The new updates and features on Google Maps for mobile and desktop devices allows all users to receive more relevant information to their user experience, such as updates on what’s currently happening around them. Google Maps is known to get people from point A to point B, however, there are many other features that users and even brands can take advantage of and leverage. Google Maps has transformed from just a navigation tool to now a hub of applicable information and accessibility. You can essentially find any location in your area that you need at that time and the process is seamless.
New Features for Users
With the new update that rolled out in late 2017, Google serves you locations that make sense and are more relevant to where you need to go. For example, locations such as gas stations are highlighted if you’re using the navigation feature. Locations are also now color coordinated to help the user easily identify different categories of places around them. When you’re in an unfamiliar area, the ease of finding restaurants, gas stations, and other convenience stores will allow you to find the destination you need more quickly.
When a user immediately opens the Google Maps app on their smartphone, the explore tab shows highly relevant information such as ‘best breakfasts’ in the area during the morning hours. You will also be served categories such as ‘quick bites’ and ‘where the locals eat’. A user can easily access locations for gas stations, groceries, pharmacies, ATMs, convenience stores, and post offices. You can also set and save your home and work locations and get updates on the current traffic in the area when using the navigation feature.
Brands Leveraging Google Maps Efforts
The categories that immediately pop-up for a user such as ‘cheap eats’ and ‘best brunches’ directly pulls photos from the Google My Business listing. It’s important to realize that these photos are ones that customers submit to Google and not the brand. As a brand, you can encourage your customers to submit feedback and reviews directly through Google after positive experiences and this will increase your visibility and brand awareness in Google Maps. Potential customers utilizing this app are looking for businesses in their area and with an optimized Google listing, your brand can be the business the user chooses.
Ensuring that your Google My Business listing is accurate and optimized is the first step to getting noticed in local search results. Provide the correct address, hours of operation, and phone number so a user can easily find your business. Providing the best customer experience at your physical location is extremely important for brands, however, this does not stop once the customer leaves the location. Any insights to their experience such as Google reviews should be responded to by the brand to show that they care about that customer and their experience. This feedback will ultimately help your visibility in Google Maps and it’s crucial to keep your Google listing up-to-date.
Tandem Interactive specializes in SEO and (specifically) local SEO efforts to increase a company’s visibility in local search results. Contact our premier Fort Lauderdale marketing agency today to learn more about how we can help your business thrive in local search!