Local Search Marketing is a tricky ratio of signal to noise. Small businesses tend to have relatively modest marketing budgets, and it’s vital to strategy to figure out how to spread that budget out over the constantly evolving menu of Local Search Marketing channels like online advertising, email marketing, social media, search engine optimization, and content creation options. You don’t want to be behind the curve on the next big wave, but you don’t want to throw money at every upstart that comes along either. Despite the volatility of the online marketing world, it is vital that your business have a Google+ page. Here are the top 4 reasons why.
1) It will boost your Google search engine rankings – Google wants more people to use Google+ (detailed in this recent New York Times article). They want people to use Google+ so bad that they actually reward businesses that are active on the site. This should be reason enough alone to get you onto Google+ and posting regularly. Search engine rankings can make or break a business, and most businesses will do whatever they can to appeal to search engine crawlers. Simply by creating a page, linking it to your website, including badge on your homepage that links back to Google+, and posting regularly, you will fall into the good graces of Google and enjoy an SEO boost.
2) Seamless Integration – Many, many things fall under the Google umbrella on the internet. Everything from Google Maps, to YouTube, to Picasa, to Gmail can be seamlessly integrated into your Google+ page. This does wonders for promoting your different online marketing outposts, and it seamlessly gathers them in one hub (you Google+ page). Creating a page and syncing everything having to do with your business to this page will streamline your web presence and boost the performance and visibility of each.
3) +1 Tab – Google allows Google+ users to +1 content that they like or recommend. This matters because that recommendation will now appear alongside search results for those connected to the recommender. If you search for a mechanic in your hometown and four results come up, wouldn’t you be more likely to go with the one that comes recommended by your three friends? Generating Google+ content and building a follower base will aid local search marketing efforts and spill over into the Google search page in more ways than just page rank.
4) Communities – Google+ communities have emerged as great forums for serious discussions with experts. As opposed to Reddit, which is often crowded and teeming with inside jokes and memes, Google+ is relatively calm and collected. Entering (or even starting) discussions in different communities will do wonders toward building brand awareness and establishing yourself as a thought leader in relevant demographics.