86% of consumers are using Google Maps to look up local businesses. Once they reach the search results page they scroll through a few business's photos, ratings and reviews to get a quick overview and then make their decision. As a business, you only have a short window to make a positive impression on the customer, set the expectation about what their experience will be like, and ultimately win their business.Making a great impression starts with what people see when they come across your listing. When customers are doing a local search, they are trying to understand what their experience will be like. There are two major elements that provide this information. The first is reviews….what experiences are other people having? The second are photos, specifically your Preferred Photo . This is the first photo that potential customers will see that represents your business.
Does this sound familiar? All of my Google reviews have 5-Stars, why is Google giving me an overall rating of 4.9? (See Image below).
As of February, Google rolled out an entirely new layout in which they removed the ads on the right side of the webpage and added a fourth paid ad on top of organic search results. Businesses paying for ads are rejoicing while organic SEO results are less than pleased with the change.
No doubt 2016 has been a year for the books and we’re only half way through! Google has implemented huge changes recently that are affecting a storefront’s organic and local search results in a number of ways. Here are the changes Google has implemented, how they will affect your local business, and what to expect in the future.
Google has confirmed that ads appearing in the right hand column of its desktop search page will be eliminated worldwide, with only two exceptions, product listing ads and the ads in the knowledge panel. This update decreases the total amount of ads from eleven to seven.
In November, Google responded to user feedback with a newly designed Google+. It’s streamlined and has an emphasis on communities and collections. The company rebuilt it across all mediums. So the site is consistent and easy to use on any format. However, your local business should continue to direct customers to Google Maps.
If you happen to visit a Google+ page today, you’ll see an option to check out the new Google+. The updated UI is simpler, faster and integrated across the web, iOS and Android.
Last month, we reported that Google was beginning to separate business listings from Google+ pages. This latest makeover to Google+ reinforces the fact that they are shifting their listings to maps. Your business should now be directing customers and clients to Google Maps business listings rather than your Google+ page.
Because the company recognized that most of the growth on the site was through Collections and Communities, Google+ now has a more social/community based feel. It doesn’t give users the option to write reviews, share, or post pictures on a local business page.
The new Google+ has yet to be fully promoted, and doesn’t show up in local search results. Although the company still gives the option to use the classic UI, it can be assumed that it will eventually be phased out. Google reviews, ratings and directions to a business listing still remain primarily on Google maps.
One minor change to a social media or review site can have a large impact on your overall SEO strategy. If you need help navigating, schedule a free demonstration with us. Chatmeter will show you how simple it can be to keep up with it all!
For months, Google has been making an effort to phase out the association between Google+ and Google Maps. Google+ pages don’t even appear in most search results anymore and listings are automatically pointed to Google Maps.