Local Search pulls results into the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) based on businesses and places near a user’s location. These local search results appear in the map, commonly referred to as the map pack or three pack, and results.
Being present in local search for relevant searches can dramatically affect your impact, pushing quality traffic and increasing conversions. Three critical places our Omaha SEO team pushes for local search impact is Google My Business (GMB), Apple Maps and Yelp.
Why is local search so important?
If you’ve done a Google search for a product or service, you’ve noticed that Google is putting more and more emphasis on serving results from its server instead of pages from individual websites. This is by design and is only the beginning of how Google plans to morph into a source of knowledge, instead of serving up a knowledge buffet.
Considering these ongoing changes, local search is more important than ever. With its prominent placement on SERPS, the map pack can provide big results for your local business in the search engines. This information is pulled in through Google My Business account information.
Google serves its local results based on three main factors: relevance, distance and prominence.
Of course, you should care about Google My Business.
An optimized GMB page is necessary for success in local results on Google. Not only does it appear in relevant searches on the map pack, but it also provides quick, easy to access business information for customers and prospects. For more on Google My Business, see our overview of what Google My Business offers, and our step-by-step setup guide.
Knowing that Google serves its results by relevance, distance and prominence, and that the most visible results are being served by Google’s servers, its easy to see why GMB is an important factor for local SEO success. All three of these factors play upon your accuracy and investment into the page. There is no way to pay for better local ranking on Google yet, but by filling your GMB page with accurate information and actively managing the listing you’re going to make progress toward being found on local search results.
Why care about Apple Maps & Yelp?
If you’re not an Apple user, you probably don’t use Apple Maps. But you’ve likely heard of it having been marred with bugs and broken data partnerships. Nevertheless, Apple has put big money into fixing its Apple Maps app and its reputation over the last couple of years.
Apple Maps is relevant because over 700 million iPhones are currently being used worldwide, and many of these users use the default Siri search on their phone. Siri returns Apple Maps results and, in fact, to use Google Maps on an iOS requires an additional step to query a local business, product or service. With the popular rise of voice command search it’s clearly important to have an optimized listing on Apple Maps.
As for Yelp, it provides Apple with access to some of its business page information. And instead of building its own database for reviews, they utilize Yelp reviews. So, by optimizing and managing your Yelp listing to include accurate information and responses to reviews, you are syncing with Apple Maps to provide it better data.
Get in on local search optimization NOW
Do not wait to use these free tools for local SEO. Not only will these tools help you be found in local results, but when optimized and managed well, will help you to complete on Google amid its changing algorithms.