Table of Contents
Over the past years, Google Maps has massively grown in importance due to the massive amount of helpful information we can extract from it and to its ability to create maps where you can quickly locate any point with your own eyes.
Among all the functions that Google Maps offers to its users, one of them is the Places. Here you have a complete guide about what are the latest changes on planet earth (aka the update of Google Maps for Local Businesses).
Learn how Google Maps is set to change the way businesses reach their customers through the assistance of a local SEO company.
What Are These New features?
In an effort to help businesses operate more efficiently, Google has announced a number of new Local Search enhancements. The new features include live updates to local information and the addition of more information about businesses in the Google Maps mobile app.
Google has also announced that it will be adding a Storefront feature for Businesses that allows consumers to see what a business looks like from the inside, including reviews and photos of the location.
The Local Guides program has been the precursor for this new addition. Users who complete a certain number of tasks like adding photos or updating information about places on Google Maps are rewarded with points. When they reach a certain level, they can do things like unlocking new colors for pins that show up on the map.
The search giant has also launched a new feature that allows business owners to monitor the performance of their listing and make changes to the information if needed. The update also makes it easier for users to find business information right on Google Maps.
Users can also hover over a business listing to see photos of storefronts, or clicking on the “Storefront” image will take them straight to a local business’s website. Clicking on the star icon will show you an overview of all reviews for that specific business, and clicking on “Merchant rating” will bring up other businesses from similar categories. Users can also click on a particular name of the business to bring up more detailed information about the company.
Google’s new update to its Local 3 Pack will now show live updates of local information like restaurant menus, real-time orders, and deliveries, etc. Also, which could be an essential factor for a business is that users will also be able to see Ratings and Reviews of businesses right on Google Maps.
How Will It Affect You And Your Business?
Google recently announced a significant update to their local search result pages, changing the way they display local listings. The most significant change is that they are no longer showing star ratings in the local pack.
The new design looks almost exactly like the organic results for Google Maps. They have moved the call-to-action button higher up on the page with a nice big “add to my business” button. The map itself has stayed pretty much the same, but they have added some new features like a tabbed layout, and just below each result, there are now some quick action buttons like phone number, directions, website, and add to my business card.
Google will now show a carousel of cards with images, phone numbers, and addresses of various businesses in that area. In addition to that, you’ll also see quick links to make it easy for you to call, send directions or find hours of operation for that particular business.
The most important thing about this update is that it really doesn’t change anything for businesses that are already appearing in the local pack because you will still be able to get reviews from people who click on your listing. In fact, I would say that this update probably helps businesses that aren’t getting reviews by adding more ways for potential customers to interact with them from the search results page.
By giving users a quick glance at information about your business right on the search results page, it makes it easier for them to stay on your page and continue to search for other information about your business. This could help boost your click-through rate and give you an opportunity to get those valuable clicks on your website.
Leverage The Data At Your Disposal
If you’re not yet using Google Maps in your local marketing strategy, it’s time to take a look at the benefits of this platform. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider leveraging Google Maps to grow traffic and gain customers.
Tailor Your Business Listing
In the past, businesses were only able to customize their Google map listing with a single image and some basic information. That’s all changed as Google has added many new features that allow businesses to create a complete listing. When users search for certain types of companies, they can now click on a box that will enable them to see additional information about the business, including:
- The business’ rating (one to five stars)
- Business hours
- Directions from the user’s location
- A link to the official website
- The ability to call or get directions directly from your phone
These features are perfect for helping your customers feel more confident about picking your establishment over a competitor’s. They also make it easier for customers who might not be able to visit your store in person due to time or distance constraints to find out if you offer what they need and how they can contact you. The best part is that these features are free for every business owner!
Users will also be able to save locations they find on Maps, so they can go back to them at any time by tapping a star icon next to the address. When they want to get back to their list of saved places, they can tap on the hamburger menu in Maps and then select “Your places.”
Google Maps has been around for a decade, and within this decade, it has transformed the way we navigate. It also made businesses more accessible and easy to find. However, earlier this month, Google launched a new feature in its Maps platform that adds extra features such as booking appointments with local businesses and seeing if they are open or not.