings
Following the growth of early social media sites like Facebook, there was surge of new social media platforms. Never one to be left out of a new venture, Google launched Google+ in 2011, it’s own social media site similar to Facebook. Although not initially popular, G+ is now the second largest social networking site in the world. Unlike other social networking sites that exist in one website, Google has created many integrations of G+ into it’s map, search functions, and other products. For these reasons, it’s in a business owner’s best interest to have a Google+ profile and G+ Local Listing.
Start with a G+ Personal Profile
Think of G+ profiles as Facebook personal profiles – you need a personal profile before you can make a business page. G+ personal profiles allow you to review businesses on Google, add photos, and connect with friends and brands.
G+ Local Listings
Google has not made it easy to understand G+, especially when it comes to its business listings. Over the years, Google has migrated listings, merged platforms, and made countless changes to how businesses are represented on search results. At the moment, Google’s business listings program is named G+ Local listings.
It is important for business owners to have a G+ Local page to increase exposure on Google. Think of G+ Local listings like a business page on Facebook. Businesses can provide their own posts, images, and information. However, Google has taken the function of G+ Local pages further with a few elements that are unique to Google.
Useful Elements of a G+ Local page:
- Verified accounts – Like many other social networking platforms, G+ allows its business pages to be verified, which allows a business to maintain its digital reputation. A verified account will have a checkmarked badge next to the business name on the top of the G+ Local page. See the image below.
- Integration of Business Photos – In its Business Photos program, Google gives businesses the option of hiring a photographer to document a 360 degree tour of their offices. The tour is then added to the G+ Local listing, search, and map results on Google. See image below for an example of business photos in a Google map result.
- Reviews – G+ Local listings hold business reviews that are displayed in search and map results (see above image), and on the G+ page of the business itself (see image below). In a push to acquire more G+ users, Google only allows reviews from people with a G+ account.
G+ Local is a Necessity
In many ways, G+ Local listings are more valuable than other social networks. At this time, Facebook and Twitter don’t have options for business reviews, or interior tours. As seen in the image above, Google fills search results with G+ links for reviews and the G+ local listing. It encourages users to review the business and follow them on G+. Because Google is so popular as a search engine, potential customers have more contact with information on the G+ Local listing at the top of search results than with any other social network. Businesses should harness this visibility and control their brand by verifying their G+ Local listing, adding relevant content and photos, and encouraging reviews. For questions about G+ Local listings, feel free to contact us today.