Google is always changing. Matter of fact, one Google property – Google+ – seems to change monthly. There’s a new update, something deleted, or new features constantly being added.
Several clients ask us, “Why do I have two Google+ pages?” It seems very confusing to have two pages, right? They are not the same and should be treated totally differently. I agree it’s a lot to keep up with Google, but you want to make sure Google trusts who you say you are.
What Is Google+?
Simply put, it’s the network that competes with social networks. These pages can be for a business, person, or anything with a name. A Google+ page will be indexed and that is reason enough to create a page. So, think of it as a social network that can help augment your online visibility.
What Is Google+ Local?
Local is what it sounds like – your local business page. It’s where people find you through a Google Maps search, leave critical reviews, and where Google validates details of your business. Think of it are a hyper-local search tool.
Google Local optimization is the process of making sure all of your listings are up-to-date and correct, which helps with your SEO for your website. It’s really important with this particular page.
What’s the Difference Between Google+ and Google+ Local?
The difference in the two is this – user intent. If you’re looking for a Mexican restaurant in Dallas, you would pull out your phone and Google it. The results listed are those that you asked to see. Google will tell you the hours of the restaurant, address, customer reviews, and show photos too. Local gives you all the essential information you need to contact this restaurant and go by there for tacos (and leave reviews once you’ve eaten there).
Google+ is more of your mainstream social media – a place where the business can share messages with its target audience.
Do I Need Both?
In short, yes.
If you were to hold me down and ask me which of the two is more important, I would say with resounding confidence Google+ Local. If you’re a small business, you can’t afford to not have the correct data in your Google+ Local listing. You want people to leave good reviews. I know the last time I need an air conditioning repair man I went straight to Google and read people’s reviews.
Like I said earlier, both should be a part of your online marketing strategy. They’re both helpful for Google local optimization. Google still is the largest traffic driver for most websites. You need to act and make sure you are taking advantage of Google real estate.