Google Places and Google + Local for businesses

Are you confused by Google Places, Google + and what it all means to your business? And do you need to be on there? We explain the differences between the two Google services, and why it’s vital that you have a presence.

Google Places for businesses
Google Places is the map location on Google for your place of business. This allows searchers to find your physical address when they search for your brand name, as well as location keyword searches e.g. online marketing perth.

This is pretty important. GPS devices use Google Maps to retrieve your address details from your listing. Your contact information such as your phone number and hours of operation can also be included, as well as photos of the business location.

Google actually requires verification of your business in order for it to be listed correctly and for modifications to be made. You can do this via phone or mail. This sounds a bit painful, but is absolutely necessary as it stops others from setting up fake pages. In fact, you may even have a page set up already. If you do, you can claim your listing and gain control over this. Again, this is important for you to have control over your business information and reviews.

Google Places allows you to list your business however it doesn’t allow you to form connections with other businesses, have reviews posted, or foster social engagement. Which is where Google + Local comes into play.

Google+ Local for businesses
This page is similar to your Google Places page, however, it allows you to add social features to your physical location information. These social features include circles, hangouts, updates, and +1’s. It also allows you to customise your page with a cover photo and description. Adding your company’s website to your Google + Local page can assist you with your local search rankings, however, Google is typically shy about confirming how much or little the impact has at this stage.

What we do know is that Google + is starting to personalise search results based on your Google + connections. For example, if person A puts your company in his/her search results, then when person A searches for something related to your company you are more likely to pop up at the top of that search results page. If person B types in that exact same query but does not have you in his/her Google+ circles, you might pop up at the very bottom of the search results page instead.

What do you do next?
If you already have a Google Places listing and a Google + page in place, we recommend merging the two together. This simply makes it easier to manage under one profile. It means that you are not managing two different sets of information, and provides you with one easy log in.

If you don’t have either of these in place, or are unsure, then this is where we come in. Contact the team at Bang Online for assistance with setting up your Google + Local page now.