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Google places has recently faced a complete Google-overhaul, and the web-marketing giant have converted roughly 80 million Google Place Pages into the new and improved “Google+ Local” pages, integrating the local feel to the Google+ platform.

Its a pretty dramatic changeover, no doubt for the better – but like all big updates it can be a little disorientating for users and businesses. However, fear not! Codastar are here with a step by step guide to all the things you need to know about local search.

What are the main updates?

For those that are aleady set up with the previous Google Places page, here is a low down on the updates and changes you should be aware of:

  • Google+ have integrated a new ‘Local’ Tab on the side bar.
  • Reviews provided by individuals are broken down into categories and provide more information (see below for further details on reviews).
  • Zagat reviews are now fully integrated (with its entire archive fully available and transferred to G+)
  • G+ Local pages are now fully integrated across all Google platforms (search, maps and mobile)
  • A circles filter has been added to find reviews and recommendations from friends, family and colleagues.

So, why do I need a page for my business?

Overall, the integration of local data and information makes the content and search results drummed up by the engine much richer and relevant for everyone. Say you are searching for an Italian restaurant in London. It is a rather (on the whole) generic search, and in such a densely populated city, it really is a minefield trying to find the place you are looking for. With local search, you can now pin-point results based on your location, what is nearby and walking distance. Without a listing and a local Page it is impossible for your business to be populated in the results – missing out on countless opportunities and revenue.

How to Set-up a ‘Local’ Page.

If like many you are of course starting from scratch, no worries! We’ve put together  a 10 point plan on how you put together your Local Page for your business:

  1. Sign up for/sign into your Google+ account.

    google+ place page

    (Step 2)

  2. On the left hand side, select “more >> pages” (see right)
  3. Click the ‘create new page’ in the top right hand corner.
  4. Select the local business type/place/category.
  5. Type in your business telephone number and click on ‘Locate’. It is important that you use a business line and not a personal or mobile number. Area codes of phone numbers are an important part of locating and placing your business. 

    google+ places pages

    (Step 4)

  6. If your business appears in the search, click on it (you’ll be able to edit incorrect address details etc later). If it doesn’t appear, either click “Add your Business to Google”. If your business has multiple phone number listings, try re-searching other numbers.
  7. Here you can enter/edit any basic information about your business – name, number, address. If Google already has information on your business, this section will be pre-populated and you will be asked to confirm/edit it.
  8. Next, add a ‘category’ to your local page to help other users better understand exactly what it is your business does and what service you provide. 
  9. Select an age requirement for your user (or select ‘any Google Plus user’)
  10. Click ‘done – et voila! You have yourself a Business Page! Visit your page and add more details about your business, such as opening hours, website links, and further contact details such as social media sites. 

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