Google's Enhanced Listings Offers Local SEO Opportunities

With Google Local, when people search in Google for products or services, a local map pops up with Google Local listings that offer those products or services in the area as determined by the user's regional search terms or IP address. These search results appear only when the search can be applied to a specific location. For instance, a search for “shoes” won't bring up local shoe stores, but a search for “San Diego shoes” will. Google Local provides regional businesses with invaluable opportunities to inform and connect with potentially interested local customers.

Now, Google Local is expanding to offer enhanced listings, which give owners of Google Local listings the option to highlight other information as they choose in their listing, including any company websites, coupons and menus, for a monthly fee of $25. These enhanced listings are then labeled as “sponsored.” To obtain an enhanced listing for your business, it must first be a Google Local listing.

Currently, these enhanced listings are available only in a few U.S. cities, but Google plans to release the option widely in the coming months. If you're looking to build your local customer following, consider enhancing your Google Local listing as part of your local SEO strategy.

At present, users can add the following enhancements pertaining to their listings:

• Website
• Photos
• Videos
• Coupons
• Menus
• Reservation pages
• Driving directions

You can select from any of these enhancements and even change them out as you see fit. Just make sure to add the information to be included in the enhanced listing to their business listing before selecting it as an enhancement.

As it stands, this new feature could benefit your business' local marketing strategy. When locals search for products and services that you offer in their area, your enhanced listing will appear in the Google local listings along with important information that will make it easier for intrigued potential customers to become informed about your company. Moreover, as these enhanced listings are available for a fairly inexpensive flat monthly fee, enhanced listings offers small business owners a budget-friendly way to promote their business organically. Also, like other sponsored ads in Google, you can track the success, including the click-thru rate, of the enhanced listing through your Local Business Center dashboard. From there, you can decide how effective the listing is and adjust if necessary.

It should be noted that these enhancements don't have any impact on the Google Local algorithm. However, having an enhanced listing could catch the eye of more potential customers, increasing your click-thru rate.

Still in testing mode, Google's enhanced listings program is subject to change before its wider release. But it will likely still present you with another way to publicize important information about your business to locals possibly in the market for your products.

If you're not listed on Google Local yet, we can help set you up free of charge and assist you with any of your enhancements. Contact us for more details.

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