Blue Fusion Digital has been doing local search optimization for quite some time now and one of our very favorite topics is Local Search Optimization. Why? Because it is extremely effective, gets a great Return on Investment and often is the quick route to rankings in the organic search results. More on that later but essentially it is because many businesses don’t understand what the Google Local Listings really are or how easy it is to get started with a local search engine optimization campaign. Since we are often asked about local search and everything it details we thought we would develop a list of answers for our most frequently received questions from business owners everywhere.
Local Search Optimization FAQ
Is there a difference between Google Plus and Google Plus for Business?
Yes, there is a difference between the two pages and this is easily the most misunderstood part of Google Plus pages, a majority of people in the world never really got hooked on Google+ like they did on other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or even Pinterest but many people have at least one Google+ profile. Why do people have more then one Google+ page? Many reasons really but often people would have an old YouTube account and then create a new gmail account without knowing the two could be connected, etc. Google+ has offered business pages for a few years now and the templates are much different and also get indexed in the search results differently.
Do I need a Google Plus Business page?
Yes, every single company in the world could benefit in one way or the other by having a Google+ Business Page.
Who can benefit from Local Search Optimization?
Almost every company is going to be able to benefit from Local Search Optimization but the companies who are going too want too prioritize LSEO are companies who service a local area or have a brick and mortar location. Any companies ranging from auto body shops and car dealerships to dentists and doctors to restaurants and hotels are going to greatly benefit from showing up in the local search results.
Do you need a website to rank in the Google Local Listings?
No, there is no direct stipulation that says you need to have a website to appear in the Google Local Listings. However, a majority of the time the results do tend to favor results with websites as well. Blue Fusion Digital has had tremendous success with clients that had searched for a money keyword in there respective industries and were presented with search results without websites in the Google Local Listings. In other words you have a great chance at ranking very quickly with one of our campaigns but even greater if you are seeing GLL with companies without a website.
How come some businesses have a star rating in the search results?
You need to have a minimum of 5 reviews on your Google+ Business Page before you will get the yellow/golden stars to appear next to your Google Local Listing result.
What if I don’t have a designated business address but instead I work from a home office and don’t want my home address available online?
This was an issue for many companies such as a plumber who might not have a physical office location but instead travels to all his work sites. Thankfully Google+ Business pages now allow you to put your residential address for location/verification purposes only. Essentially, you enter your address but can then check a box that says I do not offer services at my physical address, Google will then make sure this information is not displayed and you won’t have too worry about people showing up at your doorstep looking for you to help them.
What if I service more then just my physical addresses city?
In cases such as the plumber we discusses he might serve more then just the city he lists in his Business page. For example if his physical address is in Los Angeles, CA but he also services Malibu. The plumber can then designate other service locations such as Malibu and he has a chance to appear in those search results as well.
What is a citation?
A citation is your business information placed on a directory. Business information such as your “NAP” profile or Business: Name, Address and Phone Number.
What is a directory?
A directory is a website that specializes in local business information. Good examples of popular directories are websites such as Yelp, Yellowpages and Yahoo local.
Why are citations and directories important?
Citations and directories are a very important ingredient to a successful local search optimization because Google wants too see your digital footprint spread across many different online channels. The more accurate and consistent these online channels are the higher your chances of ranking well.
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