Ways that a local business can benefit from an optimized Google+ page

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Everybody knows that Google is the 500 pound gorilla of online search. If you want to be found, make sure you’re found here. But Google is a complicated animal these days and there’s different levels of visibility if you’re a local business. Sometimes the little things count.

Many of these little things originate with your Google+ local business page and how well it’s optimized. WHY you rank on Google depends on many factors that I’ve discussed previously. The subject of this post is WHERE you might show up on the page. It’s not as simple as you might think. Below I’ll show you how an optimized Google+ page can give you that little extra push that will make you stand out from the crowd.

The examples below show one of our local clients Jennings Heating and Cooling (a great furnace and air conditioning company by the way). You’ll notice that Google displays results in different ways. Why they do this for some searches and not others is quite a mystery but it’s important to understand.

The first example shows a search for “heating and cooling company akron ohio”

  1. Jennings is featured with a map at the top right. They are the only one featured! Nice.
  2. They’re listed first in the organic listings AND with their address featured on the listing! The little marker is a great little visual to catch your eye. Thank. You. Google.

This example shows a search for “furnace repair company akron ohio”

  1. This time we have multiple local companies shown in the map and Jennings is one of them. Not as good as the first example but still an excellent result.
  2. They’re listed first in the organic listings again and their address is featured. This time it’s off to the right of the result. Another nice way to catch the person’s eye.
  3. This example also introduces “The Seven Pack” (Used to be the 10 pack) which are a grouping of local results that are integrated within the free organic listings. The Seven Pack of local results is where you want to be and your Google+ business page is usually a big factor as to who shows here and who doesn’t. It’s not the only factor but it’s a big one.
  4. Notice here too that Google has randomly decided to feature several direct links to the website regarding how you can contact them and schedule an appointment. They also have a link to their reviews which will take you right to their Google+ page. A nice bonus considering all their reviews are excellent.

Have you heard of Google Maps? Many people may not initially notice the “Maps” link on Google but these results are utilized in many important ways.

  1. First, if you click the map shown in the previous results, it will bring you to this page which is essentially an enhanced local search.
  2. When you click on any of the little red markers you’ll be immediately presented with relevant information for the business as well as a “More Info” link which takes you directly to the company’s Google+ page.
  3. Many people use a mobile device when searching locally. Google maps can be featured prominently in the search results as well as within many other mobile apps used for seeking out local businesses.