Search Engines have become substantially more complex than just the 10 links on page 1 of the search engine results page (SERP). There are up to 16 different ways your company can appear in Google. Most commonly, you’ll see your business appear in the “Local Pack” or “Map Pack” showing the nearest results available for the search query that the user performed (such as “Orthopedic Care in Kansas City”). Other ways include AdWords, organic listings, and even the Knowledge Graph.
If your company is in a medium to large market, you could possibly see 50-60% of your organic website leads originating from the map pack. If you’re not currently using UTM codes in your Google My Business page, you won’t be able to segment that traffic to better understand where leads are coming from. Understanding where your website leads are originating will help you better guide your organic search strategy. Local search operates in very similar ways to organic search, but understanding the differences will help you remain more competitive in the search landscape.
So how is local search different? Location, location, location. If you’re not near Kansas City, MO it is going to be nearly impossible for you to rank for Kanas City related queries. If you’re in Kansas City but you’re struggling to break into the top 3 that are shown in the map pack preview there are a few things that can help:
1. Listing consistency: If there are inconsistencies in your NAP data (name, address, phone) across the web, the search engines will be less likely to display your company high in the SERPs. The reason is simple: If Google isn’t confident that the information for ‘ABC Company’ is accurate, it’s not going to display it to the user. Users don’t want misinformation and Google wants to keep users happy. Get your listings fixed. All of our Organic clients get access to the Moz Local service as part of our Organic package.
2. Local links: Local links matter. Getting links from your local radio station or Chamber of Commerce are going to help you rank more than similar links with a different geo association. Work to build links and relationships in your community. It will help your digital presence and get your business in front of more eyes.
3. Move: Do you have great backlinks and your listings are clean as can be but you can’t seem to rank well for the major city you want to because you’re in the ‘burbs? Move. Google heavily favors your location when populating the map pack. If your company’s success is heavily based on ranking #1 for “Kansas City Golf Courses” but you’re located in Andover, KS, it will be harder for you to achieve the rankings you desire.
Local search plays a very important role in your business’ success in organic search. Knowing how the cream rises to the top can make the difference in your company’s bottom line. Thoughts or questions? Contact us today!