Local Search Marketing
Local Pack Rankings
Local businesses need every advantage that they can get to compete with national chain stores and local marketing is something that can improve their odds.
Online stores and websites can stream qualified leads to brick-and -mortar locations and can expand geographical reach beyond the confines of local shops. Local businesses have never had it better, with opportunities for growth and new revenue.
The biggest boost you could possibly give to your local brick-and-mortar store is to appear in Google’s local search results. Google’s Map results are displayed in a box called Local Pack rankings (see below).
Local Pack Listings
The Benefits of Local Search Marketing
Local pack rankings display the top three local search results for given search term.
Local businesses benefit greatly by narrowing the results to just your store and two others.
The local pack results appear in over 90% of local searches on Google and half of those visited a store the same day.
Listings are free for those businesses that are optimized correctly, and businesses can now advertise in this section.
The information that is available in the local pack results include the store name, address, Google reviews, phone number and even the hours that the shop is open.
Local businesses can benefit greatly because it narrows down all competitors to your shop and two others. Also, the local pack results appear in over 90% of local searches on Google and half of those visited a store the same day. It is safe to say that Google’s local pack can make or break a local businesses success.
The good news is that local businesses can benefit from local pack listings free of charge. Knowing what Google’s local search results are based on and optimizing online businesses for Google and visitors is the best time and money you will spend. It is free if you choose to do it yourself or a credible and honest agency can do it for your business for a small fee. It is easily the best money and time you can spend on your business, and the best investment you could possibly make.
When one of the three business names are clicked a new screen appears that displays a card full of information about the business. This card is called the local teaser, and it provides a huge advantage for local businesses to be displayed here. It delivers without a doubt, the best ROI on your investment.
The local teaser is an incredibly powerful free advertisement that provides a huge amount of influential information about your business.
Google's Local Teaser Listings
You need to be here.
Local map listings are getting very precise and are now more limited in geographic visibility for small local businesses. You may see your business in the map results near your store, but it may not show at all from a few blocks away (depending on competition, number of competing shops etc.).
The screenshot below shows the limited scope of this brick-and-mortar shop within its town. The business owner thought she was number one in the mapped results for Google everywhere but realized after our manual audit that she was invisible to Google’s map results even for searches a few blocks away.
Google's Map Results
You need to be here.
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It’s interesting to note that many of the local shops that we visit are completely unaware of this. They proudly exclaim that their shop ranks number one in the mapped results, but soon realize after searching nearby areas that they have no visibility at all.
This is a great example of why local businesses need to be aware of their business’s online health and visibility. A few quick searches of nearby areas are all it takes to identify something as simple as this, just remember to sign out of Google when doing this. There are several exercises that local businesses can do quickly and for free that provide real life information and the status of their online business with Google.
So, what can local businesses do to compete better in Google map results? The best place to start is to do a thorough review of the online business to identify weaknesses, errors and coding issues, content problems and a host of other factors that need to be examined. If you are unable to do so yourself, it would be in your best interest to hire a reputable online marketing company. Just exercise due diligence and read our article for tips and reference.
Essentially, you need to satisfy Google’s requirements for ranking at the top of local searches. When Google places a business at the top of their search listings they are in effect saying that ‘in our opinion this is the best company for what you have searched for’. Google is vouching for your business and therefore wants only the best businesses to rank at the top of their search listings. In order to accomplish this, you must be aware of what it is that Google is looking for. The days of getting thousands of links, multiple websites and duplicate content and other tricks are long gone.
Google’s algorithm, rank brain, EAT and other updates gauge the value of websites. Google ultimately wants the best quality website and information that meets their criteria. Google continues to push the bar for what qualifies as a quality site and the Internet benefits with better content and more reliable data.
Some of the basic factors that need to be addressed are:
2. Meta Tags
4. Website performance (Speed of the website)
6. Mobile friendliness
Google is now offering ads within the local mapped listings for brick-and-mortar stores. These ads are called local service ads and they are managed via your Google Ads account.
Google Ads a great way to leapfrog over the competition, expand geographic reach and offset poor organic rankings.
Google business listings are also necessary for any local business that wants to have exposure on the internet and optimizing your listing will pay good dividends. It is imperative that you familiarize yourself with Google’s business listings If you own a local business.
Optimizing your Google business listing is straightforward, provide your address your logo store hours and other pertinent information that you think your customers might want. There are some additional optimizations and things that you can do with your listing to maximize your potential.
To summarize, local businesses have the opportunity to increase visibility on the Internet, increase revenue and expand beyond their geographical location with a reasonable amount of time and low costs.