The New Google My Business Dashboard and Local Pack
If you maintain a Google account for your business, you may have noticed some big changes in the past few months. In an effort to make things more streamlined and user friendly, Google+ Brand Pages and Google Places Business can now be managed through a single hub- the Google My Business dashboard. The automatic upgrade was met with joy by many; Not only are some of the updates that were included with the master dashboard far more useful and user friendly than before, but this should help business owners keep their information on Google consistent and accurate- two big components for gaining position on the Map and Local Pack, which has also received a make-over.
As Google explains, using Google My Business also makes it easier to navigate to your individual brand and location pages, with an overview that may be displayed in either a list or card view. Through the new dashboard, your company’s introduction can be longer, you are able to upload more photos but the fields for additional details and payment were cut in the upgrade. Your business category must be selected from their menu and if your company’s information (i.e. category, website, address, etc.) is different in Maps than on your dashboard, the information from Maps will replace your dashboard information. This is obviously an attempt by Google to help businesses ensure their information is consistent across the web- slight differences hurt a company’s website’s ability to rank well.
2015 brought huge changes to the layout of local results and it should be expected that Google is not nearly done. For now, as described by Michaels Wilder, the most apparent change was the Local Pack, also called the Snack Pack, featured at the top of local results which include the embedded Google Map. The Local Pack was scaled down to a three pack from its original seven pack. With the seven pack shaved down to three, it is even more critical for local businesses to ensure they are doing everything they can to be suggested in the Local Pack in order to be seen. Following the Local Pack results, preference is being given to local business listing services who are recommending their top choices. Only after this will you find actual local company websites- and in some highly competitive markets, this sometimes means that the entire first page of results are the Local Pack and listings, with company websites not coming in until the second page!
The competition is becoming more fierce every day to get your company’s site on page one- and it’s a full time job to manage jumping through all the hoops and strategizing the best way to make your mark. You don’t have time for this- you have a business to run! Luckily, we’ve got your back. Josiesque Designs has the staff dedicated to getting your website seen- our local SEM campaign will not only make sure your website is ranking well; we’re also committed to doing everything we can to help you come up on the Local Pack Map and in the local business listings. Let’s talk today and get you seen!