Google Moving to Paid Only Local Search Results? How to Protect your Business
Have you noticed Google's local "7 pack" of results (the ones labeled A, B, C, D, E, F, G,) has shrunk to only 3 results? And, a lot of the visible info is now gone like phone numbers and addresses. This change is rolling out slowly but will affect all local results soon. We are starting see it on results for restaurants, plumbers and other categories. If you are local business that relies on Google organic local results you will be affected.
So what can you do to make sure you do not lose local search traffic from Google? Six main recommendations:
1. Consider paid Google ads. This is the only way to ensure you will be on the first page of Google for relevant searches in your area. Make sure you track and analyze results to measure your return on investment. Get a professional agency to help you. Adwords is complex and ever changing.
2. Keep working on obtaining positive reviews for your Google Plus Local page and at Yelp. Yelp review propagate to Yahoo and Bing. Good reviews are a ranking factor, and most importantly, a conversion factor. If you get a negative review answer it by taking the “high road”.
3. Optimize your website for local search to improve your national results on Google local searches.
4. Make sure you claim your Google Plus Local page and optimize it for search and visual effect.
5. Don't forget about Bing Local search. Do you have Bing strategy? Have you claimed and optimized your Bing Local page? What about Bing advertising? Bing local ads are effective and are usually 75% less costly that Google's.
6. Make sure your website is responsive design to serve all searchers on all devices; PCs, tablets and smartphones. Does your website pass Google's mobile friendly test?
The game is changing for local search. Please call us at 703-425-7576 to discuss your options.