The Importance of Google+ for Local SEO
Posted on: November 13, 2013 | By: Andres Rovira
The Holidays have begun in most places around the world, making this the perfect time to start thinking about the new year in terms of marketing and business. So what can we expect in 2014?
Facebook, with its 1.18 billion users remains at the top of all social media platforms, but it has become difficult for small business owners to grow a community of likeminded people without spending a lot of time and money. In addition, a lot of teenagers are now switching from Facebook to other social networks such as Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram, mainly because it gives them a less restrictive approach to reveal themselves to their social world. Google+ is expected to exceed both Facebook and Twitter with its 540 million active users.
With the arrival of the Hummingbird update, integrated SEO tactics and the addition of Google Hangout, Google+ has gained even more attention. Google authorship is a significant part of Google+ and getting an author rank is essential for bloggers ever since the addition of semantic search algorithms. This is based on the idea that visitors like to connect names to faces while giving credibility to a post when it shows the author’s image in the search results. Last year Google Places was converted to Google+ Local Pages and the resulting data has been integrated into Google Mobile, Maps, and Search. All of this has an obvious effect on local SEO. If you don’t already own a Google Places page, you need to update the Google+ Local listing (i.e. adding your phone number to the listing with your area code) in order to get top local rankings. Use your brand name as your primary keyword and avoid too many keywords in the title to avoid mismatches. Optimize the Location, About, and Contact pages of your website as these will be the main pages used in local ranking algorithms. Clearly describe your business objective and the services you offer in the description tags of the page. Beyond following these steps, stay tuned to what Google+ has yet to offer because in the near future we’ll see many changes that everyone will be bound to notice in order to optimize for local SEO.