Over the past year, Facebook has exploded into several new offerings. They quickly developed themselves into one of the largest online advertisers and surprised the world by creating their own local search engine. Based on the opinions of experts in this area of focus, Facebook has a chance to succeed where Google+ failed - by creating the smartest online local search platform. From their continually expanding user base, to their content sharing interface and immense demographic storage, Facebook has set themselves up to take the local search industry by storm.
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.
Pokémon Go fever is at an all-time high, with users falling off cliffs and crashing cars in pursuit of being the very best. Mass amounts of citizens are taking to the streets with high hopes to catch the next Charizard and Pikachu in their communities, and there is a veritable gold mine waiting for businesses that are looking to cash in on this rapidly expanding user network. Every person walking around with their phone in their face is a potential customer for your business...so long as they don’t walk into oncoming traffic on their way to you! What does this mean for your business? Marketing opportunities, foot traffic, revenues, and money! See below on how to capitalize on this craze that’s taking the world by storm.
Chatmeter started off as a realization that customer reviews were going to have a huge impact on decision making for consumers looking for local products and services. However, there was no way to manage this huge influx of reviews in the fragmented world of local search. Collin Holmes, Founder and CEO, set out in late 2009 to build the very first mobile local search platform aimed to help marketers, agencies, and local businesses improve their online presence and reputation.
Instagram is adding new features to its platform, making business profiles more competitive in the world of Local Search and SEO. They are in the process of building specific features for businesses- similar to Facebook’s brand pages. A contact button, linkable location tag and a category will be some of the main features distinguishing business profiles from personal ones. This is currently in beta to select features, but here are some details we’ve discovered about the up and coming release.
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.
With Facebook adding starred reviews at the end of 2013 and partnerting with Factual recently to include millions of more store pages, we knew a local search portal was not far away. Although it has been live for close to a month, Facebook has yet to promote their new local search engine (https://www.facebook.com/services/) to the mass public. While this first beta version is available on desktops, it has yet to take the jump to mobile devices. Its features and UI are strikingly similar to other local search giants like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google… and has even been hyped the “Yelp Killer” by a few online articles.