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With only three results showing under the map for the local results – hence the name local three-pack – optimizing your site is now even more important if you want to be in the forefront of potential customer’s searches. This means you need to know some details that affect how you optimize your search engine techniques for this three-pack view. The theory is that this works better for mobile searches, though is also displayed within desktop searches. This is keeping with all of Google’s efforts to focus on mobile user-friendly applications for its updates.
Noticeable Differences in the Appearance of This Page
Your address, hours, and phone number are still displayed. This means that your Google My Business page must be properly filled in as your info is still pulled from there. Focus on the quality and format of this information and keep it standard over all platforms where it is listed. The details that help to brand and standardize your business in the mind and sight of the searcher will help to sell your business. These top three companies are rotated depending on the precise location of the searcher.
The Effects on Results Being Organic
The fact that first click goes straight through to a list of twenty competitors means that the location in relation to the client becomes a major focus of Google’s search results. If you think about it, that means that if you are the closest to the customer and meet their requirements, you will be gaining quite organic potential exposure. A version of a business card will come up on the competitor page, and if they wish to search your site before calling directly, your landing page and immediate link will need to be a strong selling page. All of Googles updates regarding loading time and responsiveness will now also come into play because any deterrent off your site will lead them to the next nearest competitor.
How Local SEO Could Benefit You
More Companies Listed
The longer list of competitors on the first click through is an indirect benefit for companies, as far more businesses are loaded on this second page. A searcher is almost compelled to click through to this page to view the business card details. So even if they click just for the details of the company they selected as first choice from the top three, they will still be exposed to twenty business which may affect their final choice. If people scan the entire page as they normally would with first page results, more exposure and more competition is likely. If you manage to “outsell” your competitors on this page (we are about to address how you can do this) it could lead to a higher click through rate. Your landing page now becomes vitally important.
People searching for businesses tend to trust organic results far more – when it is unclear why certain companies appear on the top of their SERP, it leads to a natural mistrust. More likely to search through a longer list of organic results in more depth than the previous SERP of seemingly sometimes random results and advertised lists.
Focus on What You Can Control
You have very little control of how close you are to a potential client, so that is something that should give you some peace of mind. You can’t stress over what you can’t control. The only control here is having a physical address in the area of your target business. These are randomly inspected so be wary of opting for a post box address. They don’t count.
Focus on your Snippet
Some steadiness is noticeable in the top 20 results page list, so you should focus on appearing there. Once there, your snippet needs to sell. Work at its effectiveness. It could outsell the original choice that made them click through in the first place.
Work at Getting Good Reviews
Reviews are ever more important because negative reviews are also posted on this expanded page of competitors. It is likely that, of a few companies close by, one with fewer negative reviews would be a better choice. There is also now an option for searchers to only select businesses with a certain rating. Remember that reviews and customer experience won’t just be based on actual business but on your site navigation as well so keep doing what you were to improve rankings. This cannot become stagnant. It is not worth it to boost your reviews with fake, high reviews as this could hurt your rankings if Google finds out. Get real customers to review your services.
Accuracy and Brand
We mentioned earlier that your details appearing in a uniform way across all platforms will help to visually establish your brand. Details about your business should also be accurate. Business hours and categories should be listed correctly and specifically. List with local directories because they can drive traffic to your site and create healthy backlinks that Google will appreciate.
Keep up the SEO Efforts
Make sure all the SEO tips that assist your rankings are implemented – although Google has added this focus on local search, the google ranking methods are still very much at play. In searches not entirely location based, such as queries, your online content can still rank you, which will still be a marketing opportunity. Keep in mind that this change will affect some industries more than others. Use all the available tools at your disposal to compare your links and rankings to your competitors. Ensure that something on your landing page aids in your local search ranking. Add a map on your landing page so that it’s not just Google positioning you, but your landing page reaffirms that you are in fact that local. Focus your attention on appearing as a specialist – you need to use your keywords and content to position yourself differently to competitors.
Mobile is Key
This three-pack listing view is also displayed on mobile devices during searches, making mobile loading time and responsiveness of your site vital. This suggests that more searches are looking for immediacy as a factor, which also speaks to voice search results.
To sum up, before your regular search engine optimization can play as much of a factor in a searcher’s choice, you need to work on several improvements to stand out in local searches. Branding, as a back to basics should play as great a role in your efforts as links, content, and reviews.