Google is in a constant state of evolution. Within the past year, there have been numerous changes to the very important first page of Google Search results. A few months ago, Google added a fourth spot to AdWords and removed the right hand rail ads. And now, Google is about to change the look and experience of its map section. There are three elements to the upcoming changes in Google Maps that we will focus on: promoted pins, customizable business pages, and local search ads.
Promoted pins are branded pins that will stand out in the map section when someone is doing a local search. Promoted pins can have your company’s logo and color scheme, making it distinctly different from the vast sea of unbranded red pins. This will provide an edge to early adopters of the changes, because it will allow them to evaluate their visibility.
Customizable business pages will replace the old Google My Business page, and will look more like a landing page for your business. Business pages will include a header photo, business information, click to call, website link, and an offer section. The offer section is new; this area will allow the business owner to present coupons or special offers to any individual who visits the business page. Additionally, updating the coupon or special should benefit your organic ranking.
Local search ads will now appear in the top positions of the map section. These ads will be a paid option – similar to Ad Words. There will a maximum of two paid positions, and they will appear across desktop, mobile, and tablet. Partnering AdWords with paid local search ads could provide an advertiser with a unique edge to their competitors.
Search Engine Land published a great article on these upcoming changes, Check It Out Here… It’s worth the deeper read. With all of these changes to Google Maps and local search, business owners now have new options to get their business noticed and to stand out from the competition.