A recent phrase is now slowly becoming an adage in small business economics – the one that advises companies and even consumers to "think local, act global." That being said, Google's new changes to the way people search for local businesses are causing some businesses to reconsider the way they market themselves locally. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, there are a few things local-oriented businesses should do to prepare for the prevalent changes in Google's behavior.
The source says that businesses should claim both their old Google Pages listing as well as their Google+ Local page. While Google+ Local is still becoming the standard, it's not quite there yet. So by claiming both, companies are able to ensure that when the switch happens for their own business, it is done without a loss to the businesses web presence.
Secondly, companies should also link to their Google+ Local page from their website. By doing so, they're able to make the transition quicker and easier for all parties. This will all provide an added SEO benefit.
Furthermore, by activating their companies Google+ account, businesses can prepare for the coming upswing in Google+ traffic and usage that is being predicted with Google's switch from Places to Local. While the social network's unveiling was less than celebratory, the social media/search engine giant has been trying to find ways to promote Google+. The changing of the guard as far as mapping and pinpointing businesses may be the turning point.
While all these changes can seem daunting at first, the help of a local online marketing consultant can simplify the process and speed it along to ensure that a business's SEO is unaffected by Google's changes.