Claim your listing, do it right, or get someone experienced to help! The most important of all Google creations is the local listings (otherwise known as Google Places). 97% of consumers search for local businesses online, and this is a strong part of local search marketing. This listing is linked to the famous Google Maps! Google offers all businesses with a physical address a one page onlinelisting with links to Google Maps, where you can showcase your business through images, video, basic business information and specific business categories. All listings in Google give you 5 categories to list under. Choosing these categories wisely is critically important. For example, typing a category such as “spicy noodle house” could be unwise if nobody searches these keywords, and should Google not feel these keywords warrant a category. Even more important is the web site you list, how its setup, how many people use the web site and “how” they use the web site. All of these factors play a role in how Google decides to “rank”, or not rank, your business online. Your business likely has a Google Places listing that is not claimed. 90% of the businesses we review have a listing but did not claim the listing, or the listings are in the incorrect category and offer no information other than an address or phone number. You may have a web site that is not linked to your listing, and as a result, nobody can find your web site. Google Places also offers “Insights” where you can learn more about your customers - What keywords they’re searching for and where they’re coming from. Armed with this knowledge you can make better business decisions.
Google recently changed the Google Places to more closely integrate with Google+. An important feature of the change is the new scoring system which removes the past 5 start rating system in favour of a 30 point system by Zagat where reviewers answer 0-3 rating for 3 different questions. Also, Google will integrate the organic Zagat reviews and offer these reviews priority placement. This move will make it slightly harder to place reviews with additional steps, such as having to have a Google + Account, but should be of greater quality and value to business owners. I have listed the key changes below and offer a look at the Google Scoring system under Zagat below.
Top reviewers in Google+ LocalWhen a visitor wites a number of quality reviews in local placaes and in a particular city, they may be eligible to be considered a "top reviewer". In such casesa name and list of reviews could appear to show others justification for the recommended place. A fellow Google+ user may view the restaurant and see the "top reviewer Google+ name" and be influeced by the review.
Some example Google + Pages are listed below.
https://plus.google.com/107824230185742526611/about - Portland Office
https://plus.google.com/115020816197486883834/about - Oregon City Office
https://plus.google.com/104078101607517708702/about - Hillsboro Office
https://plus.google.com/105987600736516774325/about - Vancouver Office