The Main Components of Google’s Local Search
As the nature of the internet – and of search engines – continues to become more congested and competitive, many brands are seeking new and exciting ways to reach audiences. For most smaller and local brands, ranking prominently in broad and generalized SERPs is practically impossible. As such, if these brands want to be seen via Google results, they must target smaller and more niche audiences. For many, local search results is the most logical choice. Google’s local search features include a variety of elements that make it easy for audiences to find the information they need.
What are these components and why do they matter? Below, we’ll inspect the main components of local search so you’ll be aware of the situation.
Local Packs and Finders
Any time you perform a local search via Google, you may have noticed a series of local results “packed” together along with a map. These two elements are what we know as local packs and local finders. Simply put, local packs and finders help users more quickly find what they need, whether they are searching on a mobile or desktop device.
By pinging users with geographically relevant information upon searching for local results, users can more quickly get directions, find nearby options and otherwise see what people are saying about these businesses. While the nature of the pack and finder has changed over the years, offering both options combined to users is a successful component that Google isn’t likely to abandon soon.
Google Maps is something most people have used at least once. Finding directions, examining neighborhoods from outer space and just glancing at various cities are all common past-times for those who use it. Local search, however, revolves around the premise of Google Maps – whether the user is on desktop or mobile.
Any locally-based search conducted via Google Maps can yield a plethora of information for users – especially as it pertains to brands and businesses. However, don’t expect your business or brand to show in these results unless you have properly implemented NAP protocols and set up a Google My Business page.
Google Maps App
Last but not least, it would be wrong not to mention the role that the Google Maps app plays in local search experience. Just as brands wanting their contact info to be pinging users must optimize for both mobile and desktop results, brands wanting to be see on the map must optimize their contact information, hours and other vital data to appear here.
Most people with mobile devices use Google Maps in app form on a regular basis, whether to find directions or recommendations. As such, it’s important to verify that your business is displaying in this core component of local search.
Each of these crucial local search elements helps contribute to a better local search experience for users. Brands and businesses must keep in mind that each and every one of these elements is responsible for driving local traffic to brands – both online and in-person. As such, knowing how each component works is critical in improving local search outcomes for your brand.