When was the last time you conducted a simple Google search for museums, hotels, restaurants, bars or even pizza in your neighborhood? If your answer is ‘not in the last few weeks’, it might be a good idea to conduct a quick search for these simple, straightforward search terms. The results you receive might surprise you.
With recent innovations in the way Google displays search results with both the local carousel and knowledge graph carousel, the importance of making local search optimization a priority is not only more important than before, it now provides the greatest opportunity for reward. While local listing results have been featured near the top of search results for some time now, Google is taking the real estate provided to local results to the next level with the prominently displayed and interactive local carousel.
While the fancier, graphic results shown with Google’s local carousel have been rolled out for various food types/establishments, entertainment venues and recreational activities, search queries outside of these topics are also placing an aggressive emphasis on local search results with prominent local map results and relevant lists of nearby businesses. According to a recent heat map study conducted by LocalU.org, search results featuring a local carousel pulled in roughly 48% of total clicks through the carousel and 14.5% through the local map. Similar studies have reported transposed results (more clicks on the local map than the carousel), but more than anything these studies paint a clear picture of the preference for these visual and relevant local search results.
What Are Optimized Local Listings Anyway?
When we say ‘optimized local listings’ we’re talking about a multitude of factors that work to make sure that your local listings/profiles are claimed, accurate and consistent across a network of business profile and directory websites, which may include Google Places, Bing Local, Yahoo Local, Yelp, etc. By unifying representative details for your business such as your phone number, physical address and email, you can ensure the best possible display of such information and eliminate any guesswork associated with search engines and prospective customers finding you online. As a reward for properly identifying your business, your SEO benefit may result in higher ranked local listings results, or even display within a local carousel (depending on your industry).
Local listings also provide opportunities for customers to leave reviews, which can help to further enhance the impact and visibility of your local listings as reviews, comments and mentions of your business begin to develop in your favor. Over time, this spiraling effect will not only improve your local SEO efforts, but will also assist customers with making informed decisions and the opportunity to more easily getting in touch.
Are Optimized Local Listings Right For Me?
Optimized local listings are imperative if you have a physical location you want to drive traffic to or if you receive any portion of your business from local clientele.
While luck, industry and physical location may play a part in determining search rankings and how your business appears in local listing results, why leave the visibility of your website and your organization’s profitability to chance? As our Search Specialist, Dirk Lester, put it: “Local search is the new news. Personalized and localized is clearly the tact Google’s taken with a range of recent updates. It has just become one of those things where the people refusing to activly engage the space are fighting the future.”
Don’t fight the future. Give Deep Footprint a call today to learn more about our Local SEO offering, including opportunities to optimize your local listings.