Google Local Guides is a great way to support local businesses. Despite that fact, chances are that you’ve never even heard of it. But don’t let that put you off. To bring you up to speed, we’ve compiled this primer on what Google Local Guides actually is, and why you need to get involved…

What is Google Local Guides?

Google Local Guides is a really cool initiative from Google. Through this project, the iconic search engine is trying to make its Google Maps service into more of a content-driven space, transforming it into something more than a handy navigational tool.

The idea is that Google Users (that’s anyone with a Gmail account) can sign up to be a ‘Local Guide’. Being a Local Guide means sharing your recommendations for local businesses, adding photos, answering questions and verifying previously-unverified locations.

How does it work?

Once you’ve signed up, Google will give you a brief tutorial and explain what it wants you to do to. The aim is to make contributions that ‘help millions of people find the best places’. All you have to do is snap, rate and recommend your favourite places around town. This will earn you points, which can help you ‘level up’ within the Google Local Guides system. You’ll earn badges as your portfolio of reviews and ratings grows. You also might choose to chat with like-minded individuals on Google Local Guides Connect.

Why is it so important?

For local business owners, a rating and a review can go a long way. The more reviews and positive write-ups a business has, the higher up search rankings it will appear when people go searching. Being ranked as one of the ‘best lunch spots’ in a town can be real gold dust for a restaurant, for example. If you want to support local businesses, this is a fab way to do it.

What are the perks?

Sharing your opinions can help you earn some free stuff from Google. Brand new members of Google Local Guides get access to Google’s inside scoop newsletter, as well as opportunities to enter competitions from Google’s partners. Once you work your way up the ranks, you can even get early access to new Google products and features, as well as picking up some free cloud storage space. You might also get a mention on Google’s social media channels or an invite to a swanky summit for Google Local Guides.

What’s the catch?

Basically, there is no downside to being a Google Local Guide. You can get free stuff and support your favourite local businesses simply be taking a few pictures, selecting some star ratings and writing the occasional little review. It’s a nice little system, and it’s very easy to use. As a local business with a strong online presence, we’d urge you to sign up!

How do I sign up and become a Google Local Guide?

If all of this sounds pretty great to you, simply click here and sign up to Google Local Guides for free. Enjoy sharing your thoughts and earning rewards, and why not give us a review while you’re at it?

My Google Local Guides Reviews have been seen by over 4000 people!

I love when Google tells me that I’m making a difference. It’s great to see which of my reviews and photos have made an impact on peoples trips. However, there is a downside to this. Consider for a moment if you are a local business who gets a negative review – this can have disastrous consequences. That’s why having a review strategy is key to growing your business. Make sure you are asking people for reviews, constantly. Make it part of your everyday strategy, that way, if you get a negative comment, it won’t impact you against all the noise of wonderful, positive reviews.

Local Google Guides Email

Are you up to the challenge? Why not create a Local Guides account today and leave a review for a business you love.

Got questions? Feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to answer them. If you’d like some advice on how to make the web work for you, book a social clinic today…