Search engine king Google has announced that its Google+ network is putting more emphasis on “Interests,” and thus diminishing its Google+ Local pages for businesses. They have reiterated that they are still committed to local search, but do not believe Google+ is the proper platform for displaying business information. You can read the full article here, via Search Engine Journal, but here are the highlights:
- Google+ started as a social network, but never gained the traction they were looking for to compete with the likes of Facebook. They kept the elements that were successful, like Photos, Communities, and Collections. Google+ Local was the place where Google displayed local business data, but have decided that is no longer the appropriate place for that information.
- The change will not affect SEO or the ability to attract new customers from Google. They will continue to display local business data in both normal search results and in map results, in fact, the map results now contain more information than ever about local businesses, which is a good thing.
- The Google My Business dashboard is not changing, as a business owner, you will still update any information about your business there. Data from there will show up in Google Search, Maps, and mobile search.
Local Search is still an immensely powerful tool to attract new customers. Per the article, here are some statistics that support this:
- 97% of consumers use the internet when researching local products/services (Source: BIA/Kelsey)
- 43% of consumers search every month for a local business (Source: BrightLocal Local Consumer Review Survey, 2015)
- The number one reason for an online search is to find the location of a ‘known’ business (Source: comScore, Neustar Localeze, 15 Miles – Local Search Study, 2014)
- 78% of mobile searches for local businesses result in a purchase (Source: Local Search Association Conference, 2014)
- Local Search delivers better ROI than all other online channels (Source: BrightLocal Clicks & Calls Survey, 2015)
- 34% of SEOs/SMBs would choose Local search above any other marketing channel (Source: BrightLocal Clicks & Calls Survey, 2015)
Robintek SEO services target local search and review your website to elevate your business in search results using a variety of tools, starting at $95/month. Consistency is key, and Google will reward businesses that have consistent information across the web. Our specialists know the best techniques for your business, let us know how we can be of service.