Your Google local business listing might look a little different these days, thanks to a major update to Google Local.
If you haven’t been paying attention to Google’s local business listings, it may be time to start.
Big Changes to Google’s Local Business Listings
Here’s a quick rundown of the changes to Google’s local business listings:
Street name only: Exact addresses have been removed from listings, as well as phone numbers and Google+ links. Mobile users can click through to see a map with the full address information, or press a “Call” button to contact the business, but the numbers themselves are gone from the listing.
Store hours added: Opening and closing times are listed, including a “Closed” notification if the business is not open during time of search.
7-packs are now 3-packs: This is the biggest change of all. The old Google local listings would show you seven of the closest/most relevant businesses. Now, mobile users get a “snack pack” with only the top 3 results.
Clicks lead to more Google business listings, not your website: Unless the user clicks specifically on the URL in your listing, their click will lead to an a map that shows your business information, as well as 20 local listings for similar businesses.
What the Changes to Google’s Local Business Listings Mean to You
Search Engine Optimization and Google AdWords are more important than ever: SEO has always been a big deal, but now that the old 7-pack has been replaced by the 3-pack, getting your name in the top three results is an even bigger priority for your business.
Edit your Google business listing: Login to My Business on Google and make sure your business information is up-to-date. Be especially sure to double check that your hours of operation are correct, your address is showing up properly on Google Maps, and that your phone number has the country code and area code.
Encourage Google Reviews: With the new layout, the section previously titled “Google Reviews” are now front-and-center and showing up as simply “Reviews.” This means that, despite the popularity of sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, Google Reviews are going to be one of the first things people see on your Google local business listing.
Ask your loyal customers to make sure yours are plentiful and positive!
Get the Most Out of Your SEO Now
If you’re wondering how to get started with optimizing your website for the new Google local business listing layout, we would love to help.
Set up a free consultation to review how your business can get the most out of Google’s ever-changing search engine listings. It’s what we do best!