Recently, Google updated the way that it displays search results, changing its local pack from showing seven listings to now only show three. With less business listings now being displayed in the local pack, this may mean that some businesses – like those that would have been listed fourth through seventh in the older local pack display – are probably feeling the impacts via less traffic, less conversions, etc.
This change could also mean:
- Better rankings, traffic and conversion rates for businesses that do make it into the new local pack
- An improved user experience for mobile device users, as the shorter local pack will reportedly display better on smaller screens.
Commenting on this change, a Google spokesperson has stated:
We are constantly exploring the best way to bring a better search experience to our users. This update provides people with more relevant information, including photos, reviews and prices, for searches that have multiple results for a given location.
Modifying Your Local SEO Strategy to Get in the Local Pack
So, just what does this change to the local pack mean for your business and local SEO strategy? Well, if you want to realize the best results and benefit from this change, most likely, your best move is to specialize.
In other words, get specific with the localities and keyword phrases you target and avoid trying to rank for every possible locality and keyword phrase. Although you may lose out on some traffic doing this, the end result will likely be that you rank better for the locations and phrases you are targeting and that, ultimately, you may end up getting better conversion rates and leads from this specialization – as the people looking for more niche phrases are probably going to be more serious about following through with a call-to-action (rather than simply browsing).
To this end, here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to adjusting your local SEO strategy:
- Focusing on more specialized/niche phrases can mean that you have less competitors and that it’s easier to rank better for the selected phrases.
- When optimizing a given page, it’s far easier to do so around one or two specialties (or keyword phrases), rather than trying to target a handful or more.
- For some businesses, rebranding to include a keyword phrase in their name may further these efforts.
- It is usually easier to broaden your focus on localities, phrases and/or specialties later (if you are not getting results, etc.). In contrast, it is typically more difficult to reign in a broadly focused site, SEO strategy, etc.
- Balancing your efforts on getting in the local pack with getting organic rankings can be the key to realizing the best results.
If you need assistance optimizing your site, adjusting your SEO strategies and/or simply getting better rankings and leads, contact the professionals at Epic Web Results.
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