By now you have probably noticed that Google has shrunk their map listings (Google My Business listing) from 7 results down to just 3 business listings. If you haven’t noticed yet it may explain any loss of calls or website traffic over the last three weeks…sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
First I’ll start with the likely reason for this change and then I’ll cover a few tricks that we have found to help get you into the top 3.
Google is currently testing a pay per lead product in San Francisco that will either take the place of GMB or will take the space that’s been freed up by shrinking the map section. Many Local SEO Experts agree that this product, which is similar to Service Magic and Angies List in that you can submit a request for a quote from up to three “screened” professionals may only serve to force companies to compete on price. It appears that the section will use reviews from a companies Google listing in that area so it may also be tied into Adwords Express in some way.
So what can you do in the mean time to get back into the 3 pack?
We have used 2 tricks that have worked very well in getting our clients back into the competition.
First of all we have found that having keywords in your business name plays a very big part in getting ranked again. For instance if your business name is currently Bates Home Services and you provide home remodeling in the Atlanta area, we suggest something like Bates Home Remodeling Services of Atlanta. You will need to make sure to update citation site info as well otherwise you could see a very short lived improvement followed by a quick decline of ranking.
We have also found that building links into a companies Google+ business page will also go a long way to reaching the top 3 results. Most important to this tactic are the hyperlocal links that all search engines value when it comes to Local SEO rank.
One thing I always mention to my clients is that these updates take a little while to settle down and over reacting to changes on Google can be costly to your long term Local SEO initiative. If you feel like you need more help than this article provides please call 678-592-5398 for expert support.