When you were using Google over the weekend, you may have noticed that things are looking a little different. The 7-Packs have been reduced to 3 listing “Snak Paks,” hours of operation have been added, and there is now a link for directions. No A,B,C pins, no G+ links, no street addresses. These changes have been noted around the world, on both mobile and desktop. This is a roll out my friends, not simply a test.
The SEO community isn’t totally shocked by the new layout. Here is a post from July, 2 foreshadowing the switch as an effort to make a desktop UI that mimics mobile experience.
How will this new landscape affect your business?
Last week you may have been quite pleased with your site’s fourth position in the 7 pack, and how could you not be? Nearly 75% of users never scroll past the first page of Google search results, and your superior position was bringing in tons of new business.
But this new layout has you a bit worried. You have growing concerns about how this limited real estate will affect your ability to be found on local search results. Is being on the first page of Google enough or will you need to be in the top 3?
It may be too early to tell how this new layout will affect your business, but we suspect that you’re going to want to be in that local stack.
While good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices, like keyword rich content, clean backlinks, and search engine friendly code, are still an effective way to improve your site’s visibility, you might need to start doing a little more to get noticed. The competition will be increasingly stiff to get into those top 3 spots.
Consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone) can help you beat the competition
You’ve heard that it’s important to build a strong digital footprint. But what exactly is a “digital footprint,” and why is it important?
When people are talking about your site’s digital footprint, what they are really talking about is your site’s citations. Citations are mentions of your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) on other websites, such as Yelp, Yahoo! Local, Yellow Pages, Angie’s List, and Facebook.
Citations can help your site appear more attractive to search engines because they confirm that you are who you say you are. With Google’s new roll out, citations may be the key factor in helping improve your site’s ranking.
Why we’re focusing on your digital footprint
While citations have always helped in local search rankings, NAP consistency has never been more important. This is because Google is now using the map for discovery type browsing. You need to make sure your NAP is accurate and the same across the board. Any inconsistencies, such as your business name being spelled differently on Facebook than on Yelp, will cause search engines doubt the validity of your business, thus penalizing your ranking.
Don’t let your good efforts go to waste
You’ve put time, money, and energy into having a good looking website. Having your site bounce around on search engine result pages (SERPs) can be nothing short of frustrating. When Google drops a bomb like this, you have no choice but to roll with the punches. Their goal is to provide users with relevant results, regardless of how it affects your site’s placement.
Google has a history of making changes that shake up search results and cause anxiety for site owners. Think back to previous roll outs when we were equally unimpressed.
It is again time to remind ourselves that the ball will always be in Google’s court. We need to play by their rules whether we like it or not.
As a leading website design and online marketing company, we at LinkNow Media are always prepared for whatever curveball Google throws at us. We say, bring it! We offer citation building campaigns, along with many other SEO services, that can keep you ahead of the pack. The web is waiting for you!