Local Search Engine Marketing Undergoes Major Google Changes


Search engine optimization is constantly changing. And, for a local company to boost their revenues, they must optimize their site following Google’s detailed guidelines.  However, they also need to stay aware of the changes Google and other search engines make to ensure they stay ahead of their competition and keep making a profit.

For instance, Google is making some changes to local search engine marketing that will affect these companies now and in the future. It is introducing new themes – such as local optimization, dynamic ad placements, Google my business and others – that businesses must realize and implement if they are to continue to be seen by prospective clients and customers.

What are some of the other changes Google is introducing?

6 Themes/Tools Google Is Adding To Local Search Engine Marketing

Voice Search

This tool is projected to make up half the searches by 2020. Instead of typing for particular information, web users can speak their keywords into the search engine to find what they are looking for. A site that has optimized itself for voice search will be a step ahead of those who fail to do so – leading to winners and losers.

The reason a local business formats its website for Google is to allow the search engine to attain data and show them to searchers. When they do this, the business is likely to see more traffic. A lack of website optimization means the local business is missing out on traffic (and potentially profits).

One of the ways a local business can optimize its site for voice search is to make it easy for the search engine to snip its local business site.

Visual Lens

Google began experimenting with its display searches in 2015, making it look more like a Pinterest search. Now, Google is optimizing its search to be more visual.  Images are being indexed in text search. Google now shows local business images on Google My Business to give users an idea of how the business looks online.

Now, local businesses will need to use visually-appealing images either in Google My Business or Google Maps to attain clients. By optimizing their site for visual searches gives them an advantage to appeal to the users’ sense.

Google My Business

Google introduced the Google My Business feature in 2014, which has played a huge role in whether or not a business gained traction online or failed to do so. What makes Google My Business so different from other themes? It lets Google validate a company’s geographical listing.

In order to get things set up with Google My Business, the business owner must apply and submit the verification code Google sends to them. The theme will display business reviews and various other information. When it comes to local business ranking, a fourth of the ranking factor is Google My Business.

GMB provides users with the benefit of providing additional information to users such as site information, trustworthiness, etc. A business not listed in Google My Business will not see a lot of traffic because it won’t be ranked high in the search results.

Local Services

This theme is similar to Google My Business, which also asks for a business’ geographical location. Local Services list services for trade jobs such as plumbers, electricians, etc. Through such a service, it builds trust between the business and customer, as there is a refund Google Guaranteed policy in place. Should a customer receive bad service, Google will refund customers up to $2,000 and remove the business from its listing.

Businesses that list high on Local Services will see an increase in customers. Therefore, any business that fails to set up a Local Services listing is losing out on potential clients/customers even if they offer a great service.

Google Map Listing

This Google perk will list businesses on Google Map and show them to users when searched for. It’s a great tool for users, as they can find out how far or close a business is to them, see what it looks like and read user reviews.

By ranking on Google Map Listing, businesses will see a rise in clients/customers due to their placement. There are several controllable and non-controllable factors that play into where a business ranks in Google search results. For example, positive customer engagement and Google images will influence where Google ranks a business.

Dynamic Ad Placement

Google is always experimenting with what works and what doesn’t work, which is what affects Google Ad placements.  The biggest changes began in late 2017, which includes the four top links of a search result are ads – be it Google My Business ads or products listing.