Recently Google announced the addition of Google Instant on Google Places. Google Instant is identified as a ‘search-as-you-type’ feature that delivers results automatically as you type, with no need to hit ‘Enter’ or click the ‘search’ button. As soon as you see what you need predicted in gray text you can stop typing and your search results will be listed below. The purpose of this search feature is to produce relevant search results in faster time. By understanding how the tool works and its goals, business owners can develop a local search engine optimization strategy that takes advantage of the types of search results offered to users.
To access the Places View local search tool, users simply click “Places” in the left-hand panel of Google. Once there, their searches will have place and map results that update as described above (i.e. search-as-you-type). All results are clustered around the location specified, such as New York City. A red pin identifies the location of each business on a map, and is accompanied by relevant information and links from across the web. And results now include 30 or 40 relevant links per page as opposed to the former 10. With all this information conveniently grouped, it is much easier for users to make comparisons as they search.
With this new local search feature, website owners will benefit greatly from a comprehensive local search engine optimization strategy that connects their on-site content with content they present on social media sites, review site, news sites, and other third-party websites. A few things to consider:
- Keywords & Phrases: Strategically use your carefully researched and selected keywords and phrases for each type of highly focused content you represent so that more local search results are available. This also helps to develop your online ‘authority score.’
- Online Reviews: Provide your customers with links to the various review sites where you are listed and encourage them to share their experiences working with your company.
- Press Releases: Compose and post over the wire press releases optimized for the local search terms in your campaign.
The key to benefiting from the local marketing opportunities offered is to look at Google Instant on Places to understanding how it works and what it is trying to achieve. Then do all the things you need to do to help Google fulfill its objective to offer its users a larger selection of qualified, relevant local search results in a faster amount of time. When developing your local optimization strategy, to get the best results take into consideration all of your content, both on-site and off-site, so that you align your efforts across all your indexable local content collateral.