Lloyd Silver

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I work a fair amount with local businesses that are in categories not displaying in the local pack. For example, real estate agents and mortgage brokers.

There are certainly reasons they should use, and benefits they get, from having a Google Plus page even though they aren't showing up in local results.

Some of those benefits likely influence organic rankings. Multi site reviews in one place. Pushing content out to followers. Knowledge graph on company brand searches, etc.

I'd appreciate hearing other thoughts on how businesses benefit from a Google Plus page other than pack results.
 

Colan Nielsen

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I believe having a Google+ page means getting the click to call button on mobile searches for their business name. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

Yep, that's a great point :)

It's also beneficial because they show up on Google Maps, Google+ Search, Google+ Local search. Not as many people searching there, but it's still significant.
 

Lloyd Silver

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Yeah, mobile clicks is a good feature. Especially with the tracking of those note. Thanks for the reminder.

It would be interesting to see numbers of searches system wide on those local specific searches but as you said Colan they likely aren't significant. But hey, if you get one new customer from it there's value.
 

Phil Rozek

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@Lloyd

These guys nailed it - as did you, with the reasons you brought up.

There's another big reason to care about your Places/Plus page (and other listings) if you're in an industry where the local map isn't showing:

The map may return at any time.

Google's always twisting the dials. Google has gone back and forth over the last couple of years on showing the Places results for house painters, DUI lawyers, and some real-estate terms. There's every reason to believe the flip-flops will continue.

If and when the map comes back for the categories that got buried under a Pigeon pile, you want to have your ducks in a row so you're showing there. Not reason to spend all your time on local SEO, of course, but you also don't want to ditch it, either.
 

360 Spin

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I had the same conversation this week with a new client whose main keyword does not trigger the 7 pack ( at the moment ) and gave them the same advice as above.

Thanks for confirming I was correct in my understanding!
 

Tim Kidder

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Maybe I am misunderstanding a specific point of your question, but I think one of the biggest benefits is the ability to post. Not only does this form a social contact point for customers using Google+, but it provides SEO value-added by Google having another snippet to organically list in SERPs under the info box results, or within the regular blue links list.

Posting about what your business "does", and what your interests are provides a much more valuable discovery for potential customers than just a citation type directory listing effect.

Think of it this way... In a very crowded market, I might get in the top 7 pack of plumbers, but I might not, depending upon exactly where the query is made. Therefore, if I have built up a community by providing informational videos I post through my page, posts and links to local community events I am active in, and solicit people I meet in person to follow my business page because I will provide value there, then I will likely be more present and authentic as a strong local plumber worthy of the 7 pack.
 

Lloyd Silver

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Hey Tim,

Definitely agree and that's what I was referring to when I mentioned potential ranking boosts and "pushing content" out, and I appreciate you fleshing that out a bit.
 

Linda Buquet

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There's another big reason to care about your Places/Plus page (and other listings) if you're in an industry where the local map isn't showing:

The map may return at any time.

I was coming back to say something similar to Phil's point.

Google has all the GMB data in a database and you just don't know where she's going to show it next OR how it will be displayed next week or month.

For example imagine right now there was no such thing as a Knowledge graph in that nice side panel display. Then next week suddenly there's this new feature, but we discover not everyone gets it - seems to be the mature listings that do.

Plus directly to Phil's point, if there is no pack for that industry - and next week there suddenly is - I think maturity of the listing is one small factor. So I'd do it now rather than later.

Hey Tim, thanks for posting. You make some excellent points as well!
 
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