The Survival Guide to Google Local Snack Pack For The Local Business Owner

 In Google Local Maps

Remember last year’s Pigeon algorithm update? Well August 6, 2015 marked the darkest day ever in Local SEO since then. That day was the death of 7-packs search results and was additionally the birth date of Snack Pack / Local Stack – the 3-pack search results for native businesses on desktop show.

Let us summarize the major changes:

  • 7 results, slashed all the way down to three
  • Phone numbers aren’t any longer displayed.
  • Full address of the business is gone; simply the road name remains.
  • Google + links have been eliminated.
  • You cannot simply hover on a click, you need to click through to ascertain the local card.
  • Business operating hours are now added, and obviously need to be accurate.
  • You have “Reviews”, in place of “Google Reviews”

What Does This Mean for Local Business?

Clearly, there is planning to be done, you have to be smarter than your competition to land one of the highly-sought-after top 3 spots in Google Local search results. What can you do to improve your chances?

  • Make certain that your location is accurately updated on your Google My Business page.
  • Make certain that your information is consistent all across your location pages.
  • Make certain that your location information is updated, correct, and distributed to the four Google-approved aggregators, namely Acxiom, Localeze, Infogroup and Factual.

The Key to Snack Pack Survival

Oh no, no additional instant gratification for users. This update simply and altogether vilified the common phrase, “XXXX business is simply a click away”. If we want information, we have to have the patience to click a couple of times on the everyday snack pack parts until we get what we want. It’s really no use getting cheesed off – if you want to play with Google, you have got to learn the game and play by their rules.

Sounds like hard work, how do we survive?

It’s really a lot simpler than it sounds:

Because your customers are going to be interacting among a series of interfaces, it’s TERRIBLY vital to create your Google-related promoting to be as clever as possible.

You know what happens after you click on the business name during this update? Rather than being taken onto web site like it usually does with organic results, the user is taken to a secondary interface (quite odd, too) that then shows the address in detail, the telephone info, the icon that links to the web site and also the link to the directions.

The extra clicks are often quite irking, however currently we have to measure it. Here’s the way to create and the most out of it:

So, let’s use this interface as our guideline, put on a happy smile, and correct the basics within our Google My Business dashboard:

  1. Business name
  2. Full (and updated) address
  3. Operating telephone number
  4. Web site or universal source locator (URL)
  5. Business description
  6. Business operation hours
  7. Categories
  8. Photos

What are the other concerns beyond your dashboard?

Take some advice from the experts:

  • Earn positive Google reviews and keep a watch on the negative reviews so that you can effectively fix internal issues as they arise and swiftly answer them.
  • If your business is food-related, like a restaurant or pub, ensure you upload your menu to websites from wherever Google pulls menus like GrubHub or Urbanspoon.
  • Keep in mind that Google attracts information from many alternative places like Zagat and BBB. Your web site, structured citations, unstructured mentions of your business ought to completely and accurately represent your business.
  • Keep your business on its toes in terms of client service. Wonderful service will earn you additional perks like being part of Zagat’s “Best Of” lists.
  • Always be ready for change. Change is mostly for the better and certainly keeps businesses on their toes – something that Google is renowned for – ever-changing parameters.

Your Takeaways

If you check out the businesses that forever show up on top and appear not to worry about Google’s search evolutions, you’ll notice that all they do is simply adhere to Google’s guidelines and maintain the accuracy of their information across all of Google commodities.

Don’t get discouraged and always be on the lookout for changes and new developments. You are more likely to survive future Local changes if you are making the smart marketing choices.

David Janosik
Like you, nationally recognized expert and business entrepreneur David Janosik leverages proven marketing strategies to grow businesses & generate more sales. With over a decade of development, consulting, and most importantly, real-life, in-the-trenches business experience, his view is radically different. If you’re already doing business online, David hopes that his experiences – both his wins and his failures – can help you reach your goals.
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