Google updates its features constantly, and this time, the local search feature has some new updates for 2023. If your company relies on previous versions of Google’s local search, it’s time to refresh your approach. Unwired Web Solutions offers businesses options with local search engine optimization. We help companies improve their search engine performance. Here’s what you need to know about the updates for local search engine strategies in 2023.
Revamped Merchant Experience
Starting off, there’s a completely redesigned merchant dashboard for local businesses on Google. The Google Business Profile Manager interface is out and the “New Merchant Experience” is the new standard. The new interface uses a SERP-style dashboard to manage local SEO strategy tasks. Now, users must make updates to their businesses via the search engine results page or the Maps app.
Hear About This Place
Next, Google now has a new feature on local business listings in Google Maps and the search engine results, a “hear about this place” button. Under the listing’s business profile, some users may spot a button icon with an audio symbol and the text, “hear about this place.”
So far, the “hear about this place” button only appears to be present in some regions of the United States. The update appeared in October 2022, and SEO experts aren’t sure when and if this feature will be introduced to all areas and users. When you click on the audio button, you’ll hear the name of the business and other details read aloud.
Another new change in Google’s local SEO features is in the way Google displays customer reviews for a business profile page. Customer reviews and ratings are an essential element to a local company’s recipe for success.
Now, Google may start to display reviews by the percentage of positive to negative reviews in a graphic. Currently, users have to click on filtering results to get a percentage bar to show up in the reviews tab, so it only displays when users look more carefully at the specifics of a business.
Google has also quietly updated its policies for local businesses regarding customer engagement and reviews. Language is now in its Webmaster Guidelines strictly prohibiting a business from influencing its customers from writing positive or negative reviews.
This means businesses should not ask customers to leave positive Google reviews on their business page, and they shouldn’t discourage negative reviews. Additionally, software that manipulates customer reviews shouldn’t be part of a local SEO marketing plan. The reviews should be an accurate snapshot of customer feedback about a business.
Local restaurants that use SEO strategies from Google also have a change to their business profile pages that may help them bring in more foot traffic. Businesses can select the preferred menu that will display on the business profile instead of having Google gather multiple menus from different sources.
Soon, users may also have a new option to search for specific restaurant dishes instead of general cuisine. Restaurants that offer that individual dish, such as Kung Pao chicken, will be part of the photo results page in the search engine listings.
Local Search Engine Optimization To Promote Your Business
Local search engine strategies are a crucial part of making your business more successful. If you want more customers in your store, you have to master the local SEO Canada listings for your neighborhood. We assist local businesses with Google’s search engine tools. Navigating each update can be a challenge, but we understand the ins and outs of each new change.
There are a lot of moving parts in search engine optimization for local businesses. Unwired Web Solutions helps companies boost their search engine performance and increase customer engagement.