Fifteen years ago, if a customer needed a hammer, they’d probably get out a phone book, look up “Hardware Store,” choose the hardware store closest to their house, drive there, go inside, and ask the clerk “Do you sell hammers?” If they happened to be out of hammers, the clerk might draw the customer a map to the next closest hardware store and the process would start all over again.
Now that most of us are walking around with tiny computers in our pockets, much preliminary research is taken care of in a matter of seconds via mobile search. If a customer needs a hammer, they simply google “Hardware Store,” and three nearby results pop up instantly.
Chances are, that customer will then be done searching. Any stores that don’t pop up will not get their business. Securing one of those top three spots in a Google search is an essential part of nailing local SEO.
This is especially significant for enterprise brands to be able to compete at the local level.
With hundreds or thousands of locations, it can be overwhelming to ensure data accuracy across the board. Partnering with a local search solution to maintain and monitor listings across all locations is a great way boost online presence and drive foot traffic.
Content produced in collaboration with Rio SEO.
If you’re just looking at website analytics, you could be missing out
Most consumers are researching businesses on mobile before they make decisions about which locations to visit in person. In fact, according to RetailDive, two-thirds of consumers conduct research online before even stepping foot in a store.
And while most businesses know that they should pay close attention to their website analytics, many are forgetting that preliminary online research also includes local listings. Research shows that while 75% of consumers use a business’s website as part of their decision-making process, an even greater number, 87%, also consider local listings.
Going beyond website analytics to understand how your ranking in local search results affects in-person visits to your businesses is key to understanding how to use local SEO for real-life traffic.
A study by Sparktoro found that in 62% of local mobile searches, the customer doesn’t click search results to visit a business’s webpage. Further, Rio SEO found in recent data from enterprise clients that just 1 in 60 Map Pack views resulted in a click-through to a website.
Rather, they get the information they need from the local listings that come up at the top of their search results. For many businesses, this means that if you’re not at the top, you might as well be invisible.
Optimizing for the Local 3-Pack
Mobile users are most likely using Google to search for local businesses, and those searches are generally limited to what’s called the “Local 3-Pack.”
In Google’s search engine results, the Local 3-Pack is a colorful, prominent map listing that presents to consumers the three businesses Google considers most relevant to the query and searcher’s location (refer again to the image above).
Coming in as one of those first three spots is critical for making sure local searchers can find your business.
How can your business break the top three?
The key to breaking into that coveted Local 3-Pack is making sure your corporate and local site’s SEO are in order. And the best way to get your SEO in order is to optimize your Google My Business (GMB) page to give Google’s algorithm everything it needs to find your company in local searches.
Here are a few tips for optimizing your GMB:
- Provide critical business information, such as business name and category, location, and/or service area, hours of operation (with special hours or holidays), phone number, website URL, business description, and more
- Give advanced information, like store code, labels, or Google Ads location extension phone
- Encourage customers to leave reviews, which you can respond to within the GMB dashboard
- Upload photos, which appear in both the listing and Google Images
The right tools can boost your online presence
If you’re worried that your business isn’t coming up at the top of those critical mobile local searches, changing your SEO strategy to adopt the right tools could be your best bet for getting seen by mobile users. Join SEW, ClickZ, and Rio SEO in our webinar to learn more about how to choose the right SEO toolkits for boosting your local business into those crucial top three search results–and keeping it there.
What to know more about mastering local SEO for enterprises?
The brands killing it in local SEO now are freeing their corporate teams and local managers of complicated workarounds and messy, muddled local data.
In this webinar, you’ll explore the benefits of taking a toolkit approach to enterprise local search and discover the key tools that must be a part of your local marketing arsenal. Join us and learn how to:
- leverage location-based martech effectively to optimize your brand’s online presence,
- improve customer experience in decision-making moments,
- track and measure location metrics that matter and stop wasting time on the wrong data,
- gain and retain search engine trust in your brand and each of its locations to improve local rankings and visibility,
- empower local managers to support the brand’s marketing efforts without losing control
It’s time to stop throwing disparate, disconnected solutions that only accomplish one or two things into your stack. Isn’t it time your brand’s local marketing efforts worked together to achieve the results your local stores and customers crave?
Join us for our webinar, “Scrap Your Stack: High-Performance Local SEO for Enterprise Brands, Simplified” to learn how.
The post Local SEO for enterprises: Optimizing for the Local 3-Pack appeared first on Search Engine Watch.