The year 2020 will be one that is not likely to be forgotten anytime soon. But, in business and marketing we have to keep looking forward. However, 2020 had a big impact on many businesses and the way business is conducted overall. Those changes, over the course of 2020, have now become behaviors and behaviors eventually become habits that are likely to be with us as the new normal.
In many cases, the last year simply accelerated technologies and behaviors that were already taking place and in other cases, it created complete news ways of conducting business, connecting with customers and clients and acquiring new ones. Areas like eCommerce experienced significant growth while businesses with a physical location had to find new ways to inform and communicate with customers. This included leveraging channels like Google Maps/Google My Business much more as potential customers looked for information about a store or business, like if they were open or not and if they had special services like curb-side pick up. These consumer behaviors are likely to be with use for several months to come out of necessity and, as a result, become the new ways of doing business.
But a valuable resource like the Google My Business profile should not be overlooked because your business is not retail or a restaurant that depends on in store foot traffic. That is where changes that were already taking place took center stage in 2020. In a recent report from Search Engine Watch, it’s reported that Google local listings, which are those familiar listings that show up at the top of search results that take you to Google Maps, saw a dramatic increase in the number of search types that Google is displaying them for. No longer is it just about retail stores and restaurants. In the report, Search Engine Watch reported that the Google Local Listings/Maps Pack was surfaced for 47% of searches. This is the highest ever seen.
While Google Local listings have been a part of search results for several years, it’s clear that Google is putting much more emphasis on these listings for all types of businesses and they’ve been making several changes and enhancements to it over the past year. When used correctly and to it’s full benefit, your Google My Business/Local Listing profile can be a very helpful and powerful channel to inform and even communicate with customers and potential customers. This goes hand in hand with Google’s attempt to provide users with local options and to support local business. But, it’s also a pivotal way for Google to control and collect information about local search behavior and send traffic to a property it controls entirely rather than send one of their users to a website.
So yes, 2020 is behind us now, but the consumer behaviors that became a behavior over the last year will likely become the habits of the year, and years, ahead. So regardless of the type of business you have, make it a plan to claim and optimize your Google My Business Profile and your Google Maps listing in 2021. If you have claimed ownership of your profile but not using it to it’s fullest, make that a priority for your business. No matter the case, Google has signaled that they intend to continue to surface their local listings in searches for all types of business and making sure your business shows up in search would be a good priority for 2021. That’s where we can help.
We offer a very unique service that can quickly get your business to a top position of the Google Local Listings and we can guarantee it. Contact us to learn more.