The latest revamp of Google Maps yields higher potential for local businesses by integrating OpenTable and the popular Uber transportation service to the list of Google Maps capabilities. Inclusions of these sites add a new layer of convenience to users. Perhaps this is a tactical approach in an effort to improve mobile engagement as well as solidify Google’s leading role in maps technology. Apple Maps may push for similar services as well in its upcoming stage of upgrades.
While the inclusion of OpenTable and Uber is actually quite groundbreaking, the changes for Google Maps are mainly aesthetically pleasing. Some of those aesthetic pleasers include:
- Bolder headers with clear imagery to invoke a better overall user experience
- New animations and color palettes for a more natural user experience as they peruse through the information
According to Google, the latest push of updates will be live across all devices in the next few days. So hold on tight if you’ve not seen those appear on your end.
Why Google Maps Matters for Local Search?
As a small business, increased local search visibility presents untapped potential for reeling in a stronger customer base. Matter of fact, according to a recent study, over 80% of mobile searches tend to convert. That’s a fairly substantial number! Imagine all that potential clientele interactions waiting to happen.
In the past, local searches on Google provided nearby options regardless of whether or not you used a location in your keyword search. This method catered to the majority of searchers on Google who look for products or services that meet their local needs. Therefore, local visibility is imperative to business growth, especially for the brick and mortar or mom and pop shops.
For example, let’s assume that you’re the owner of St. Louis Delicious Pizza located in downtown St. Louis, MO. Individuals using a Google Chrome browser, Google App, or even Google Maps on their mobile phone may be interested in finding a “tasty pizza joint” in the downtown St. Louis, MO area. When performing a local search, Google will attempt to return results showing local pizza places in the SERP and on Google Maps. So, as a local pizza place owner, there’s a high probability you’ll rope in some of that foot traffic in your storefront to serve a delicious pie.
Here’s what’s changed with the recent inclusion of OpenTable and Uber: you can effortlessly make a reservation and find transportation. For small businesses, this addition makes it easier for people to access and interact with your local company, leading to more customers coming through your door.
Reviving Your Local Search Visibility on Google
Local businesses should heavily rely on Google Maps for its local search visibility. Google MyBusiness is a great place to start in ensuring that your business offers prime visibility to local searchers on Google and Google Maps. If you have not claimed your local business listing yet, we suggest you do so immediately and begin capturing additional exposure from potential customers.