Small businesses that depend on local search and local mobile for their leads need to pay close attention to the new changes made to Google Maps and Google My Business.
If you are unaware of how Google search helps small business then it is important to work with an experienced Local SEO. Even one mistake can leave you out of Google’s 7 Pack. Without appearing on the ‘Google 7 Pack’ businesses loose a ‘up front and center’ position on the search pages.
What is The Google 7 pack
The Google 7 Pack targets consumers looking for a local business. It works on both mobile and PC searches. Everyone has seen it. When you are conducting a search you see the block of 3 – 7 businesses near the top of the search page. This is usually beside the map. The block shows the business name, address, and phone number. This Generates a lot of leads for local business.
Many times consumers do not even visit the website. They just call. It is important to understand this if you want to generate the most from your google presence. Do not just measure the number of clicks your website receives. Set up a way that you can track phone calls.
Most people call the Google 7 Pack a google map listings because they are on google maps and they are not part of Google My Business or Google Plus. This is important to know, because the only way to appear on Google Plus, Google Maps, or in the Google 7 Pack, is to have your business verified.
One of the biggest changes has been to the Google Local Manager. When making your labels in your ‘Google Local Manage’ Dashboard do not go crazy. Keep them to 3 or 5 and make sure you use the modifiers. Treat this as a meta tag. Too many tags
Google My Business – (Old name: Google Plus Local)
The local tab has been gone from the management dashboard for a couple weeks. This is because the whole search is now focused on local. Google is working to make the My Business the first ‘success’ in their Google + project.
Google + circle sharing is also gone. This tool was never successful in any circles but spammers.
The gossip that Google + was going to be discontinued have been disproved. Google did add another tool designed to let people share photos.
All of these tools are good news for small business owners who need to optimize locally, not nationally.
It is important to optimize for Google. But if you don’t keep your consumers in mind and write for them, then ranking at the top of Google for the best keyword isn’t going to help improve your revenue stream.
Not much has changed in the local algorithm since Google released Pigeon in July 2014. But this current shift is enough to start making SEO firms nervous. Google has something planned. They haven’t updated Panda or Penguin in 8 months. Pigeon hasn’t evolved to the 2.0 version. All these point to something big coming fall 2015.