Google loves online reviews, and the numbers prove it. Ranking signals from online reviews, including quantity and velocity, make up a significant part of business’ total ranking for local, according to Moz (about 9%). Ever wonder why Google loves them so much? It’s because customers do too. 88% trust them as much as personal recommendations. How your customers feel about you is put front and center on your ‘snack pack’ ranking.

Another major development on the face of local SEO was the addition of place details, also known as business attributes. They not only help prospective customers, they prove the importance of local SEO. Here’s why:

What are business attributes?

If you’ve used Google Maps to check into places, then you may have noticed that you have the ability to offer up a few extra details about the establishment. These are place details (or business attributes). Sure, some people might want to know what you’re up to, see what you’re eating, and know where in town it is, but they also would like to know more details, and so would the rest of the world. By the way, Google Maps is the still the leader amongst most mobile phone users with nearly 70% of users preferring it over its next competitor. In short, place details are descriptive content that apply to your business.

You can add details such as:

  • Payment methods accepted
  • Free parking
  • Handicapped accessible
  • Takeout options

And many more.

What makes business attributes so important?

Converting searchers into customers is about a combination of being visible and selling them on what you have to offer. Think of it like a traditional business on a busy street: you’ve got to be seen by the customer and sell them once they come in. Mobile has drastically changed daily life and buying decisions; in fact, searches with the words “near me” have risen by 146% year over year, with 88% coming from mobile.

Google says that this has given rise to micro-moments, points in time where you have the chance to hook the customer on exactly what they are looking for. Managing your attributes will make you look that much better to prospective customers, especially if your competitors are not doing the same.

How they prove the importance of local SEO

We’ve already said that 88% of “near me” searches come from mobile, and that the total has risen by 146% year over year, but that isn’t enough to prove the importance of local SEO. Neither is the fact nearly $80 billion will be spent on SEO by 2020. What really should drive the point home is that Google, the search engine that drives the web, has slowly set itself up as a go-to destination for rich, descriptive content about local institutions.

This fits into Google’s greater user-experience goals. Recent developments like the mobile-friendly update, local snack pack, Google Map check-in, and business attributes show how important Google thinks local is. It’s safe to say that if Google cares, customers care too.

Place details give customers – and now business owners too because of the My Business update – the ability to manage business attributes. You now have the power to be both visible to customers and also give them the exact details they’re looking for. Not only are they important to your success, they prove the importance of local SEO moving forward.