Google Plus might not be the most used social media platform, but it is definitely one of the most important in your overall online marketing strategy, thanks to the business’ pages showing up in search results. Showing up for the right searches will have an impact on the overall amount of new incoming customers.
Let’s have a look at eight strategies that should be in place for every local business’ SEO to boost the organic visibility of the business’ Google Plus (also sometimes known as Google+) page.
Editor Note: to learn more about local SEO, check out this Marketing Nerds podcast with Kelsey Jones and local SEO expert Mary Bowling:
Regular Updates Every 72 Hours
Accounts that post frequently are much more likely to rank on searches than an account with few updates. Updating a page provides users with fresh content and Google rewards that. Businesses should update their Google Plus page at least every 72 hours. The more, the merrier.
At the same time, stay active on Google Plus, engage in conversations and work towards receiving as many +1 as possible. Google search results won’t ignore it.
Get a Local Phone Number
Establishing a connection with a potential local customer starts from displaying a local phone number. This comes with many advantages such as increased walk-in traffic, more phone calls, and better rankings on social searches.
There is no doubt that users would rather call a business in their proximity than a business using a 1-800 number because they can’t be sure whether they business is local or not. Calling a local number feels more personal and makes conversions much more likely. The benefit of using a local phone number is amplified by the use of a local address.
All of this helps your Google Plus page rank better for Google searches, by suggesting that your business has the information users are looking for.
Add Opening Hours
Make sure to indicate the proper opening hours in your Google Plus page. If you have the wrong opening hours on your page, you might not rank when you are open because you indicated your business was closed. As a rule of thumb, the more information you add to your Google Plus page, the higher you will rank.
Adding payment options and images is another best practice to increase both ranking and user engagement rates.
Google ranks businesses with reviews higher because they provide more value to the search of a user. Posting a page without enabling reviews will hinder your chances of your Google Plus profile appearing in the right-hand column of a Google search.
Google Plus reviews have a bigger impact on rankings compared to Yelp or other local site reviews simply because they are hosted on a platform owned by Google.
Create Keyword Relevant Tag Line
Taglines are fundamental to helping your page rank for specific terms. This is the information displayed below your profile photo, and it plays a key role in determining whether Google considers your business relevant to a search or not.
It is a best practice to perform a local keyword research and find terms that are relevant to your offer with a decent search volume. Then create a tagline which includes these words.
Even though Google suggests you describe your business in ten words, your tagline can be longer. Keep in mind, the meta description of your Google Plus page combines the tagline and the first sentence of your introduction for a total of 160 characters. Also, make sure that your meta description has a complete phrase.
Create a Collection of Products and Services
Google Plus collections are created to group your posts by topic. Collections show up below the Google Plus header of the newly launched interface and therefore have a premium page location.
Businesses should use collections to break down their products or services and offer users the opportunity to find more about what they are interested in.
There are several ways businesses can benefit from Google Plus collections. Sharing tips, case studies, statistics, updates, and promotions are just a few examples that should get the ball rolling.
Use Hashtags That are Unique to Google Plus
Hashtags that are popular on Twitter might not be as good on Google Plus, and vice versa. Businesses should think about keywords when posting status updates and use a hashtag to see what keywords are suggested for a specific word. Google will suggest the most popular terms that are likely to increase the reach of the post.
Localize Keywords for Multiple Businesses
Businesses with multiple locations should create one Google Plus page per location to maximize their performance on search engines. Multiple pages are extremely useful because they allow businesses to use local addresses, phone numbers, and keywords to increase the opportunity to trigger different pages in the local search results.
It is also a best practice to include the city or location name in the name of the Google Plus page, because most quality local searches are usually geo-targeted.
Ensuring your Google Plus page is optimized is very important. Google Plus pages are simple to optimize, just provide the most information you can and choose the most relevant keywords. These eight best practices will give you a leg up on your competitors, and better yet, they are super simple to implement.
Customers want to be able to look at one page and find all of the information they need, so make it easy for them by providing all the information they need to make a decision on your Google Plus page.
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