Google+ Local gives businesses the opportunity to get closer to customers using Google Search and Maps by creating a business listing with up-to-date information and by giving owners access to customer feedback. Now, Google+ Local has a new look and a new system, both of which are working to make life easier for local businesses.
In April, the Google+ Local interface became more user-friendly. Updating a business profile is easy with widgets to control editing, helping you complete your profile without trouble. Additionally, any edits made to your business’ profile go live on Google Maps and other Google services in as few as 48 hours. This allows consumers to find the most recent and accurate information about a business as soon as a Google+ Local profile is updated.
Not only is Google+ Local easier to use and quicker to update, but it’s now better integrated into other Google features. With the upgrade, you’re able to manage sharing photos, videos and posts through Google+ directly from your Google+ Local page. In this way, a simple business profile becomes more interactive and helpful for customers looking for added information. For businesses that also use AdWords Express or Google Offers, it’s possible to manage ads and promotions as well as check results and make edits on the upgraded Google+ Local dashboard.
Another change from Google Places to Google+ Local is the rating system. Whereas Google Places utilized the 30-point Zagat scale, the new interface has since switched over to a 5-star scale. Previously, with the Zagat system, users would rate businesses within the range of “poor-fair” to “excellent” on dimensions such as “service” or “décor,” which would contribute to an overall rating between the numbers 1 and 30. These Zagat style ratings can still be found throughout Google, but the new 5-star rating is gradually being incorporated as a more effective system.
Now, old ratings from the 30-point Zagat scale are combined with more recent ratings to create new reviews on the 5-star scale. This preserves the precision of the previous system, but additionally allows both business owners and customers an easier way to rate businesses and review ratings.
The new Google+ Local dashboard simplifies the process of publicizing local businesses. Through the updates to the interface, owners now have the opportunity to effortlessly organize information about their business and customers have the ability to quickly find that information.