Google+ Replaces Google Places (as of May 30th)
- Date: June 7, 2012
- Author: eDentalImage
- Comments: 0
Heads up dental practice owners! In case you haven’t heard already, the Google Places pages has been entirely replaced by the new Google+ “Local” pages. Don’t fret; the change isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Actually, you should be excited because this is what it means:
New profile page design is actually meant to help both you & your patients!
Basically, local search just got a lot more social. Remember the five yellow stars and review comments that used to pop up under the search result for your favorite restaurant? Yeah, that’s not there anymore. The original Google Places page has been enhanced with an entirely new layout.
What you need to know is that Google+ Local makes it easier for people to find you. When users login to social networking site Google+, the new Local tab will appear on the left hand side of their navigation bar for greater functionality.
As for the 1-5 star rating, a new 30-point Zagat rating scale has taken its place. The Zagat scores will provide more useful review information including separate scores for dental services, experience, and atmosphere, as opposed to the averaged 5 point rating.
Another added feature is Google+ Local’s ability to easily filter results and share the places that friends in “your circles” have visited or recommended.
This is currently limited to reviews and posts, but may include check-ins in the future. Google+ Local pages are also integrated with the old Maps & Directions features as well as regular online and mobile search. In short, more people can find & recommend you.
Why should dental practices care?
Offices like yours should be excited about the new transition to Google+ Local for a number of reasons:
1. Better Content & Sharing: Google+ Local will provide richer content & greater access to consumers. Not only are dentists found through the regular Google.com searches, Google Maps, and mobile apps, but now they can also be reached through the Google+ community.
2. Free Marketing: Google+ Local has also enabled word-of-mouth marketing for you. For FREE! Friends can share, recommend, & review the places they visit. However, this could also work in the reverse sense, provided the patient has a negative experience. So keep that in mind!
3. Gain a Following: Google+ Local pages allow owners to regularly communicate with patients via the interactive content pages & messaging. They can also develop followers similar to Facebook & Twitter.
4. Visual Appeal: The new pages are more visually interesting as photos are displayed more prominently & play a greater role in the marketing of a practice.
Dental practitioners will continue to manage their information in Google Places for Business. All of the old listing data & links are still there, but they should definitely be updated & monitored. If you need help optimizing your dental office’s Google+ presence or would like more information about Google+, contact eDentalImage for free consultative & expert advice!