Google recently made a change in their search engine results pages that could exponentially increase the importance of actively managing your Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business). It’s likely to significantly reward painting contractors who put the time into optimizing the profile and thoroughly punish those who don’t.

What Changed?

In the image above you can see a portion of the results of a recent search for painting contractors. Google has made significant changes to the Local Pack and Map area of the search engine results page. The first thing you may notice is that the Map is now to the right of the Local Pack. Previous to this change the Map was above the Local Pack. The new alignment will likely slightly increase the amount of consumer clicks that occur on the Local Pack listings and slightly decrease the number of clicks on the Map.

However, the much more significant change is that Google is now using “Best Match” as the “Sort by” default over “Distance”. You can see that in the image. Previously, in the vast majority of cases Google would use “Distance”, or the business’s proximity to the person conducting the search, as the most heavily weighted factor for what businesses showed up in the Local Pack. In fact, the user didn’t even have the option of “Sort by”.

How Will This Impact What Painting Contractors Google Includes in the Local Pack?

The reason this adjustment is so monumental is because it completely changes the game for painting contractors when it comes to being found in local search. Whereas before a decently completed Google Business Profile could still get you into the Local Pack if you were close to the person conducting the search, now your fate is left up to Google’s definition of “Best Match”.

While we don’t know exactly what Google analyzes to determine what the best match in the Local Pack would be, we have a long track record of how they’ve determined “Best Match” in an almost identical circumstance – the organic search results.

It would seem to be highly likely that Google will heavily weight some of the same factors for Local Pack rankings that they do for websites in the organic search rankings, things like quality content, topical keyword relevance, location keyword relevance and degree of focus on the specific topic or service.

What Should I Do?

Painting contractors who jump on this opportunity by completing and optimizing their Google Business Profile to include topical and geographic keywords where possible and appropriate while also considering how they can leverage the posting feature are likely to get a significant boost over their competitors. Login to your Google Business Profile. Make sure all the information is accurate and then complete everything you can while being sure to emphasize the services you provide. Double down on the advantage you have just created for yourself by being sure to ask for reviews and encouraging your customers to mention the services you provided in the review.

ProPainter Websites sets up, updates and manages our customers’ Google Business Profiles as part of our core service to help painting contractors leverage a strong web presence to gain new customers. If you are interested in having us do that for you, please call us at 919-424-6121 or schedule a meeting for a day and time that is convenient for you.