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May 25, 2018

How To Survive Google’s Competitive Local Search Sphere

As any digital marketer will tell you, Google’s SERPs are quite the competitive place to be, especially for local search. With Google’s consistent and numerous updates over the past year or so, including increasing snippet lengths, HTTPS warnings and more, local businesses can struggle to keep up with the ever-changing SEO world. At Absolute, we aim to take a reactive approach to any updates that Google comes out with, but local search remains a competitive area regardless. Here, we’re exploring just what it takes to survive this competitive sphere today.

Why Is It Such An Issue Now?

As with any website, Google is fond of promoting its own products and processes, but this can make top local search rankings even more difficult to achieve. According to Search Engine Land, a typical query in Google is likely to bring back virtually an entire page of Google-owned properties. Essentially, this means that users are more likely to see paid listings, knowledge panels, review carousels, news carousels, images carousels, review URLs and much more before they reach the organic search results and on a local search scale, this can be devastating. Through these products alone, a ‘number one’ ranking for a company can appear like a fifth or below ranking beneath paid listings.


With this in mind, however, local businesses can still optimise their sites and even use these Google properties to their advantage to promote increased CTR and conversions, and here’s how.

How To Optimise For Local Search

The simplest way to get your website seen by users is to utilise Google’s features to their fullest. Whether it’s careful management of your Google My Business listing or restructuring content to qualify for featured snippets, here are a few ways small businesses can optimise for their local search:

  • Google My Business

When used correctly, Google My Business can be an extremely valuable tool for any company wanting to promote themselves in local search results. Every company is entitled to a GMB listing, but those that utilise it to its fullest will get the most out of what it can offer. Ensure that you’ve claimed your listing, that the information on the listing is completely accurate and encourage your current clients to leave reviews for potential clients to read. People are more likely to trust online reviews and personal recommendations over the information posted on your website or social media.

  • Restructure Your Content

Featured snippets are making businesses with lower SERP rankings appear at the top simply because their information is the most relevant to a particular search term, and local businesses can use this to their advantage. Restructure your content to provide accurate, precise and relevant information that Google can pick out when a search term is used – providing Google believes that your information is the most relevant and what the searcher is looking for, your website could be featured as a snippet answer.

  • Consider Advertising

If you truly want your business to appear above all others, it could be time to consider advertising. 35-64% of local pack results contains ads and with Google AdWords use consistently growing and taking up more and more of our SERP space, local businesses could benefit from investing in a PPC campaign to gain the attention they desire. The more you pay, the more likely to appear at the top you become, so it’s important to ensure you’re focusing locally if you’re on a limited budget.

Local search is becoming increasingly competitive, and that much sought after top spot is becoming much harder to reach. However, with utilisation of Google’s tools on top of SEO best practices, small, local businesses could stand a much better chance at reaching page one.

If you’d like more information about local search or help with achieving those all-important SERP positions, get in touch with a member of our knowledgeable staff today.



Evaldas Balcius

As our in-house PPC genius (and SEO technical expert), Evaldas knows everything there is to know about paid search. A Google AdWords and Google Analytics Qualified Professional, he has over seven years’ practical experience in the online marketing sector and also boasts a Master’s diploma degree in Business IT.

Having worked client side and for dedicated search agencies it’s safe to say he has an unrivalled understanding of expectations from both parties. Originally from Lithuania, Evaldas loves exploring England, especially places of historical interest, as well as spending time with his family.

Email e.balcius@absolutedigitalmedia.com

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