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Google’s New Local Carousel Enhances Small Business Visibility

Internet marketing gurus have been abuzz about Hummingbird’s effect on local searches as more information and analytics data becomes available. It’s clear from the recent updates in Google Now and Google Maps that the search superpower is moving toward making local search results more intuitive, visible, and accessible from all devices. Google’s Local Carousel is an eye-catching slider bar that appears as the top result when certain keywords are searched and has become the envy of businesses nationwide. What’s so great about the carousel, you ask? Let’s take a look.

Carousel is The Place to Be

The purpose of the carousel seems to be to highlight local businesses whose products and services are relevant and near the searcher’s location. For businesses, this means a potentially significant boost in traffic and business. To sweeten the pot, Google’s Local Carousel provides images, reviews, and even short descriptions of businesses to help users easily navigate to their preferred option. The value of appearing in the carousel has not gone unnoticed by business owners. But, how does a business get on the carousel? Let’s take a look at some trending strategies.

Getting on the Carousel

So far, there appears to be three major factors that continue to crop up when trying to earn a spot on Google’s carousel.

  • Google Integration

This probably wouldn’t have been hard to guess, but Google rewards sites that are “integrated” with Google’s brand by awarding higher rankings. Simply put, adding your business’ information to Google Maps, creating a Google+ Business Page presence, and adding a Google+ 1 button to your company’s site all increase the chances of landing on the carousel.

  • Social Media & Reviews

Building an online review and social media presence with your business is another essential step in ranking highly (or at all) on the carousel. The handful of businesses who have landed on the carousel thus far are easily found on local and national review sites, such as Yelp and Trip Advisor, in addition to having active followings on Google+, LinkedIn, and other social media sites.

  • Geo-Targeted Content

Adding geo-targeted content to business websites has helped some industries increase local search visibility and gain a prized position on Google’s Local Carousel. In fact, simply adding geo-targeted keywords into a title or website’s FAQ helps Google identify relevant local sites.

Last but Not Least: Strategy is Key

When seeking a place on Google’s carousel, strategy is key. Each step of the process requires a solid strategy and method of analyzing results every step of the way. Does your business have what it takes to earn a place on the carousel? Contact SteerPoint Marketing!