Say Goodbye To Your Hotel’s Google Places Page.
Big changes occurred in Google’s local search last week with Google+ Local replacing Google Places. We know that change can be frightening but don’t be scared. This change will allow your business to develop a stronger local and social presence within Google.
The new Google+ Local pages are presenting the information from your Google Places pages in a more visually interesting way, integrating Zagat reviews and rating scale, plus allowing people to interact with your Google+ Local page through reviews, sharing their photos, and giving it their stamp of approval with a +1.
If you are already connecting with your customers through a Google+ page, don’t worry you won’t lose that. Your new Google+ Local Page will not replace your current efforts with your business page, it supplements it and provides you with one more way to connect and interact with new and much loved customers.
Google+ Local pages have been integrated across all Google products including Google search, Maps, and mobile apps providing a seamless experience. This switch also inserts more information into the Google SERP including the Zagat reviews and scores. Zagat.com and Google’s partnership allows the Zagat reviews and scores to show up in SERP and on the Google+ Local pages. Zagat reviews incorporate different scores for decor, food, etc. so they are more comprehensive than the previous star rating scale, according to Google. Also, any current Google Places reviews ratings are being converted to the Zagat 30 point scale. If you don’t have Zagat reviews for your business, then you will instead see the Google Places reviews converted to the Zagat scale.
If you are currently using Google+, you will notice there is now a Local tab on the left side column. This tab is where all the Google+ Local pages live and it allows you to search for local businesses by name or category as well as location.
In order to manage the new Google+ Local pages, you will continue to use the Google Places for Businesses to manage it where you will still be able to respond to reviews, update info and verify listing information.
In the bigger picture, there is now much more you can do to strengthen your Google+ Local page and this is pretty much forcing you to consider joining Google+ as a business. If you have been putting it off, waiting for Google+ to pass or simply focusing all your efforts on Facebook and Twitter, the time is now to embrace Google+ and build an audience there.
Here’s why we think you should get involved with Google+:
- Just as Facebook pages need people who “Like” the page, Google+ needs “Followers”. Your “Followers” are the perfect audience to help build reviews on your Google+ Local page and the more reviews you have the better. Especially if you have a few not-so-nice reviews, which when converted to the 30-point scale look even worse. Plus, the bigger your Circles grow and the more people who follow you, the more people have the potential of being exposed to you and your great reviews. When their friends search for businesses like yours, they will see their friends’ reviews and we all would rather our take our friends’ word than a marketing piece. When someone who is logged into Google+ reviews your business through Google+ Local, their review will become the top review (above the Zagat reviews) when someone else in their Circles views your business.
- They believe it when they see it – Your “Followers” can post their photos on your Google+ Local page. This creates more interaction and a way for you to have additional photography of your business on your page.
- Google+ has Google’s power behind it – Just imagine if when someone searches for your business, the SERP displays you there shining with +1s, social, paid, and organic results! You will be a combined SEO powerhouse.
Screen Pilot wishes you luck as you venture into the new world of Google+ Local pages and if you need a little help digesting all of this information and implementing it for your business – don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re really nice people and passionate about the digital world.
Other great articles on Google+ Local: