Whenever Google makes changes to local listings, SEO companies want to instinctually only think about how to increase the rankings of the clients. Sometimes SEO Companies  have to take a step back and think about how recent Google changes impact searching prospective customers  and clients.

One of the recent changes made substantial changes to how potential customers find, you, our clients and we have to prepare for how this is going to change your business.

The new Google results fundamentally change the way potential customers engage with businesses. Look at the image below, compared to the second image, which are the previous results:

royalty screen shot




The major differences are:

  • If you are searching on a desktop you can no longer see a business’ phone number without clicking to their website or Google plus my business page. This makes it very important that your phone number is highly visible and easy to find on your website.
  • You can no longer access a shop’s Google Plus My Business Page without a lot of effort. This means that if you don’t have a website in your Google plus My Business page, there is very little a potential customer can find out about you. This increases the importance of your website even more, especially when it comes to getting the important information to a potential customer. In other words, Google is no longer doing the work for your SEO company.
  • If people follow the behavior that Google wants them to, we should see a big increase in directions through Google plus, since it is the only visible way to interact with a shop that has no website in their Google plus my business page (as you can see above).
  • If you want to read a shop’s reviews, past the first one, you have to do a lot more work. Previously when you clicked on the 5 Google reviews, you got a nice list of all the reviews. Now it is harder to click on the links, and when you do, you only see the most recent one without scrolling, as you can see in the screenshot below. This means your most recent review is the most important one, since most potential customers won’t scroll past the first one and you will only be judged by your overall score and your most recent review.

royalty reviews


Major things to look out for:

  1. Make sure your website is in your Google Plus my Business page and has all the important contact information. If potential customers can’t find your address and phone number in the first few, talk to your website company about that.
  2. Only Three local listings are being shown on page 1, so the SEO company that you chose, becomes even more important. You could lose out on a lot of traffic by no longer ranking on page 1. For AutoVitals clients, this change should affect your web presence minimally, since you are probably already ranking in the top 3. There will be some cases where it might makes sense to change keywords to prevent competition with specialists or no local listing ranking. Talk to your solution adviser about any concerns you have and they should be addressed.
  3. Check your latest review on a regular basis, if it is negative make sure you respond and work extra hard to get a new good review.
  4. Make sure your directions work correctly. They do for most businesses, but sometimes they send you to the wrong part of the building. Ask your SEO company to fix the location of your business, if this is the case, it might take them a few weeks, but it is important to start it as soon as possible.