In a blink of an eye, Google algorithms were changed last August 2015, and a dark cloud seemed to loom over the internet. From the 7 local pack, it was reduced to a measly 3 pack, much to everyone’s dismay. In the old 7 local pack, when people clicked on the name of your brand, they are immediately directed to your own website. In addition, your business name, address, URL and phone numbers were displayed prominently. As well, Google dropped its Google+ business links from SERPs (unless the social network page is specifically being queried) as well as its star review results being removed and all review snippets.
The big change seemed gargantuan for most businesses. With a different playing field, the Google local 3 pack update, commonly referred to as “the snack pack”, appeared daunting. The changes include the following:
Reasons for Algorithm Changes
One of the reasons for the change in Google algorithms is the increase in mobile smartphone users all over the globe. With the easy accessibility of the internet over a wide range of mobile devices, most searches are done using these non-traditional modes of internet access. Having 3 top results are visually appealing and fits well on most smartphones than the usual 7 pack.
How to Stay Competitive
There’s still a lot that businesses can do to stay on top and be ahead of the competition. Primarily, the best thing to do is to feed Google with more viable and relevant information that your customers need when they use a search engine. In addition, one must not overlook the following:
When Google crawls your site, it is important for it to know where your company is located. So opt to create different pages for the different locale of your business. Each of these pages must also contain a schema markup of the company name, address and telephone number . Embedded Google maps must also be included.
Make use of local directories such as YellowPages.com to strengthen your online presence. Ensure that your company is placed on the right category so potential customers can easily find you. Make all entries consistent and check that your name address and phone numbers are correct.
Local review sites such as Yelp or Trip Advisor gained visibility after the changes in Google algorithms. Most of these sites land on the first top 3 of the searches so it’s crucial to build an online presence in these sites by asking customers for reviews of your products or services.
Staying competitive is important. Getting your business to show up in the first 3 pack now occupied by directory and review sites can be challenging. Connect with us today and let us show you how you can reach your goals and stay ahead of the pack.