I love Google.  I have gone through extensive training on how its search engine works.  I believe in Adwords.  I believe in optimization.  I know that only 4% of people go to page 2 when looking for something.  I know about relevance scores, Zagat ratings, outbound links, meta-tags, ad positioning, and all the little things in between.  I recently noticed that a majority of businesses in our area do not have a Google Plus page, and did some investigating with our own G+ page here at Think, and wow…no wonder I get the deer-in-headlights look when I start speaking “Google” to people…it can be pretty confusing!

Here is some info on the elusive Google Plus interface and why you need to care about it.

whitney pic 1When I am looking for a store, restaurant, attraction (or any place where I want to go spend money!), I Google that place (for number, directions, website.)  It is becoming so frustrating as a consumer when a business does not have a Google Plus Page.  When this is not in place, the searcher has to find your website in the results, is directed to a website that is typically not mobile compatible, and if your address and/or phone number is not clickable, you are pretty safe to assume that I’m checking out your competitor already.  Check out this example of a Google Plus Page and what it looks like on my phone when I Google “Walmart in Destin, FL.”  I can click to call, click for turn-by-turn directions, or click for website.  Awesome, awesome, awesome.  Looks like I’ll be going to Walmart!

What’s so cool about these Google Plus Pages is that pictures can be added, customers can leave you reviews, and having a high Zagat score is becoming more and more important as it is basically a credibility rating for your potential customers or clients to see.

So, what does this mean for a business owner?  Here are a few tips that I can share with my past knowledge on how Google works and also what I discovered in my investigation on how these Google Plus pages are working now.

1)       Think like your customer.  Is your customer searching for you on a phone or a desktop computer?  Are they local or a tourist?  Springbreaker, snowbird, or soccer mom?

2)      Google your business from time to time.  What does your web presence look like?  Is it easy to find you?  Is it easy to call you?  Does your competitor have a paid ad above you?

3)      Get into AdWords.  Google has made it difficult for business owners to have a “free” presence on the first page.  You might remember when Google had “Map Listings.”  This offered a no-cost way to be on the first page of Google…well, that since has been removed.  AdWords are the best way to guarantee a good position in the search results and can also have some impact on the way your site looks on Google.

4)      Contact us at Think for a free consultation on your web presence.  As a business owner, this Spring/Summer, we understand you are busy and need to spend time making money, not researching Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Yahoo, Bing, AdWords, LinkedIn, Foursquare…the list is unending and ever changing.  We would love to help you out!

For more information, here is an overview and summary of Google Plus for business owners.