Local Search Engine Optimization (Local SEO)
About Google's Local 3-Pack
Local SEO Defined
Although also a part of traditional search engine optimization, the goal of local SEO is ranking higher for geographic location-related search queries. Local SEO is the process of optimizing a website and other online properties for geographically-related searches.
May also be referred to as:
- Local search engine optimization
- Local search marketing
- Local search
- Local marketing
- Local 3-Pack marketing
- Local 3-Pack optimization
- Google 3-Pack optimization
- Google local search optimization
An effective local SEO campaign can earn your business a spot in Google's Local 3-Pack, the highly visible block of map listings at the top of the search results page:
Google's Local 3-Pack
Also referred to as the local pack, Google's Local 3-Pack is the block of three map listings (Google My Business profiles) that are displayed below the paid ads but above the organic results on the search page.
Benefits of Appearing in Google's Local 3-Pack
More Website Visits
Appearing in the Local 3-Pack on Google tends to generate more clicks to your website. Every industry is different, but most of our Local Advantage clients receive over 50% of their website clicks from this link.
More Phone Calls
This is an ideal spot for your phone number to be available for potential customers, clients, and patients looking for your product or service. From their cell phone, a convenient one tap click-to-call!
More Store Visits
Location-based businesses, such as restaurants and stores, experience more direction requests and foot traffic when they appear in the Local 3-Pack. Just two clicks and customers are on their way!
Google My Business (GMB) Page Examples
The listing that appears in the Local Pack for your business is generated from your Google My Business profile. Your GMB profile is the listing from which all the following Google products pull their information:
Google branded search (your business name): Sometimes referred to as the knowledge panel, this is the result displayed when someone enters your business name into Google.
Google Maps: This is Google's well-known navigation program, used around the world.
Google Local 3-Pack: The three listings that appear in searches with local intent.
Refer to visual examples below:
Google Branded Search
Google Branded Search
The GMB listing usually appears in response to searches for your business name, reviews of your business, and in cases where your business has an exceptionally strong correlation to a specific keyword. The more complete your GMB listing is, the better it looks in these search results, giving you a distinct advantage over your competition.
Information on Google Maps comes from your GMB listing. Verifying your listing is part of our local SEO process, which Google does by mailing a postcard. A GMB listing that is both verified and optimized not only spotlights your Maps listing, it gives you control over your photos, business introduction, website, appointment and menu links, and even your map pin.
Google Local 3-Pack
Google Local 3-Pack
Designed to help users looking for a "local" business, being featured on the Google Local 3-Pack helps dramatically increase website traffic, phone calls, and requests for directions to your business. Proximity plays a large role in whether you show up here, but our intentional local SEO process helps your business earn this spot to stand out from competitors.
The Importance of Intent
Google knows that people search online for a variety of reasons and that those reasons change. The tech giant constantly tweaks its algorithm, which has become highly accurate at gauging the searcher's intent.
In local SEO, we optimize your site for something called local intent. These are searches looking for results within a particular geographical area. (Think of all those times you've looked for a nearby restaurant.)
For example, if we search "acupuncturist" from a Phoenix location, Google delivers the following search results:
Notice the 3 map listings? Google rightfully assumed our search had what is referred to as "local intent", meaning we wanted results based on our current location.
A Search with Informational Intent
What if you instead wanted to learn more about acupuncture? Local listings of acupuncturists wouldn't be valuable and Google understands this.
Continuing with the acupuncture example, here is the SERP (search engine results page) for the search "what is acupuncture?"
The "intent" for this search was for information. Notice this search query doesn't assume local intent and the results are informational?
When it comes to Local SEO, the objective is optimize your online presence for searches with local (and purchase!) intent.
The Golden Ticket
The real golden ticket for your business is appearing in Google's Local 3-Pack for searches with local and purchase intent!
Our Local SEO Process
Our local SEO process, The Local Advantage, is a campaign based on over 10 years of data and experience that consistently earns our clients a spot in the Local 3-Pack.
We approach SEO with the same high ethical standards we hold ourselves to; Integrity, Accountability, and Transparency.
Below is a general overview our process.
(Click or tap any section to expand for more information).
Let's Discuss Your Project!
Are you ready to see a change?
Want to earn your business a spot in Google's Local 3-Pack for the searches that matter?
Fill out the form below and we will respond within 24 hours with an honest answer to:
- Whether we believe we can earn your spot in the 3-Pack, and
- The keywords and time frame to achieve this.
Consider These Compelling Facts about Local, Mobile, and Voice Search:
- 46% of all Google searches are local.
- 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles. (Wordstream, 2016)
- 30% of mobile searches are related to a location. (Google, 2016)
- 28% of searches for something nearby result in a purchase. (Google, 2016)
- Local searches lead 50% of mobile users to visit stores within one day. (Google, 2018)
- Nearly one-third of all mobile searches are location-based queries. (The SEM Post, 2016)
- 46% of all searches on Google are seeking local information.
- 86% of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps
- More than 50% of ‘near me’ searches result in a store visit. (Mediapost)
- Over 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product while conducting a search on their smartphone. (Google, 2018)
- More than 46% of Americans will check their smartphone before getting out of bed. (Tech Times, 2017)
- An average mobile user spends about 4 hours a day on their smartphones.
- 65 percent of people use their mobile phone in their buying moments. (Think with Google)
- 71% of customers look to confirm the address before visiting a new store.
- The number of voice queries increased 3,400% between 2008 and 2017. (HubSpot, 2017)
- 19% of people use Siri at least daily. (HubSpot, 2015)
- Google claims its voice recognition accuracy is now at 92%. (Campaign, 2017)
- 20% of search queries on Google's mobile app and on Android devices are voice searches. (Search Engine Land, 2016)
(These numbers for local, mobile, and voice search continue to increase every year!)
Sources & Read More:
The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics for 2018 (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
Google Local SEO Statistics That Every Marketer Should Read: (Source: https://sagapixel.com/local-seo/local-seo-stats/)
Additional Local SEO Resources
Below are additional Local Search related resources, graphics, articles, statistics, and information. One of particular interest is MOZ's latest 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors.
MOZ 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors
According to MOZ's latest Local Search Study, here are the ranking factors and the influence each factor has shown as a percentage:
- Google My Business Signals (Proximity, categories, keyword in business title, etc.) 25.12%
- Link Signals (Inbound anchor text, linking domain authority, linking domain quantity, etc.) 16.53%
- Review Signals (Review quantity, review velocity, review diversity, etc.) 15.44%
- On-Page Signals (Presence of NAP, keywords in titles, domain authority, etc.) 13.82%
- Citation Signals (IYP/aggregator NAP consistency, citation volume, etc.) 10.82%
- Behavioral Signals (Click-through rate, mobile clicks to call, check-ins, etc.) 9.56%
- Personalization 5.88%
- Social Signals (Google engagement, Facebook engagement, Twitter engagement, etc.) 2.82%
Full study: https://moz.com/local-search-ranking-factors
Local Landing Page Optimization Guide
Nifty Marketing put out this great infographic on what an optimized Local Landing page looks like based on recent research (July 10th, 2018).
Full article and credit here: https://niftymarketing.com/optimal-local-landing-page-infographic/
Reviews - Did You Know?
I think everyone knows the importance of online reviews, especially if you are a small business owner. Even from a personal level, how many of us read reviews before purchasing that new tech gadget, or committing to one particular service provider? I do. And it has paid off. Thanks to reviews and due diligence I have had no regrets with any recent purchases including service based ones.
From a business owner's perspective, reviews aren't something you can ignore any more. Not if you want your business to succeed today. If you don't have a review system set up, call us today and we can get something set up for you. For free if need be. Just mention this paragraph and the fact that you read down this far deserves that at least. 🙂
Regarding a review strategy for your business, did you know that the prevalence of your keywords, or mention of the city or town you are trying to rank in, have influence on where you rank? LocalSEOGuide.com has put out this study showing the correlation between reviews and ranking, and puts it like this, "At a high level, having a keyword you are trying to rank for, and a mention of a city you are working to rank in, in reviews has a high correlation with high ranking Google My Business results."
Local SEO Case Studies
Advanced IT Solutions
Advanced IT Solutions is a local computer repair shop in Mesa, Arizona whose main services include: computer repairs all makes and models, virus removal, data recovery, and managed IT services.
Thanks to expert repairs and exceptional customer service, owners Michael and Rebecca Long were getting business from word of mouth and referrals, but they both knew with some targeted advertising they could help even more people in need of their services.
Backstory - Initial Research
After out initial research process we begin with each client, we were able to define their ideal customer, what keywords they were searching, industry trends, SWOT analysis of their local landscape, competition analysis, and a strategic plan to meet their goal of doubling revenue in 1 year.
Like many of our projects, we start with the website. in some instances, we will optimize the current site, but after some consideration, it was decided that a new website would be the most advantageous in this case.
(Advanced IT Solutions initial website)
(Advanced IT Solutions New Website)
"I am not easy to impress, and as a former communications editor, I am extremely detail oriented. Phoenix Online Media doesn't produce mediocrity.... in fact, their level of precision has blown me away. Where most web design firms don't concern themselves with spelling, grammar or content, Phoenix Online goes above and beyond to act as a second pair of eyes for me, while using their own sensibility to select photos and create content (although that is technically not their responsibility).
Can't say enough about how well they do what they do, including staying connected to the project, and the client, from beginning to end."
The Local Advantage
We all agreed that the most beneficial start would be targeting customers seeking their services within a 5 mile radius of their address. Our Local SEO campaign, The Local Advantage was the perfect solution.
"David developed a personalized SEO Optimization Plan that includes monthly meetings to review analytics, evaluate our progress and revise our game plan where needed.
Results matched our expectations and beyond. In just 6 months Mike and Rebecca experienced and estimated 200% increase in computer repair service calls. Today, a year and half later Advanced IT Solutions is most visible business online in Mesa for computer repair, data recovery, and managed IT services searches. They rank on the first page for over 80 search terms and in the Local 3-Pack for over 150. Monthly website traffic increases monthly on average +8 - 12%. In October of 2017 they received 8 phone calls for that month. Today they receive 20 to 30 click-to-calls from their GMB listing, around 15 from the website, and another 10 self reported from them from different optimized listings bringing up the total to around 40 to 50. Not bad.
"In just six short months our business has grown exponentially! This has given us a pronounced online presence by increasing our website searchability and online reviews, to the point that we're now more searched for, seen online and contacted than ever before."
Advanced IT Solutions Google Local Pack Appearances For High Revenue-Producing Search Terms:
Thank you for your interest and support.
- The Phoenix Online Media team