Maintaining a Google My Business account is a vital component for local search engine ranking. In 2014, Google rolled out their update, Pigeon, which gave local businesses an advantage over national businesses when it came to local search. Now in 2018, we are receiving a new range of updates and features to further help an organization receive leads, traffic and brand awareness.
Below is a list of just a few major updates and how they may impact your Local Business listings.
Local Map Pack Update
The Local Map Pack Update has drastically changed how users interact with the local search results page (SERP). The new update focuses on hyperlocal marketing and allowing their mobile experience /voice-activated services to integrate with SERPs. Google My Business is where Google Maps and local searches pull most of the data for your business, which typically includes your business hours, address, reviews and phone number.
SERP Display Update
One of the biggest changes you will see is with Google’s Local Map Pack. Before the update, search queries would show businesses in groups of 3, 5 or 7, which allowed for more local businesses the opportunity to rank on first page results. Google has now changed to only showing 3 listings in the local map pack.
To rank on page one of a Google search is now more competitive than ever. The ranking will rotate based on the searcher’s physical location. This will also mean more searches will lead to interacting directly in google maps to see additional listings. Data shows that visitors tend to stick to what they see through organic search results but with the recent shift into vehicle and voice activated programs, it is in Google’s best interest to store all of the data they could use in their internal website.
What Can You Do?
Public Alliance recommends that you update all information in Google Business Listing and start utilizing some of the new features included in the newest update. With the slow demise of Google+, we are starting to see a big push of Google My Business to be the main tool for businesses. Reviews and posts have had a significant improvement and insights recently had an overhaul to give more in depth reporting on your listing performance. To see the full list of features, click here.
Let us know how the updates have affected your ranking and traffic. How are you planning to update your local SEO strategy?