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The “Plus” Side of Google+
(How “Google+ Local” can help you sell more pools…)

By Brett Lloyd Abbott, MYM Austin Inc.

Continuing with my updates on the newest and best Social Media for pool builders, here’s another “no-brainer” social medium that EVERY pool builder should begin utilizing IMMEDIATELY. “Google+ Local” is a “Wow, why didn’t someone think of that sooner?” merging of “Google Maps” (a.k.a. “Google Places”) and “Google+” (Google’s alternative to Facebook). We’re talking about a combination of maps, directions, photos, videos, CUSTOMER COMMENTS (emphasis intentional) and MORE about your company, all showing up on page 1 of Google.

Google+ local logo2.jpg

A mere eight months ago, I raised a ruckus by proclaiming “No, You Don’t Have To Tweet.” I pointed out how MOST of the currently popular social media (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc.) were a complete waste of your time. By contrast, Google+ Local is definitely NOT a waste of your time. Here’s why:

  1. Page 1 of Google. Like it or not, the “Google Places/Maps” function (now known as Google+ Local) has found a permanent home on the first page of Google search. So even if you’re paying $1000 a month on Search Engine Optimization, and $3000 a month on Pay Per Click, the schlock pool builder down the street who pays nothing could still be beating you, just by setting up his “Google+ Local” page.
  2. It’s free. (It’s also very easy, so you don’t have to hire someone like me to do it for you.)
  3. It’s easy to stand out. Most people haven’t figured out that their Google+ Local page even exists, and thus haven’t put anything meaningful on their page. So while they’re snoozing, you can add all kinds of compelling text, photographs and videos to YOUR page, making YOU significantly more interesting than the next guy.
  4. It improves your website’s search rankings. It should come as no surprise that “Google” pays attention to its own “Google+” pages. The more content and activity on your Google+ Local page, the better they’ll rank your website.
  5. It’s going to take over the world.  I apologize for the cliché, but this is EXACTLY where social media is headed: Quick and easy-to-find information (including unfettered personal reviews) about your company, at their fingertips. (Without all the ridiculous distractions you’ll find on most other social media.) With their massive resources, Google is perfectly positioned to set the standard for modern business social media. (In the evolution of social media, MySpace would be considered a toddler, and Facebook, maybe a teenager. Google Plus Local is the only real adult in the room.)

By the way – it’s not like you really have a choice in this matter. Your Google+ Local page is already there. (With who knows how many “unfettered personal reviews”….) You just need to step in and “claim it,” so that you can start updating it with more compelling information. (Right now, it has whatever default content Google chose to load onto your page. Which in some cases, is nothing more than your company name.)

Here’s how to “claim” your page, and start uploading and updating your own content:

  • Go to Google’s “Places” page and click “get started now” to claim your listing.
    • If you already have a Gmail account or Google+ account, then login with that.
    • If you don’t have a Gmail/Google account, then click the “Sign Up” button in the upper right corner. (Or just go here.)
  • Google will then lead you through a series of questions to claim and update your page. Note that they will perform an “authentication” step by calling your business phone number, to confirm that you are indeed the owner of the company.
  • Be sure to upload some good-looking photos, and videos if you have them.

And here is perhaps the MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do with your Google+ Local page. You should contact at least 10 (preferably 50) of your happy clients, and encourage them to go to your Google places page, and write a favorable review. (Note that you can ALSO Copy these new testimonials over to your actual website. But let your clients enter them directly to your Google page, where they’ll do you the most good.)

Bottom line – the world (including your prospects and your competitors’ future clients) is steadily marching to Google+ Local. I suggest you take control of what they’re saying about you.

To your success,

Brett

2013 Brett Lloyd Abbott / MYM Austin, Inc. May not be used without permission.

 

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