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3 Reasons Why Your Local Business Needs to be on Google+

Although the Google+ social network is still in its early phases, it’s growing fast and is projected to be the next big social media platform.

A driving force behind the growth of Google+ is that it's changing the landscape of Google Search. With the advent of Google's Search Plus Your World, the social activity that takes place on Google+ can directly impact the search results that are displayed to users.

This leads into our first reason why local businesses need to jump on Google+.

1. Gain More Visibility in Google Search

Take look at the local search results below for "chiropractor Peoria Il."

These local listings, which are accompanied by the map with little red pins, stem from Google+. Notice how Justin Tuttle is really standing out from the competition. He has earned a score of 29/30 which is supported by 17 positive Google reviews.

How did Justin Tuttle make is mark at the number one organic listing for "chiropractor Peoria Il?"

Not only is his Google+ Local page verified and optimized, but he's implemented strategies to earn good reviews, as well as trigger the "rich snippets" feature (showing his picture.)

In addition to proper Google+ optimization and local verification, Justin mostly likely jumped on the Google+ bandwagon sooner than most of his competitors. This leads me into my next reason why your local business needs to hop on Google+, sooner than later.

2. Early Adopters Can Become Industry Authorities

Early Google+ adopters can gain a huge advantage by jumping on board sooner than the competition. Again, Google+ is in its early stages of growth. Those who build their social presence now are considered "1st Generation Google+ Users."

The benefit of being an early adopter on Google+ is that you'll be able to establish more followers (rather, more people will have your business in their "circles.") This goes hand-in-hand with gaining more search visibility.

Let me give you an example. My personal Google+ profile has OIC Group, Inc. in one of my circles. If I search a phrase that is highly relevant to OIC Group and the content that they are posting on Google+, I might by fed OIC's Google+ activity in search.

Think of this as social activity integrating with search. With respect to Search Plus Your World, Google is trying to feed me better quality search results that might pertain to what I'm looking for.

As a business, the takeaway point is this: the more followers you can gain on Google+, the better chances your business will be found in you followers’ search activity (so long as the keyword search is relevant, and you as the business's social marketer are promoting quality content that pertains to what you offer.)

3. Connect With New Customers & Retain Loyalty

The Google+ social media network is like a hybrid of Facebook. Not only is the user-interface very similar, but the level of interaction on Google+ is even greater.

All types of businesses, whether local or global, can connect with their target audiences and bolster brand awareness and customer loyalty. Like Facebook, this advantage hinges on the quality and relevancy of the content that you're sharing with your followers. If your audience jives with the content you're sharing, they'll most likely respect to your brand just a little bit more (whether they're conscious of it or not.)

The fact of the matter is, Google views verified local businesses on Google+ as more credible and authoritative in search. The benefits are plentiful, and more advantages seem to arise as the social network continues to grow. As a result, it's essential that your local business gets on Google+ to stay ahead of the game and ahead of your competitors.

About the Author: Tyler Tafelsky is the Internet marketing manager here at OIC Group, Inc. He offers over 5 years of experience in the SEO profession and has handled a spectrum of campaigns on both a global and local level.

Tyler is well-adept in the latest changes of Google, and advocates Google+ and other social mediums as an integral component to any SEO and Internet marketing campaign.

You can contact him directly via email at tyler@oicgroup.net or you can connect with Tyler on Google+.

 

Is PPC Advertising is Right for Your Local Business?

Pay Per Click advertising may have a reputation as a costly and overly-competitive endeavor.

Sure, that might be the case if you are bidding on popular keywords that cost over $3 per click.

However, Pay Per Click advertising actually offers extraordinary control and flexibility over who sees your ads, and under what keywords they use to trigger them. This can be huge for local business.

The fact of the matter is, PPC advertising can be momentous game-changer for all types of companies. The trick is knowing the right keywords to bid for, as well as knowing the minor (yet significant) intricacies of setting-up a paid search campaign.

In this post, we are going to breakdown some of the advantages and techniques to using Pay Per Click advertising for your local business.

The Advantages of PPC Advertising for Local Businesses

For local businesses, PPC advertising can be HUGE for a local company's marketing efforts. In short, Google AdWords enables advertisers to set campaigns so that their ads are only triggered to users in certain geographic regions.

Let us give you a prime example: A bike shop wants to promote its niche inventory of road bikes, namely 'Orbea bikes' being one of the keyword targets. The bike shop, located in Traverse City, MI, can roll-out a some ads for this particular keyword that are only shown to search engine users in the northern Michigan region, or within a specified radius of Traverse City.

Assessing the PPC Playing Field

Determining if PPC advertising is right for your business requires some keyword assessment and competitive analysis. First you must pinpoint the keywords that the most relevant to your company and what your business has to offer. In addition, you must assess the cost per click (CPC) of each keyword to evaluate whether or not the investment is worth the website traffic.

Once you have some keywords that are relevant and within your budget, you must search those keywords to get an idea of how competitive they are in the search results. If you are only interested in local traffic, the size of your market will have a major influence on your decision. For instance, notice the paid listings above for "chiropractors."

This search was set so that we were looking for chiropractics in "Boston," a large metropolitan area. As a result, the local competition for this keyword is fierce, and we may want to do some more research before rolling out an Pay Per Click ad.

Social Momentum in Search

Notice in the image of the 'Orbea bikes' ad above the social integration of Google+, "Jason Whittaker +1'd this page." This nice little ad enhancement is an example of how Google is infusing its social media platform (Google+) in the search results.

These little social icons are also popping up in the organic results. For local companies, this holds even more marketing importance. At the end of May, Google ditched its 'Google Places' pages (often shown in the search results for locally-oriented keyword searches) for a new format called Google+ Local pages. Google+ Local pages are designed for local businesses, and are somewhat like a hybrid of Google Places pages and Facebook brand pages. This is because Google+ Local pages are associated with both social (Google+) and search.

As a result of these big changes by Google, righteous businesses can capitalize on building cohesive Internet marketing campaigns that involve social media, SEO, and Pay Per Click advertising. Building a successful campaign takes research and analysis of your business, its market, and your competition. In some cases, PPC advertising may not be in the best interest of your business, and SEO and web optimization is the best route.

Nonetheless, the emergence of Google+ must not go overlooked. So whether you're pursuing organic SEO to increase your rank, or seeking immediate search engine exposure via ecommerce PPC advertising, keep the social top of mind, because it's definitely a primary focus for Google.

 

This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our website optimization Internet marketing specialists here at OIC Group, Inc.

Visit Tyler on Google+

 

Peoria Web Design Company Offices:
OIC Group, Inc.
Phone: (309) 680-5600

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1111
Peoria, IL 61653