How Your Business Can Take Advantage of Google+ Local

Jul 9, 2012   //   by AmandaDi   //   SEO Blog  //  24 Comments

Google’s social networking site Google+ is quickly becoming a one-stop shop for individuals and businesses trying to improve their brand.  While connecting with others and promoting content is key to taking advantage of Google+, the site offers many more advantages including search engine ranking factors, +1s, and of course Google+ Local.

For those who are unfamiliar, Google+ Local took the place of Google Places just a few weeks ago and can be found by clicking a “local” tab on a Google+ page. This new tab will allow users to easily find local listings right from the social networking site. If your company already has a Google Places page, it will be automatically switched to a Google+ Local page. In other words, it is extremely important to understand how this new page works to make sure you’re taking full advantage of the new system.

Understanding the Google+ Local Changes  

First, the Google+ Local tab as well as the listing will have a different format. Users will be able to click the tab and then type in a search query and location for easy browsing. All of the results show up with a large picture and an overall score. Below is a screenshot that shows the local tab on the left hand side and the search bar at the top:

Second, Google+ Local has included Zagat scores to help you determine the quality of the listing according to those who have experienced the local spot or service. Zagat scores are shown as actual numbers as opposed to stars and allow users to rate different aspects of the business. For example, someone may want to give a retail store a good score for customer service but a bad score for quality of clothing. The scores are calculated on a 30-point scale and then averaged for users to see. The screenshot below shows the overall score of a restaurant as well as the individual scores that users gave the business:

Third, Google+ local pages will show up whenever you’re using Google search or Google maps. Although this may not seem significant, it makes a company’s Google+ Local listing page even more important. Zagat scores will also show up when completing a search.

What Does This Mean for Businesses?

In terms of optimization, companies do not need to change much. Keywords and great pictures are even more important with the new listings, but ultimately it is a Google+ presence that will really give a company visibility. Below are a few things that a company should do to get started taking advantage of Google+ Local:

  1. Google+ Profile – Companies need to have a Google+ profile set up in order for Google+ Local to work. You can visit here to get started.
  2. Claim Listing – A company will need to claim their local listing and make sure all of the information is correct. This is free to complete and only takes a few minutes. If you don’t already have a business page to claim, this link makes it easy to set one up.
  3. Categories – Adding categories to your local page will help users narrow down your business into the correct niche.

As a whole, getting started with Google+ local is extremely simple. Although there have been mixed reviews about the Zagat ratings, most companies do agree that Google+ Local pages are intuitive and easy to read. By bringing these pages onto a platform where people feel comfortable, it only makes sense that more and more users will begin to go to Google+ local when searching. Only time will tell!

Have you used Google+ Local or found success through the new platform? Do you think Zagat reviews will help or hurt Google+ Local? Let us know in the comments!

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Amanda DiSilvestro is a graduate of Illinois State University. Although she graduated with an English Education degree, she found herself working as a full-time blogger in the SEO/social media department at HigherVisibility SEO, a leading franchise SEO company.

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  • alex says:

    google plus is best way on trafic

  • Aayna says:

    Thanks for sharing this valuable insight on Google+ local. It can indeed work in the direction of ameliorating the listings of the company. Even the process for using Google+ is quite simple and easy to understand.

  • Carl says:

    I have been using google+ for a while now and it is pretty impressive when it comes to traffic.

  • Google+ is fast becoming the most preferred network for small businesses. More and more business owners are using this social network. Now that Google has moved the local pages to Google Plus, even local businesses are jumping on to this social network.

    Thanks for the tips, Amanda!

  • wajahath ali

    hi Amanda, Google local is helping many business and G+ is a great way to showcase and engage audience and it helps in SEO as well. So doing both of them would be definite +. Thanks for the informative post.

  • You both are so welcome. I love writing about G+ Local because I really think it’s a step in the right direction 🙂

  • Aditya says:

    Hi Amanda 🙂

    Its great to hear that you started blogging just after completing your graduation or may be before that(if i am not wrong) and achieved this position after writing many blogs.

    Now coming to the point…..//
    If a company updates its profile to Google local or Google+ it will surely help in building social connections.Google has always came up with new innovative ideas and succeeded in them too.
    Google+ will give visibility to all the service seekers to the companies listed in it and the traffic to your site will increase tremendously but with some efforts.

    Thanks for sharing the idea that how can Google+ be meaningful for business.

  • Anton Koekemoer

    Hi Amanda,

    I do agree – In order to take full advantage of that what Google+ and Places (now Google+ local) have to offer to your business in terms of exposure; you first need to understand how it works and what the whole idea is behind it when it comes to using Social sharing and business review signals as recommendations for rankings in Search engine queries and personal searches.

  • Many thanks for the exciting blog posting! I really enjoyed reading it

  • Lester J. says:

    Hi Amanda,

    Thank you so much for elaborating what the Google+ is all about. As a newbie, such information is very useful to me. Thank you once again.

    -Lester J.

  • Drew says:

    Amanda, thanks a lot for posting this great idea. As I was reading the entire blog, I couldn’t resist of getting hungry from that tasty-looking shrimp(I don’t know the name of that dish).
    Anyhow, I have not used Google+ Local but I, definitely, will try it. I’ll let you know what i think about it.

  • Sanjib Saha

    Hi Amanda,

    Sanjib here. Just yesterday, I read a similar article on a blog that gave a detailed information about the benefits of Google+Local. If their site pages streamlined appropriately, the entrepreneurs can make the best of this new feature.

    Thanks a lot for this post,


  • Mathew says:

    Google+ Local has bee a very great help to my online business. I can’t say that I am where I am right now without it. Thanks, Amanda, for your post.

  • Amit Shaw

    I am not active on Google+ But now its time to use it. Hope it will help me for SEO Too.
    Thanks for this article.

  • Elena Anne

    Very informative post. I have never used Google+ Local but i will be after reading this. Thank you Amanda.

  • Abhishek says:

    google local has transformed the lead generation process for many local businesses. infact I have found being in top 3 in google local is way more rewarding than any other marketing initiative…its just that a lot of companies are manipulating the local listings to gain the top positions by adding fake reviews etc which is not fair as the companies who follow ethical practices suffer…

  • Amit Shaw


    Google+Local has become very popular with many bloggers today. With the all the steps followed as above, entrepreneurs can benefit the most with this new feature from Google. Seems very useful to many as expressed. You need to know how it works first, before switching on to it.

    Amit from ItechCode.

  • Utkarsh says:

    I actually never knew, how Google+ could help one to grow his business. Thanks for the tip. I have subscribed your blog and will surely continue to be a regular member.

  • Thank you all so much for adding in your comments. It seems as though everyone agrees that Google+ Local is something that can benefit a business, yet many still aren’t taking advantage. It only takes a few minutes to either claim your business or set up a page, so now is as good a time as any! Good luck and let me know if you have any questions 🙂

  • Mohammad


    I’m very pleased to find this great post. I need to thank you for ones time for this fantastic read!!You are doing a good job. Keep it up. Keep providing us such a useful information.


  • Online existence is important for every business. Much important now that our technology is getting more advanced than before so it is very much needed that a business takes advantage of google local. At least, your target local customers can easily found the business once enlisted in local listing of Google.

  • From my sense I only can tell that we mainly care about giant Google, so if we can be with their service that may enhance the visibility for sure. that must be like sympathy ranking.

  • Jeremy Cissell

    Love g+. Local, and all the new integrations. For local search its a must. Great write-up.

  • Seo Martin says:

    I think Google Plus Local will take the place of Google Places soon