If you own a physical 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.
- The google 3-Pack appears in 94% of searches with local intent.
- 50% of customers who perform Google searches for local businesses on smartphones, and 34% who search on desktop, visit a business within 24 hours.
- 18% of local mobile searches lead to a sale within one day.
- 50% of all local-mobile searchers are looking for business information like a local address or phone number.
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.
About the ‘3-Pack’
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.
What is Local SEO?
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.
How to Improve Local Search Engine Optimization Rankings
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:
- NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) information must be up to date and accurate and should match the information on your website and other business listings (Yelp and Yellow Pages, for example).
- List your business in the correct category
- Include your company logo
- Include general business information (hours, directions, etc.)
- Add descriptive, keyword-rich text to describe your products and services.
- Upload images and videos to help potential customers learn about what your offer.
- Generate positive reviews for your business by asking clients to recommend you on Google.
Advanced Local SEO Optimization Tips
Once you’ve taken care of the basics, use the below tips to supercharge your listings.
- Use Keywords in your business name title (e.g. Joe’s Pizzeria – NYC Pizza Restaurant)
- Create a business listing for each location your business provides services in.
- Ask Google to change your street address to keywords about your business (only if you feel not showing a street address won’t be an issue for your customers)
- Use city/location nicknames in your listing. (e.g. “Philly” for Philadelphia or “NYC” for New York City.
- Implement schema markup to make it easier for Google to find important information about your. https://blog.kissmetrics.com/get-started-using-schema/