If you own a brick and mortar business and aren’t ranking well in Google’s local results, you’re missing out on massive potential for attracting new customers. With nearly 50% of all Google searches having local intent, Local SEO is more important than ever.
Still not convinced? Here are some more stats to show you just how powerful Local SEO can be.
Perhaps the easiest way to see how local works in real-time is to pull out your phone and perform a search for any local business category. Try “city name + yoga studio” or “pizzeria near me”. What you’ll likely find is that Google displays its infamous 3-pack of local listings above the fold, with organic listings below.
This, my friends, is local Search Engine Optimization at work. Business showing up in the 3-pack on search results pages, or ranking highly in Google maps results, have optimized their Google My Business listings and are reaping huge rewards as a result.
Years ago, the only way to find local business listings was to navigate to the “Maps” page on Google. As local search intent exploded, Google began displaying 3 local listings, pulled from Maps, on search results pages on desktop and mobile devices. This was a huge shift for businesses and marketers, as it gave an unfair advantages to those ranking in the 3-Pack.
Google Maps can still be used to view all local business listings for a given search; however, the 3-pack is the holy grail of Local SEO, as it drives a disproportionate number of click due to its high visibility.
Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the act of optimizing the content on a Google My Business listing to improve rankings in Google Maps and, ultimately, to rank in the coveted 3-Pack of local results. Just like Google has its algorithm for ranking web pages, it has an algorithm for ranking local businesses. The listings Google deems most relevant are given priority and are pushed to the top of Maps and search result pages.
Local Search Engine Optimization can be daunting, as there are many ranking signals used by Google to decide who gets top placements. However, here are some basic things every business can do to get started:
Once you’ve taken care of the basics, use the below tips to supercharge your listings.