People are beginning to search for information in different ways.
For about 10 or so years nearly every Internet user would logon their computer and the first screen they would see would be Google.
They would start their searches there.
Ten organic listings along with maybe a few ads.
Desktop Still Common
That is still the case in a lot of situations. And even with the increase use of smartphones we still use Google desktop quite a bit.
But we are using Google on our smartphones more now. Those results obviously don’t have as much screen room. And Google is doing a good job of showing ads.
Voice search is another interesting change. People are beginning to use their voice to perform more searches. They’re using voice on their phone. They’re also using voice with at-home smart devices like Amazon Echo and Apple Homepod and all those things.
Voice search, by its nature, doesn’t seem to give out much for options. You can get a few, but it’s likely that we’ll settle for whatever the first option is.
Then there is a type of search and also a type of search result that could have a major impact in the future. It’s already having a big impact.
Google My Business
Google My Business is for local businesses. Pretty much any business that does business out of a physical location. You could argue that is just about any business.
From a search result point of view Google My Business still seems undervalued. Open Google on your computer or phone or even on Amazon Echo and search for something like “pizza”.
The very first result you’re going to get is a local listing. Something with a map. Usually the names of three or so businesses that sell pizza near your location complete with name and review rating.
Also a snapshot image, hours of operation and maybe a little bit of a description.
If you’re a pizza place or any local business you can see how powerful this is. People see this result and that’s what they’re using…it’s just about all they’re using to make their purchasing decision.
It happens when they’re searching from Google’s homepage or app. And it definitely happens when they’re searching using Google Maps, which is a lot.
Even though Google My Business or the same thing under previous names has been around for years I believe it’s still undervalued.
And I think Google knows that it is too. They’re hiring people to fill out information for businesses. Check that previous link.
This is because they see the number of people that value correct local information. When people search for things that have local intent they want options that are good suggestions, but also that are close. Google is parsing through information to figure out the best results to show.
But right now there is a void.
Some businesses are really good at filling out their Google My Business listing. But many still aren’t.
That’s where the opportunity is…
If you own a local business go to Google My Business now and fill it out.
Perform searches for things that you normally buy in your local area. Look at the listings that stand out to you.
Those with good business names. Those with high ratings. Those with good, professional images. Those with appealing hours of operation.
See what stands out and begin working on filling in all those items for your business. It can take time.
Begin asking customers to leave reviews for you. Ask them how they found you. If they say “google” then ask them to leave a review. Don’t get too caught up in positive or negative right now. If you’re getting negative reviews it’s still good because you can see where you need to improve the business.
Over time, the more traffic you get via searches and the more reviews you get and the more attention you get the more you’ll indicate to Google that your business is worthy of being a top result for your area.
Do it now because this is undervalued. You can win business and build your reputation before others in your area catch on.