You already know that having a presence on Google is a must—especially for local businesses. You may also know that there are three entities you can optimize to show up higher in Google’s search results: your website, your paid ads, and your Google business listing.

What you may be less certain of, however, is exactly what that looks like. Google may be one of the world’s most trusted brands, but that doesn’t make it any less mysterious. Plus, it’s always evolving. So how can you stay relevant in search?

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We’re going to take a look at four important trends for Google search, with particular attention to trends in local search, to help you understand the direction Google is headed:

  • Zero-click searches
  • Quality-based results
  • “Near me” searches
  • Visual local results

For each trend, we’ll include specific action items to take in response, so you can continue to get found and attract customers online in 2021 and beyond. And in this process, you will come to find that your Google Business Profile just may be the most important one of all.

#1: “Zero-Click” Searches

If you haven’t already noticed, Google search results pages have drastically changed over the past decade. They’re no longer just a list of 10 websites, but a mixed-media, interactive page with answer boxes, local map listings, information cards, accordion menus, and more. Google is increasingly providing searchers with the information they need without having to click past…

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