Google Has Overhauled Local Search – What Every Business Should Know

Google has recently launched a new kind of local search.  Previously when you indicated a location in your search (i.e. Toronto), Google results would display 7 results with a map in the centre with organic results listed below. 

Now when you search for local results Google will display blended local and organic results.  Google says, “Place Search, a new kind of local search result that organizes the world’s information around places” There are a few key features of the new display: 

  1. Results with a red pin indicating the business on the map (now on the right pane) 
  2. Contact details such as photo thumbnail, phone number, address
  3. Links to reviews, segmented by online review sites
  4. Star rating and total number of reviews
  5. Link to Google places page

 

Google says results are now “grouped easily to digest and compare” You can see from the new places search that consumer ratings and number of reviews are easily identifiable on the right– highlighting the ever increasing importance of consumer reviews and reputation management. 

So the real question is; how is this shift in search results important to your local business?  Your Google places page can help you rank in searches.  The places page allows you to add pertinent information about your business such as address, telephone number, email, website, business descriptions, hours of operation, photos, video, reviews and more.  The more enhanced the content is in your places page; the higher your business will rank in the places search.  Local businesses that have not claimed and optimized their places pages be at a big disadvantage in places search.  Your local business can easily take advantage of this opportunity. 

How You Can Benefit from the New Google Places Search

  1. Claim and optimize your Google place page – or have N49 Interactive set it up for you
  2. Get Consumer Reviews – the N49 Interactive Review Manager can help
  3. Get Listed in Local Directories – like the N49 network

Google is making it easier to find one complete picture of a business.  While creating a better user experience by incorporating local and organic; it’s a reminder to local business to keep on top of their search marketing strategies. 

Read more about how N49 Interactive search marketing strategies can help your business

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