Local Search is important to every business. More than ever, local businesses need SEO. Google just made yet another change in how they display local businesses in search.
Have you checked your local search results in Google in the past few days?
There is no longer the whole A, B, C, D, E, F results. There are only 3 local search results now. If you aren’t in the top 3, you won’t show up in the Google Maps Local Search results. Here’s an example search; Barber Austin Notice that paid listings for local search are displayed at the top. Next comes the local search results brought in from Google Local Search and Google Maps. That image only shows 2 of the 3 local search listings. In the next image, you’ll see how the rest of the search results page looks when performing a local search. Notice there is a 3rd local search result, then comes the organic local search results. Sometimes, when there is no paid ads for a specific local search term, one to two of the organic local search results will replace them.
Ignore Local SEO and your business may be ignored
In a perfect world, no business would have to worry about doing local SEO. You may not like the fact that local search is important for your business or that you have to compete in this way, but it is a fact. Google makes changes from time to time in all aspects of search;
- Cheap link building practices can get you penalized or even banned
- Over-optimization of your content can get you penalized
- Guest blogging is now frowned upon by Google
- Links in the body of press releases using keywords as anchor text can get you penalized
- Cheap or thin content will no longer help you (Thin content is a page with very little content or content that is poorly written or obviously meant to manipulate rankings)
And now, only 3 local search results from Google Local will be displayed on search results
It’s very important that your business appear as near to the top of search results as possible. People don’t scroll down as often as they click the top local search results.
There are four ways for your local business to appear at the top of local search results in Google;
1. Paid Search for Local Business, Google Adwords, PPC
Paying for the ads that appear at the top of search results by bidding on keywords to make your ad appear above your competition. This can be very effective for bring in new business if done correctly. However, if you don’t know how to manage your PPC campaigns, it can cost you a lot money instead. A great PPC campaign can be the holy grail of making money online if you do it right. After all, it means you’ll be either at the top of the local search results or along the right side, still at the top of the search results. That means more people visiting your website or calling you. But what does “do it right” mean?
- Creating landing pages that are optimized for conversions
- Creating separate PPC campaigns for each landing page
- Knowing when to outbid everyone else and when to settle for less than the number 1 spot
- Creating effective PPC ads. (There is a quality score that determines how much you have to pay for each click on the ad and the ads you create are the key to a higher quality score.)
If you’d like help managing your PPC campaign or would like us to provide you with training so you can manage it yourself, click here to contact us or call us at (512) 515-0119
2. Appearing in the top 3 Google Local Search Results
And then there were 3. Google used to display as many as 8 local search results. Now it’s just 3. The three local businesses that appear there are going to get 10 times the number of click-throughs than those who don’t appear there.
So is Local SEO important to local businesses? Absolutely. It’s crucial to your success online.
Can you learn to do local SEO it yourself? Sure, but it took us 20 years to get good at it. Maybe you’re a fast learner and you can pick up things quickly. But, do you have the time to learn a new skill? Do you have time to keep up with these changes Google and other search engines make and respond to them quickly?
Of course not. You have a business to run.
We will help you with local search engine optimization. No one can guarantee top listings in Google, but we have 20 years of experience with getting websites to rank better in the search engines, long before there was a Google. Click here to contact us or call us at (512) 515-0119
3. Appearing in the organic Google Local Search Results
Organic rankings are extremely important even if you are doing PPC or appearing in the top 3 local search results. As I stated above, if there is no ads to display, at times, Google pulls the top 1 or 2 organic search results to the top, above the 3 local search results from Google Local.
Not only that, 30-40% of users prefer the organic results over the paid search results.
Optimizing your website to rank well in organic search is important because you are not paying for those click-throughs. For long-term results, there is no more cost-effective way to get business online than by doing SEO. It costs more upfront to get it done, but later, the free traffic you get from the results more than pays for the effort. We will help you with SEO. No one can guarantee top listings in Google, but we have 20 years of experience with getting websites to rank better in the search engines, long before there was a Google. Click here to contact us or call us at (512) 515-0119
4. Listing your business in the top local business directories
Local SEO is also about being found in more than one location. People use Angie’s List, Yelp, Superpages, YellowPages, Manta, Merchant Circle and other local search directories to find local businesses they can trust. It’s important to be in the top directories, not in all of them. There are companies that will offer to put you in 100’s of local business directories. Beware of them. It’s estimated that at least 20% of business directories have either been penalized or banned by Google.
Being in the right local business directories is more important than being in the most local business directories.
We can make sure your local business is listed in the right directories and even help you disavow any links from bad directories using Google’s Disavow Links Tool or by emailing these websites to ask them to remove the bad link. Click here to contact us or call us at (512) 515-0119