Google Adds Interactive Places “Carousel” to Local Search Results
Google introduced a new design for local search results on desktop and tablets that put a carousel with the top results at the top of the page. The new carousel search feature can be triggered when users preform searches for local restaurants, bars and other local places, Google says, and it’s currently rolling out in English in the U.S. and should roll out for other languages in the future.
Techcrunch states that “A typical search to see this feature would be something like “Mexican restaurants in nyc.” Google will then put the carousel at the top of the page, including a photo, the standard Zagat ratings, price class and cuisine. A click on these places will bring up their Google+ Local sites with more information.” Users can then click on the results in the carousel to see the business address, photos, overall review-based score and view and click on the links to those reviews.
How Do You Get Your Local Business Listed in the Google Local Carousel?
The answer from Google is stunningly easy: “Simply claim your company’s Google Local listing”. But unfortunately for business owners, there’s more to it than just that. Claiming your Google Local listing is only the first step, and it can be time consuming, and well, a rather painful process. Many business owners have yet to claim their listings, which means they will need to go through and edit all of the business information, add hours, website, and contact information. Following that, a verification process takes place, where the business owner must either use a verification pin received via phone, (must be using the company’s phone number listed in the profile), OR, wait for up to 2 weeks to receive a postcard via snail mail. Once the listing is verified using the pin#, Google will correctly show the revised information on the Google Places listing.
Google Local Plus for Brands and Companies
But of course, it can’t be just that simple! After claiming and correcting a Google Places listing, the business owner must then go back to Google, create a Google Local Plus profile page for the company, and proceed to pull in the Google Local listing information to effectively merge the two accounts into one unified and enhanced listing. This process requires yet more time to setup, add contact information, verify the contact information, add and verify the company website, and again, a verification pin, which can only be mailed in this case.
Once the business owner creates and unifies the two accounts, the company can take advantage of everything Google Plus has to offer brands and companies! (Whew, that took a while!) But it’s proven to be worth it, time and time again. Studies have shown that a well-managed Google+ page with updated content, attractive images and customer reviews is the critical first step, and can be highly beneficial for the company’s Search Engine Optimization strategy. Likewise, claiming and managing other local listings and review sites is also important for a unified Search Engine Optimization strategy. This can be a time consuming task, so get started as soon as possible. There are potentially 100’s of local listing and very important review sites to focus on, and each industry may have different sources to pay close attention to.
Not enough time in your day to take advantage of of the Google Plus platform? Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Contact one of our Online Reputation Management Experts for assistance with setting up your profiles and managing your company’s reputation.
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Managing Your Company’s Online Presence For Better Search Engine Optimization
Companies that persistently take charge in managing their online brand appearance and overall web presence and reputation (through ongoing and active social media marketing, creating a great website and keeping it updated, having a mobile website, using ongoing blog posting, managing online directory listings, monitoring brand and company mentions & customer reviews, etc.) is likely to show up higher in search engine results pages (SERPS) and overall gain more website traffic than a business that’s not paying attention to their online presence.
At Amplified Digital, we know that your company’s overall appearance online matters to you, and that you may not have time to effectively manage this while trying to run your business. We offer one of the most unique suite of marketing programs in the St. Louis area, including Website Development, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing & Optimization, Mobile Website Development, and Brand & Company Reputation Management. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help Amplify Your Online Presence!