This week Google has announced changes to its business listings search to help ‘office-less’ companies with their online discoverability.
The update will mean that any businesses signing up to Google’s My Business Listings, will be asked the question: “Do you want to add a location customers can visit?”. Previously, if the answer was no the questionnaire would stop there. However, now a ‘no’ answer will lead to a different set of questions. These will determine the area the business can cover.
Prior to this update Google users utilising the ‘find nearest’ option when searching, would not see these businesses. Now, even if businesses don’t have a static address they can still be found in these types of searches. This is great as 50% of Google users are using their smartphone to Google ‘near me’ businesses.
Affect On Businesses
For business owners, this is an important update, as companies without offices will now be present in relevant searches on Google Maps. This is ideal for growing businesses who can add their updated locations, or for self-employed tradesmen who have the ability to cover a particular area.
Searches for ‘near me’ businesses in Google have increased more than 150% recently. Therefore, this seemingly minor update will allow these businesses to compete online and maximise their online discoverability. This will, in turn, increase their SEO as local customers can now understand that these businesses are closer to them than they once thought. Local SEO is incredibly important for businesses these days for building brand awareness in the area that they operate in. Thus, they have the opportunity to turn browsing online viewers into in-store paying clients.
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