Everyone wants their company to Rank #1 in Google (or as close as humanly possible).What if you sell products or services LOCALLY?Would you want to field phone calls from a thousand miles (or more) away from your target demographic area? Would it do you much good to rank in Oklahoma if you only competed in Florida? There is such a thing as LOCAL Google search results. Before we get too carried away, be advised there are 3 parts to a Google search page and one of those is specifically local.- Anatomy of a SERP
- What is a serp? “Search Engine Results Page”. They are divided into 3 distinct sections.
- The Local Business Listings
- The Organic or Natural (main body of search listings)The Sponsored listings/ Paid listings/ Straight Advertising or in other words Google AdWords Number 3 can sometimes be split in 2 places: AdWords are always on the right side of a SERP, but depending on the volume of searches (and the volume of people paying to rank for a given keyword) sometimes sponsored listings are at the very top of a search result page. Google is far and away the largest search engine but not the only one on the planet that people use; Yahoo, Bing and AOL search, Ask.com, and every yellowpage clone I’ve seen lists the sponsored links prominently at the top before any eyes ever get to the main body of listings.Google shows different results to those out of town than they show to people locally (that includes you). Google can do this because they knows quite a bit about you, before you ever hit the “search” button. If someone is searching for X locally (and Google knows that hypothetical person is physically searching IN said locality) the Google Maps listings will display above the organic listings.If said person is searching for X product or service in a given location and they are NOT physically located within said locality, the local business listings (Google Maps) will show up in the middle of the organic listings.What you want to do as a business owner is to get your company website to rank in 2 or more of the 3 available slots. My research shows me that it seldom does a company good to rank in the organics if they are not ranking in the Google Maps. Similarly if you are found in the top of the Googlemaps but not in the top ten organic listings this can severely lessen the number of phone calls or inquires your advertising is attempting to receive.If you (or the SEO firm you contract with) manages to get your business in all 3 slots in a serp, that’s the brass ring of local Google advertising. Depending on the product/ service and the competition vying for those serp rankings, if you’re in all 3 spots of a serp, you are most likely to clean up. The reason is that your prospects are likely to assume that Google apparently thinks very highly of you if it lists you “everywhere”.For a fee, a competent search engine marketing firm can get your company listed prominently in 2 or more of those coveted Google segments. For a fee I’ll do it as well, but for free I’ll give you this much: Rename your website with the geographic area you wish to compete in and you’ll do much better than a competing website named something else.Hint: No one cares what your name is, I know you’re very proud of it, but trust me, the prospective clients you’re wooing care ONLY about 2 things: What they need and where they can get it.For example, I’m located in Maryland, so any client of mine who is paying me to rank statewide, will get a serise of blogs with Maryland in the title, in the domain name, in the opening paragraph of text and so on.
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