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How The New Google Plus Local Changes Will Impact Businesses

Google Local

Google+ Local has been anticipated by quite a few and now that it is finally here it is extremely important that businesses understand how this change will impact them and what they should do.  Businesses that are smart enough to utilize the amazing free service that Google offers will have a tremendous advantage over their competition.   Here are a few ways that you can maximize the impact that Google Plus Local has on your bottom line.

Google+ Local Tab

google+ home local more

Most people reading this probably already have a Google Plus account and a Google Page for their business, but if you don’t, you can set one up here.  The interface now includes more tabs, one of which is “Local”.  It may be under the more tab, but you can drag it to the dock.  I moved “Local” and “Pages” out because I use them more than “Photos” and “Games”.  The Local tab allows you to instantly see any restaurants and businesses that are nearby.  Local is powerful for all local businesses, but because of the Zagat integration restaurants seem to be the type of businesses that are most excited about the recent changes.  Local Places/Pages are ranked based on their location and their rating with a special weight given to the opinions of a users connections (what your friends like and do online affects your search results.).

Google Places Pages show up in a variety of Google searches, and frequently show up in mobile searches and not just Android devices, most iphone and ipad users like to “Google” anything they need to find too.  In fact, more than 50% of all searches for local businesses such as restaurants are already done from mobile devices.  Recently, on Valentines day, 65% of searches for the word restaurant were from a mobile device.  This trend will only continue as millions of new mobile devices are activated every day.

g+How Can Businesses Leverage Google Plus Local?

Businesses can take advantage of Google Plus Local by creating a free page and then properly optimizing and updating the page to make sure that as many people as possible see it.  Many people will immediately call or visit one of the first three listings they see, so ranking highly is important.  Many people will want to review the businesses Google Page and look at pictures, watch videos and read reviews from customers, so it is important that to make the business page appealing.  Many people will choose to continue to research the businesses they find through Google Plus Local and will either click on the link to the companies website (if there is one) or they will search the business name in Google and review the results, so it is also important for businesses and people to make sure they have a good online reputation.

To make sure that your business is ready to deal with the changes to Google Plus Local and the impact they will have on your business, contact Hopp2IT today!

About Jeff Hopp

Jeff is a Mobile Marketing Expert and Local SEO based in Denver, CO. He works with local businesses to help them leverage the mobile revolution with cutting edge technology including mobile apps and local search engine optimization to increase sales. Jeff has over 15 years of sales and marketing experience ranging from financial services to mortgage lending and has generated over $500M in online and offline transactions.

Where will they find the time?

Directv has a new moto.  “It will change your life”.  I assume they mean in a good way, but research would probably say differently.  At least about tv in general.  A local radio morning show was talking about a study that found that people who watch more than four hours of tv a day were more likely to die of any cause.  I really began to understand the difference between causation and correlation when I read the book Freakonomics.  It is easy to think that something is the cause just because two things happen at the same time.  It could simply be that people who are dying watch a lot of tv because they are unhealthy and can’t do much else.  Or, as the DJ’s I heard this morning assumed, maybe sitting on the couch watching tv is a primary cause of our unhealthiness.  Seth Godin claims that he doesn’t watch tv, or go to meetings.  I don’t know if I could take it that far, but image all the time it would free up!  Clay Shirky helped to quantify the collective amount of time we spend vegging out in front of the tube and even used Wikipedia as a unit.  Are we beginning to learn better ways of spending our cognitive surplus?  We may be witnessing a revolution, but TV is still a sacred part of American culture.  A co-worker of mine got a surprise bonus, and his first thought was “big screen”!  The first caller on the radio show asked, “what else are we supposed to do?”.  Most adults grew up watching tv.  Most of us never dreamed of today’s toys.  New gadgets like the iPab continue to blur the line between fun and functional.  Digital media is highly portable and very easy to share.   As Mark Cuban wrote that “the IPad will change how kids grow up”.  Entertainment is becoming interactive.  Finding music videos on youtube and sharing them with your friends on Facebook must require a little more brain activity than sitting on the couch watching Lost.  It certainly doesn’t require much more physical activity, so it may not do much for our health, but it just might do wonders for our society.   As future generations grow up using interactive technology they may spend their time creating and collaborating rather that sitting and watching.  Today’s kids use Facebook to talk about not wanting to do their homework or the cute boy in science class, but they also use it to have meaningful discussions about the tragedy in Haiti.  There is tremendous power in the collaboration of human minds.  My children will be “connected” by default and will simply expect to be able to exchange ideas and information worldwide at will.  Anytime, anywhere. The real question isn’t where whill they find the time, but what will they create?

About Jeff Hopp

Jeff is a Mobile Marketing Expert and Local SEO based in Denver, CO. He works with local businesses to help them leverage the mobile revolution with cutting edge technology including mobile apps and local search engine optimization to increase sales. Jeff has over 15 years of sales and marketing experience ranging from financial services to mortgage lending and has generated over $500M in online and offline transactions.