Connecting Your Google+ Business Page To Your Google Maps Listing

Google now allows people who have Google+ business pages to connect their page to their local business listing on Google Maps.

Google’s help page gives detailed directions on how to connect your Google+ business page to your Google Maps verified listing. This will connect your current page to Google Maps. All the business information, including the business address, the Google Maps reviews, business hours and more from Google Maps will apply to your page. The followers, posts, and managers of your page will also remain intact.

Many businesses have a few Google+ pages listed in their Google+ manager page, but this will help combine at least two of them.

Follow the steps below to connect your Google pages:

1. Log in to Google+

2. Select ‘Pages’ from the drop-down menu on the left.

3. Click ‘Manage this Page’ on the Google+ Local page.

4. The local page will look almost identical to your current page. However, it will include a verification shield next to the name of a page. If you hover over the badge, you will see “Verified local business”.

Google 1

5. Click ‘Manage this page’

6. From the drop-down menu on the left, select ‘Settings’.

7. Scroll to the ‘Profile’ section. Next to ‘This page is connected to Google Maps’, click ‘Connect a different page’.

Connect to a different page

8. In the “Link a different page to this location” dialog, pick the page that you’d like to connect to Maps and click ‘Next’.

9. You’ll see a list describing the changes to the newly-created page you’re connecting to Maps, and the local Google+ page you’re disconnecting from Maps. Click ‘Confirm’.

The page that’s newly connected to Maps will:

-Display the name and verification badge from the former local page.

-Display the business information (hours, phone number, etc.) and reviews from the former local page.

-No longer display prior owner responses to local reviews. Your existing reviews may take a few hours to show up after connecting the page.

-Carry over followers, posts, and managers.

-Carry over the custom URL (if you’ve set one up).

-Possibly remove ad campaigns associated with the page.

The former local page will:

– No longer display on Google Maps

-No longer display local business information or reviews

-Be renamed to “Backup of page name”

-Still be visible on Google+

-Retain followers, posts, and managers from the former local page

-Retain the custom URL from the former local page (if you’ve set one up)

-No longer display AdWords Express campaigns associated with the page.

 

(via Search Engine Land)

Google Local Carousel: What You Need to Know

As many of you may already know, Google recently launched their new Local Carousel. This carousel appears above the fold and displays 8-10 business listings (depending on the size of your screen) based on your search.

Google Carousel
Screenshot of carousel listings for the search term “pizza”.

Below, I’ve listed a few things that you need to know about this carousel:

– Based on an extensive study from Digital Marketing Works (DMW), the quality and quantity of Google reviews may be the single most important variable in determining inclusion and ranking.

– The images that appear in the carousel (should your business appear there) are largely determined by the photos that you add to your Google+ Local business listing. If you have not added any good quality photos, the photos that appear for your business may be the ones that patrons have uploaded while visiting your business. Some examples here.

Photo taken by a Google Plus user at Extra Virgin appearing in local carousel results
Photo taken by a Google Plus user at Extra Virgin appearing in local carousel results. via JSO Digital

– According to Google, this new carousel is geared towards “local dining, nightlife, hotels, and other attractions on desktop”. So what if your business doesn’t fall into any of those categories? Google states, “We’re committed to providing users a high quality search experience for every query. The carousel filtering experience is a good fit for some categories of local businesses. We will continue to experiment with different designs and interfaces to make sure that users get the information they’re looking for, fast.” Here are 54 keywords that seem to be triggering the Google Local Carousel so far.

– According to a study using Usabilityhub’s clicktest product, when 102 respondents were given the prompt: You are searching for a nearby pizza place. Where do you click?, most people tended to click on the map instead of the carousel. See image below.

Heat Map Results for Clicktest on local carousel
Heat Map Results for Clicktest on local carousel. via Ethical SEO Consulting

– Mike Ramsey, President of Nifty Marketing, recently conducted an experiment capturing 10 Random People’s Reactions to Google Local Carousel. Here is one of them below:

What are your thoughts on the new Google Carousel? Do you think it’s helpful in narrowing down your search? If so, how? Let us know in the comments below!

Review Site Series: 5-Star vs. Alternate Rating Scales

In this installment of our Review Site Series, we wanted to focus on the rating scales used by different review sites. Most review sites use a 5-Star rating scale, but others, such as Zagat use an alternate rating scale. (Zagat uses a 30-point scale.)

We at ReviewInc feel that having a scale other than the standard 5-Star rating scale can be a little confusing for consumers. People generally associate leaving reviews with a 5-Star system and it seems to be the simplest form of rating scale.

Interestingly enough, although Zagat operates on a 30-point scale, it’s still almost as if they operate on a 5-star scale.

Zagat Rating Scale

Essentially, ‘5 Stars’ would be “26-30 | Extraordinary to Perfection”, ‘4 Stars’ would be “21-25 | Very Good to Excellent”, ‘3 Stars’ would be “16-20 | Good to Very Good”, ‘2 Stars’ would be “11-15 | Fair to Good, and ‘1 Star’ would be “0-10 | Poor to Fair”.

Zagat, who was bought out by Google, used to aggregate its scores towards Google+ Local listings. However, Google has now switched back to the 5-Star rating scale.

Another example is a percentage rating scale used by sites such as Citysearch, which is determined by a simple ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’. (Or a 2-point rating scale, if you will). While this scale is far more simple than the 5-point rating scale, it’s important to note that when you have a scale like this, it takes a lot of people to participate in order for the data to be truly meaningful.

Citysearch Rating Scale

What do you think? Do you think that a 5-Star rating scale is the best form of rating scale? What are others that you think are more beneficial or accurate? Let us know in the comments below!