Claiming your business page on Google Local: an easy guide for auto dealers12/27/2012
Unless you have been living under a rock, you already know that Google is one of the most dominant forces in the digital space today. Rapid growth has made it one of the most visited sites in the world. Since May 2012, when it launched Google Local (part of Google+), the science of reputation management has taken a new meaning, especially to auto dealers, retail establishments, financial institutions, and the hospitality sector.
As a local business owner or manager, it is super important to concentrate on providing accurate business information to prospective clients and customers and much like Yelp, claiming your Google+ business page is very imperative in this process. Why? Approximately 70% of shoppers peruse user-generated sites before (during and after) making a purchase. This according to a 2011 Powerreviews study, so what does it mean to your brand? If your business depends upon foot traffic, roughly 70 out of 100 shoppers (purchasers) may avoid walking through your doors if your online brand contains negative reviews or if the address, phone number, photos, or other information is inaccurate. The online reputation world is vast and mighty.
Here are a few quick steps to get you started in the process with Google.
- Visit http://plus.google.com/
- Right off the bat, before you can even search for your business, you will be prompted to create an account. It’s simple and easy. Simply click on the Sign Up link in the top right hand corner and fill out the fields provided.
- Once you are redirected into the Google+ Home Page, you will notice a list of categories along the left side of the page. One of which will be labeled Local. Here is where all business will be listed for people to search and read and write reviews.
- Upon clicking the link, much like other user-generated (aka review) sites, there will be two fields located at the top of the page. Enter the name and location of your business into the respective fields and continue onto your Google+ business listing.
- Depending on whether or not users (customers, previous owners, third- party data providers etc.) have been searching and providing business information for your business page, you may find photos of your organization, address, website address, and description of your business. Once you have claimed this page as an affiliate of the property, you will be able to edit and control information as you see fit (but you can’t control user-generated content).
- To continue claiming your business, click the link, Manage this page. On the following page click edit, update the information as you wish and click Submit.
- Finally, Google will prompt you to validate your listing by either a phone call to the phone number listed on your page or via postcard to the mailing address listed on your page. This prevents someone who has no affiliation with your business, from managing what is rightfully yours.
In the end managing your Google Local business listing is no different from managing your Yelp Local business listing. This is a powerful marketing tool in the public sphere—you can participate or not: users have many platforms to share comments, experiences, and ratings of your organization. Pay attention, heed feedback, find ways to use the data wisely in promotional efforts, and put your best foot forward when responding to reviews.
And if you have your hands full running your business, we can help. We’ve developed a turnkey online reputation system that monitors various review sites and notifies you when reviews are published, plus we’ll support you in responding to reviews, and because we are an e-mail service provider, we use our e-mail system to solicit authentic and positive feedback on the review sites where you need them most (and we have mechanism to collect user-generated negative feedback, too, outside of the very public review sites space).
We’re here if you have questions. You can message Dirigo on Facebook and LinkedIn, share comments below, send us a Tweet, find us on Tumblr , send me e-mail, or ring me straight away at 307-358-2994 Good luck!