|Carousel results replace and enhance upon the 7-Pack|
Hovering above any image in the Carousel highlights that venue in the Map. And, clicking an image results in a "Google Instant" refresh of search results. The name of the venue is added to the actual text of your search query, and the results page updates accordingly.
|Updated search query by clicking a Carousel image|
- Great reviews -- both quality and quantity. We have written about this topic many times, but notably in November and December 2012)
- Photographs that are, at least, good. This is another long-running topic for us. See October 2012 and earlier this month.
- Absolutely correct and consistent contact and address info. DMW makes this recommendation directly to our clients and recommends third parties who can support in this effort.
Our headline advice related to Carousel is that brands must now adopt a "Holistic Google Optimization" approach. "Google Optimization" suggests that winning brands must focus on optimizing themselves in all aspects of Google, including:
- Not just reviews, but Google reviews
- Google Hotel Finder
- Google Paid Search
- Organic Search
1. Optimize for Google Reviews
|Optimize for HPA|
- He typed in a generic search term like "atlanta hotels"
- He was presented with an appealing and informative user experience that shows relevant hotels that appear to be sorted by reviews.
- Our consumer selects a hotel that has a combination of good reviews and an appealing image.
- The moment he clicks that image, Google transforms his brand-agnostic search query into a loyalist search query by adding in the brand name and displaying corresponding search results.
- And that brand's paid ad is displayed almost as prominently as the Google+ Local box on the right.
Regarding paid search for agnostic keywords, we should assume lower click-through rates as traffic is (intentionally, it seems) directed to the Carousel and then converted to a branded search when users click on the images. Assume diminishing quality scores and increasing costs.
4. Optimize for Organic Search
This might seem counter-intuitive at first, but we believe that Carousel will create opportunities in organic search optimization. After all, there is the simple fact that Carousel opens up additional space at the bottom of first SERP page by moving the old 7-pack up. While the value of being on "page one" could conceivably diminish in the face of Carousel, there is still no doubt that you want your brand on that page. Takeaway: Don't quit on your traditional websites and other digital assets! Focus on fast load times, relevant content, and all other forms of content optimization.
By Aaron Zwas -- Director of Emerging Technologies at Digital Marketing Works