Adjusting to Google+ Local Changes

April 7, 2016

Many business owners have relied on the Google+ Local platform to attract local customers, generate website traffic, and increase company sales. For instance, Google+ Local alerted users of local businesses that matched their interests and provided beneficial data about the companies, including maps, reviews, and basic company information. However, in 2015 low performance levels compelled Google to diminish the features of the Google+ Local platform. The dramatic changes to Google+ Local have substantial implications for many small business owners who depended on the platform to raise brand awareness and to attract new customers. If you are a small business owner, you should be aware of the recent Google+ Local changes and the online strategies by which you can still effectively attract local customers.
  • Google+ Local Changes
            In 2015 Google implemented many changes to the Google+ Local platform. Google removed links and company information from the interface of Google+ Local business pages. For example, the pages no longer provide company information regarding business categories, maps, photos, hours of operation, and customer ratings or user review features. Many companies were shocked when the platform suddenly stopped displaying information about their businesses on their Google+ Local pages. Business owners who utilized the platform to attract customers are now worried that the changes will minimize the efficacy of the platform, reduce the website presence of their businesses, and render it more difficult for local users to find their companies.    
  • Google Local Search
            Small business owners can relax and breathe a sigh of relief, for the Google Local Search function can allow you to still attract local customers. When users search for a certain service, Google can identify the location of the user and display nearby companies that provide the desired services. Google Local Search also shows basic information about those companies, including maps, contact details, star ratings, user reviews, and background information about the companies. You can help improve your local search rankings through the Google My Business platform. With Google Local+ getting the axe, the Google My Business platform is now the primary method by which companies can increase their website presence, improve their Google search rankings, and entice local users to support their services or purchase their products.
  • Google Search Tips
          Many Google My Business and digital marketing strategies can help you attract local customers from Google search results. Google has been shutting down inactive or unverified Google My Business pages to clean up the platform. As a result, officially verifying and consistently updating your Google My Business page can prevent your page from being shut down, improve your company’s local search ranking, and surpass competitors that have not adjusted to the changes. Because search results often display information from your Google My Business Page, you should also provide accurate and comprehensive information on your page. For instance, you should articulate details regarding your company’s address, services, contact details, hours of operation, payment methods, and business categories. Additionally, implementing effective digital marketing and SEO strategies can also help your company generate website traffic and remain atop the Google rankings.
Although the changes to Google+ Local can impair the online marketing tactics of small businesses, our SEO and SEM experts can help your company adjust to the changes and remain visible to local users. We will help your company implement effective SEO strategies to improve your Google search rankings, attract local customers, and maximize the name recognition and profit margins of your business.
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