Local SERPs

Online Marketing To Rank Your Website On Local SERP

If you’re a regular guy looking for the nearest coffee shop in Manhattan, you obviously don’t want a search engine to tell you the names and locations of coffee shops in Irvine. The same goes when you’re looking for a TV repair technician in Anaheim – results listing the services of professionals in Orange County and in France are useless. Instead, you need a local SERP (search engine results page). Google MAPS 3-Pack is wht we are talking about. Orange County Google Maps SEO to be exact.

Now, if you’re the coffee shop owner or the plumber who does business in Manhattan, you surely won’t care that Google serves your website to users in Venezuela – after all, those people aren’t your potential customers. Again, you need to make sure that local customers can find the link to your site on Google. It won’t be good for your business if your site isn’t listed in the local SERP but your competitors are.

The first thing you’ll notice with a local SERP is that it features listings within your general or specified area. So, if a Google user is in Oakland and they’re looking for a gym, they’ll see only Oakland gyms listed. The same goes when they specify the area in the search term they use (“Oakland gym”).

A local SERP tends to be a bit different than your usual organic search results. These offer features that immediately inform Google users about the various listings. When a user is looking for a local coffee shop, the local SERP shows them paid results, results with star ratings, reviews, and a map showing business locations.

Just recently, Google drastically changed the way they present local search results. Instead of listing up to seven results, they now only show three.

What this means is that there’s intense competition to have your business listed in these three results. It may not be all that competitive if you’re offering a very unique service, such as an Elvis impersonator for parties – you may not have much in the way of competitors.

It’s a rather more challenging prospect when the Google user is looking for a more common service, such as a swimming pool cleaning service in Miami or a deli in NYC. Getting listed on the first local SERP will be much more difficult.

So what does this mean for you in practical terms? The most obvious implication in these changes is that you can no longer afford to just fiddle with your local SEO strategy. There’s no more time for DIY local SEO solutions. Instead, you need to employ real SEO professionals to plan and implement a truly effective local SEO strategy. That way, you have a real chance of being in the three available slots.

It does seem like the location of the Google user is a huge factor in determining which businesses are in the three listing slots. If that’s really the case, then your rankings in organic results are even more important than ever before, because they’re more likely to get you included in the first page of results. Again, this means that professional SEO expertise will even be more valuable.

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