This past month, Google made a major change to its search results pages (as well as its logo!), specifically to the maps listings known as the ‘Local Pack’. Previously, map listings were shown in packs of three, five or seven. Now, after these changes, map results only show up in packs of three. In other words, when a local search is conducted, instead of showing seven top businesses in the area, only three are shown.
So what does this mean and how does it impact your business?
Because of this change, many businesses fear that if they appear in the fourth position or lower in a local search, they may get fewer phone calls and sales while those in the first three positions will benefit from more business. However, this change isn’t the end of the world!
What’s important to note is that with this new change, the Google Maps results no longer provide local addresses. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, if you are ranking in the local pack you may appear higher, but your address is nowhere to be found.
For those businesses that are having trouble getting in the local pack, we have good news for you! With so many fewer local results on the maps, Google now allows for more room in the organic results. That means there are more opportunities for first page rankings!
So What Can We Do To Boost Local Rankings?
Because of these changes, it is more important than ever to make sure that your business name, address and phone number details are consistent and accurate on Google+, your website and all other local listing sites. Now is the time to update your business’s Google+ page with a lengthy description (think of the home page of your website and apply it to your Google+ page!), photos, categories and start posting by sharing industry-related news and blogs from your site.
Much to the dismay of business owners who try vehemently to stay on the top of local search results and rankings, Google is continuously making changes to its algorithm. It’s an attempt to provide users with the most relevant information as quickly as possible. While the next changes to the Google algorithm are impossible to predict, it is imperative for business owners to stay in the loop and keep their website and Google+ page updated accordingly. The best thing you can do is be aware of the updates and make adjustments to help your business thrive.
As an Account Executive at Wpromote, Megan is responsible for assisting clients with their search engine marketing needs. While helping clients become recognized in search engines is an integral part of her job, she is also a regular contributor to the blog. In her spare time, Megan enjoys Dodger games and trying out new recipes like chocolate chip cookie dough truffles! Learn more about Wpromote at TeleVox.Wpromote.com