Why You Must Merge Your Google+ Local And Google+ Page Now

 

…If you have a “Local Business or Place”.

If you’re a local business, you want to be found and do business within a 3 to 5 mile (4 to 8 km) radius of your street address.

43% of Google search queries are local. 74% of these local searches are conducted on mobile devices. (reviewtrackers.com )

Google Places

What is a Google+ Local Page

Your Google+ Local Page is the merger of your Google Places listing ( now called Google+ Local) and your Google+ Business Page.
It extends your Places information to include directions, reviews, photos, videos and other Google+ Page features.

Ten months ago, Google dumped Places and replaced it with Google+ Local.
All of the data was migrated to the new Google+ Local which appears on your Google+ page.

Your Places listing will still show up in Google searches, but without merging it with your Google+ Page, you’re missing out on pumped up SEO and customer engagement.
You’re using a horse to pull your Rolls-Royce.

Google Local

Why Should You Merge?

Google+ Local was designed to be integrated with Google+ Pages so not having them merged means you’re missing out on:

1. Improved search results. Google+ Locale sites are grouped at top of SERP’s

Google places

2. Expanded visuals with Posts, About, Photos and Videos tabs added

3. Direct interaction with customers by sharing links, posts and videos

4. Word of mouth  recommendations with Zagat Reviews. Using a 30 point scale, Zagat  provides a more nuanced rating system that considers four categories i.e. food, decor, service and cost in it’s overall average.

Google Places Reviews from your friends video)

5. Freeing your time by assigning multiple managers to your Google+ Local Page who can manage your Business Location data from there.

6. Being able to have multiple Pages for multiple branches or departments (Hospital, department store). (Some provisions exist like having separate phone numbers etc.. See: Google+ Local Quality Guideline Update Allows for Multiple Departments )

7. “Friend” recommendations showing up in searches.

Any searches made in Google Search, on Google+ Local, or in Google Maps will feature results from that user’s Google+ Circle connections.

Google+ Local Search Favours Friends.

Example: When I search for Cafés in Montreal while logged into my Google account, sites that contain reviews from my friends (circles) will appear higher in the rankings than others.

 

So Why Ain’t You Merging?

I spent the better part of a day researching the local scene. I wasn’t able to find a single local business that has merged it’s Places listing with a Google+ Business Page.

Three posible reasons for that:

1. They haven’t registered their Google Local Listing yet.

2. Google+ is off their radar and they haven’t created a Google+ account

3. They tried, but didn’t fall into the right business category.

With regards to #1 and #2, persuasive Google+ articles can be found here on Steamfeed and at my blog, NewRayCom.

 

local business

As for the 3rd, you can only merge your listing with your Google+ Page if your category is “Local Business or Place”.


If you’re a ‘product or brand’,  ‘company, institution or organization’ ; ‘arts, entertainment, or sports’; or ‘other’, your listing will still appear on a Google+ page but won’t be verified, meaning you won’t have the the social networking enhancements.

Note: Your business classification relates to how you set up your Google+ Business Page and not to your Google+ Local Listing set up.

 

Your To-Do List.

1. Claim your Google Places listing now.

2. Create, verify and optimize your Google+ Business Page.

If you already have a Google Places listing, you also have a Google+ Local page.

-  fill in all relevant information such as Name, address, Phone number, hours –  Add links to other places on the web where you can be found.

-  Add photos and videos

–  grow your circles (easier now that you can circle anyone)

–  Share content

3. Monitor and encourage reviews.

72% of consumers surveyed said that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. 52% said that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business.

 

Google Places Merge Google Local and Google Plus Business Page Video

How many local businesses have made the “merge” in your area?

If you’d like to learn more about Google plus, subscribe to my Weekly Google+ Tips Newsletter. This also gets you an invitation to my Wednesday G+ Lunch Hangout.

Ray Hiltz
Ray Hiltz is a Google Plus specialist and Social Media Strategist with management roots in restaurant, hotel and performing arts. Ray writes about social media, social business and Google Plus on his blog: rayhiltz.com. His clients include hotels, restaurants, consulting firms, entrepreneurs, writers and freelancers. Ray is a popular speaker on Social Media, Social Business and Google+.
Ray Hiltz
Ray Hiltz

Leave a Reply

35 Comments on "Why You Must Merge Your Google+ Local And Google+ Page Now"


Guest
GoNetBusiness
11 months 8 days ago

Thank you! Never knew you could do it – will start doing it immediately for all my listings.
My recent post Staying Alive In A Tough Economy

Guest
Chris
1 year 5 months ago

Ray,
This is the first useful info I have read on this subject – Thank you for the info!

I don't know if other people are experiencing the same level of frustration that I am, but I seem to have several problems with my G+ Listing & Business Page. I would LOVE to merge the two, but I can't figure that out.

Among the more frustrating issues is that fact that my Business Page has reviews published at the bottom of the ABOUT page, but when clicking on the REVIEWS tab, it says "No reviews published yet." It says there are 3 reviews when viewing the listing in the Maps results, but still, nothing under the REVIEWS tab.

The other issue driving me crazy is simply merging the two pages, (G+ Listing + Business Page) one of which has all my history – posts, videos, etc. and the other has my reviews. I don't want delete either page, but it obviously doesn't help much to have my info split between two pages.

What should I do?

Chris

Guest
Power Your Content Marketing with Google+
1 year 7 months ago

[…] There’s the ability to manage your target market through Circles, network and build community within Communities, meet face to face and produce broadcasts with Hangouts, and interact directly with clients on Google+ Local. […]

Guest
Luke R
1 year 9 months ago

I couldn't see the same categories with Google + as Google Places – in fact Google+ appears to be very restrictive in that area – couldn't even find a vaguely suitable category. I'm concerned that the lack of an appropriate category will hit the success of the website. Your thoughts on this would be welcome.

Also, the postcard that turned up for verification had incorrectly formatted the address of the business for some odd reason. Can I correct the address without another lengthy period of verification via postcard?

Guest
kate
1 year 9 months ago

Hi There, I just came across your post in trying to fix an error I just created myself today….my fingers are crossed that you may know the answer or have some advice! I started a 2nd gmail for our business and not even thinking got rolling along and joined google+ ONLY it didn't occur to me until I logged into our other gmail account that I JUST DID SOMETHING that affects the google places that I had originally set up as I noticed a dashboard saying the "We currently do not support the location" for the active listing on google. Uggggghhhh what did I just do?! Please help! I read above that you are to merge using the same account. I didn't even think about it! Foolish move here…i know they are sending me a pin for verification on this new gmail account now which i'm assuming is for business verification. Will our current google place listing be erased along with all reviews and SEO and ranking? Any advice here? I would greatly appreciate it as my eyes are welling up as I type this!