10 New Game Changing Local Search Features You Should Try
Local search is like a pumping heart of your SEO. Google is holding the top position as far the local search is concerned. It’s due to the organic results and Google Maps. In 2018, Google My Business team tested and rolled out some new local search features.
In the following blog, we will be looking at those top 10 new features that you need to know and use them in your local SEO strategy for maximum benefit:
1- Enable Message Receiving from Customers Through Listing
Now your customer can message you via Google Search. This new feature is available in selected countries. To use this feature you need to install new Google My Business app either for iOS or Android. After installing the app, you need to do the following to run it:
- Open the app.
- If you are having multiple locations, then open one to enable the messages.
- Tap Customers > Messages > Turn on.
Now you can go to Customers > Messages to reply a message. You will also get a push notification when you receive a new message. This feature is prominent but not available on the desktop but it will be available soon.
Before you set up this feature, it is important that there should be someone who can answer the message on time and properly. It is one of the best ways to quickly answer the question of your customer.
2- Use Search Queries to Identify Keywords You Rank For in Local Map and Search
In 2018, when search queries were released it was definitely a huge perk. Previously it was not easy to identify for which keywords your Google My Business listing was shown. The best source of data was the Google Search console that gives you the traffic coming through organic results and Google My Business.
Previously, URL parameters provided impressions data via Google Search Console when your website appeared in search results . But now with the addition of a new feature in Google My Business gives you the ability to view “unique users” that is different from impression because several impressions can be created by a single user.
Google’s support Documentation suggests that this data can be utilized to create Google Ads and Posts. Search Queries is the exciting development in the local search so take maximum advantage by using it properly to improve your local SEO ranking.
3- Addition of Products to Your Listings
On mobile now you can make your products visible on Google My Business listing through the “Products tab”. According to your listing category, you are capable to add a collection of products to your listing along with the call-to-action to move your customers to the corresponding product page.
To make your collection live, you need to do the following:
- Using desktop Google My Business, move to Products (Beta) tab.
- Click on + Add products.
- Give a name and description to your collection.
- Add the product with name, price, photo, and description.
- Select “Add Collection” to save.
This feature is very useful because its a great way to promote your products. It is recommended to add your top selling products in your listing and update the prices.
4- Manage 100+ Locations Through Agency Dashboard
When Agency Dashboard came out first it was having some bugs that made the process difficult. But now bugs are removed and the new dashboard is working fine according to its purpose. This can be great for your SEO to give it try if you are using it.
No need to give access through several Gmail Accounts to your entire team because now you can assign particular location groups to your account manager. Furthermore, you can now receive and send an invitation to manage listing when a new client comes in.
If you are working or managing your own agency, then this is a must use the feature for you and will be part of your Google map optimization.
5- Embed Description to your Listing and Useful Information of your Business
Adding a description to your listing is surely a win situation for the local businesses. You should add your email address, product or service you offer, what makes you different, and your business history as well.
You are not having this feature in Google My Business so this is the right place to add this information and make your local maps marketing effective.
6- Addition of Services to Your Listing
Don’t have products? It’s okay you can add services to your listing. Just like the restaurant add a menu to their listing, you can add services. To know if you can get this feature, go to “Info” present within the dashboard and select “services”.
Just like you add the collection with the “Product Tab”, you can add a section with an appropriate name. In this, just like the “Product Tab” you can link the corresponding landing pages of your website to this feature. Ensure you put all the necessary information.
7- Allow Customers to Call You Directly from Google Post
Now, you have the ability to use different call-to-actions within your Google My Business Posts. Promoting new articles with “Learn More” CTA, is good but it is great to have an additional opportunity to let customers call your office.
When you integrate this feature in Google Post. Your primary phone number set on your listing appears as default. On a mobile phone, Google Posts show you a separate listing for branded searches but with “Call Now”, this is a nice addition to your result page.
8- Try Out Google’s Social Features
It is not a hidden fact that Google wants to hold a prominent place in social media but they have not found the right formula for success.
Recently, Google has attempted to add more social features to their local search queries and Maps. Till now, you would have seen the integration of Google Posts, ability to follow the business on maps, and question/answers. Recently, they have added a “like” feature similar to the way you like the status updated on Facebook.
If going to use “Follow” feature it is better to use find out how you will make your customers follow your business.
9- Set Service Area/s in Google My Business for Better Geotargeting
With this new feature, you are given two separate fields in Google My Business optimization to make changes in your business address and service area/s. Based on Google’s support documentation, this is one of the best features to be used by business who deliver or local customers visit them. Following are the two examples:
- In plumbing services. technicians visit and deliver services to customers but do not offer services at their business place.
- In case of an restaurant it serves the customer at their business location and also deliver the food to the customers.
In the above example, you can clearly understand the objective of businesses and their services provided to their customers. This feature/update means that you can’t set the radius surrounding your Google My Business listing instead you need to identify a city, region, ZIP/postcode. You should be aware of this before using as the old method is dead.
10- Create Listing When Preparing for a New Business Launch
One of the great features in Google My Business is to set up a coming soon date (Future opening date) for your business. You only need to select “Verify Later” when you are going to verify.
You only need month and year of the opening date and listing starting to appear 90 days before the opening. One of the great benefits is that you should create Google Posts, add a description to your listing, and uploading photos to your listing, even if the business is not opened. You should keep this knowledge in your mind before you launch your business. If you need any assistance in this regard, you can contact local SEO experts to get the work done in the right manner.
One of the difficult components of local search is that some of the features only apply to business categories, devices, browsers, locations, and applications. If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, then you need local SEO services to improve your listing. The aforementioned 10 local search features will help you to stay ahead of the curve.
Moreover, if you are planning to get from these features you can contact experienced company like Marketalist, a local SEO company in Boston MA and hire the competent team to improve your local search ranking.