Google Plus Local Getting Featured in Google Results
97% of consumers search online for local businesses. Claiming and optimizing your Google Plus Local Business Page will put you on the map with Google, increasing your exposure and providing you with the tools to improve your website and attract more customers.
Why is Local Search Important?
Online searchers do not believe paid results or even general search results, are as relevant or trustworthy as local search results.Source: Business Wire, August 2012
65% of smartphone users report that they regularly search for local businesses using their phone. They need information on the go and find it to be fast and easy to use. Searchers report that within a day of searching more than half have made a purchase based on the search or visited or contacted a business they located through local search.
The biggest shift in behavior is that consumers are looking for categories during local online searches instead of specifically-named businesses.Source: Adology, August 2012
More and more, consumers are search for categories rather than business names in their local searches. So instead of searching for “Bob’s Transmission and Auto” they are searching for “Transmission Repair Mississauga”. What does this mean for your business? You need to claim and optimize your Google Plus Local listing so that your business is listed under relevant categories. You want your Transmission business listed under “Transmission Repair” and not “Driveshaft”. Google may have already created a listing for your company, but there is no guarantee that your listing has been placed in the right categories.
Unclaimed Pages are Open to Abuse
Listings in Google Plus Local that haven’t been claimed can be edited by anyone. You. Your neighbour. A disgruntled employee. A competitor. Anyone. And there are no checks in place to prevent your business from becoming misrepresented. A recent search for a large local metropolitan mall showed that it was closed at 5 p.m. on a Monday afternoon. The mall wasn’t closed, it was open until 9 p.m., but a tenant in the mall edited a listing improperly and suddenly – you are closed 4 hours early, as far as the internet is concerned.
Your listing can’t be impacted or changed without your knowledge.
…but, I’m in the Yellow Pages…
92% of consumers regularly use the internet to search for local businesses, while only 7% of regularly use the yellow pages, with a further 23% occasionally using the yellow pages for search. Consumers who regularly use the yellow pages tend to be 55+ and live in rural settings.
If your client base is predominantly older and lives outside of the city, then it makes sense to pay for yellow pages listings. On the other hand, if your customers are young city dwellers your efforts need to be focused on online directories like Google Plus Local.