Do you know what Google+ Local is? If you’re a small business owner and you don’t know what Google+ Local is, you may want to take a minute to find out about it right now. Whether or not you use it could dramatically affect your business’ presence online, and what potential customers see about your business.

At its most basic, Google+ Local is an online listing directory for local businesses that integrates social media. It works with other Google services and products, such as Google Maps and Google Listings, and, while it is often confused with Google+ Business and Google Places, Google+ Local is actually a combination of the two that is designed to help customers find local businesses.

With Google+ Local, small business owners can connect with customers and peers by adding them to circles, much like someone would a colleague to their network on LinkedIn or add a friend to their friends list on Facebook. An evolving service, Google+ Local offers a little bit of everything. For instance, users can find reviews and recommendations, they can publish their own online reviews, and they can read Zagat summaries of user reviews. Interestingly, Google+ Local also displays findings ranked on user circles, past reviews and user location.

Should Your Business Use Google+ Local?

Most certainly, yes. Studies have shown that nearly all consumers use the web to search for local businesses and to read reviews for those companies with which they are planning on doing business. As Google’s influence and social media platforms continue to grow, the importance of having a strong presence on Google+ is likely to grow as well.

Plus, there are already plenty of benefits to being on Google+ Local, including:

  1. Having increased control of your brand. Because Google+ Local allows you to control what information is displayed in directory listings for your business, you have some control over what information people see (such as address, contact information, payment information, and more).

  2. Providing a way to respond to feedback. With Google+ Local, you can respond directly to online reviewers, and connect with your customers in a way that can help build your brand and online presence.

  3. Providing increased visibility. With something like 100 billion searches performed on Google every month, anything you can do to raise your ranking in Google search results is a good thing.

  4. The ability to add special offers to your listing. Give your specials visibility by adding coupons to your listing.

If you’re not sure how to set up a Google+ Local listing for your business or how to improve your Milwaukee internet marketing, contact us or visit our website at We can help you build a Milwaukee internet marketing strategy that incorporates Google+ Local and other Google partners, so that your customers can find you whenever they need to.