Google announced the inclusion of ads in the local three-pack during the SMX Advanced Local Workshop held last June. As of now, this change have only been seen on mobile.
The new local ad inclusion is paid real estate on top of the SERP, and appears before the local pack. It has the green Ad tag that indicates it’s a paid search result and not a local listing. However, its layout is similar with organic results and it may cause confusion among users.
When clicked on, local ads will direct users on the business’ website. As for organic search results in the three-pack, the user will only be redirected to the designated Google My Business Page of the brand or shop. More so, ads have the directions option while regular local pack results do not.
What does this mean?
Including paid ads in the local pack is a major change that Google rolled out, especially for mobile users. While, the top search engine is always making adjustments to improve user experience and quality of search results, it can still be noted that this recent development is also geared towards growing their business and increasing their revenue.
This also makes the playing field more challenging and competitive for local SEO and businesses. Those who have the money to spend on paid listings is at an advantage, but those who have limited budgets may need to level up their strategies in order to take the top spot in the local pack or in organic search results.
Meanwhile, some internet marketing experts noted that such changes may also mean poor user experience on Google. Because paid ads are given to advertisers with the highest bid, they are most likely to snag the top spot on Google even if they’re not the option that most people can benefit from.
What you can do
The top spot for local search results is crucial, because the higher your placement is, the higher your chances of increasing conversions. However, with the ever-changing environment in Google, getting to the top becomes increasingly challenging.
So, what can you do in order to boost your local internet marketing strategy?
- First off, the most obvious option would be to bid high for the top spot, but that may mean more expenses for your business. However, if you’re willing to spend, this may be a viable move for you.
- Another option would be to boost the quality of your business and website, so that you will have higher chances to appear on the local pack or the top spots of the organic search results.
- You should always be prepared for change. Every now and then, Google makes adjustments on their platform, may it be algorithm changes, ranking factors, and other features—all of which will affect your internet marketing strategy. That being said, you should always have room for these developments in your plan.
Ask help from professionals. Staying on top of a local SEO campaign is not just a walk in the park. It requires analysis of the current market, finding reputable directories, targeting keywords that will help boost your reach and conversion within your business area, and making sure that you’re in-line with recent developments. This is where PrimeView can help you. We can help enhance your visibility not just within your locale, but in search results as well, making you more accessible to your target market especially at a pivotal point of their purchasing process.
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