First, Let’s Talk About Local SEO & the Local Pack
As a business owner looking to boost your company’s search rankings, it’s possible that local SEO is already something you’re familiar with. Or maybe you don’t know a thing about local SEO because you work with a company like ours who handles all of that stuff for you. Either way, here’s a quick refresher: local SEO is one of the major factors that dictates whether your business is found (or not) by consumers in your specific service area.
(Side note: If you don’t feel like learning all about local SEO, you can stop reading and sign up below for a free SEO analysis of your company’s website. It will tell you all about where your site stands now in terms of search rankings and will include our recommendations for how local SEO can help your company grow faster. Otherwise, keep reading!)
As a digital marketing company, our goal is to use local SEO best practices to optimize the pages on your company’s website so well for your service area that you rank highly for searches in that location. Best case scenario, you’ll rank so highly that your site falls within the coveted local pack.
If that description of local SEO isn’t ringing any bells, this might: think of the last time you searched for a specific service in your city. For instance, “internet marketing company gaithersburg maryland.” Or perhaps you were on your phone, so you typed in a general term like “internet marketing company,” and your phone used your location to provide you with relevant search results in your area. Either way, you probably saw a list of three results at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) that looked like this:
That, my friends, is the local pack! The top three local results for your search query. And quite clearly, it’s the very first thing you see on the SERP (meaning you don’t actually see the top-ranked organic result for this query until you scroll past the local pack).
For some of you, I’m not teaching you anything new here. You already know about the local pack, and you’re familiar with how important local SEO is for your business.
Which leads me to my next question: have you heard of the local teaser?
What’s that? You haven’t heard of the local teaser? Don’t worry—neither had we, until very recently. And now that we’ve learned, we’re going to give you the inside scoop on what it is and why it matters for your business based on your industry.
What Is the Local Teaser?
The thing is, the local teaser is so similar to the local pack that you’ve probably seen it and not even realized it. I know that was the case when I learned the difference between the two!
As we mentioned above, the local pack includes the top three local results for a search query. The local pack shows all three results to you on a map, with further details about each business below.
As you can see, it includes each company’s NAP (name, address, phone number), category, and hours. It also includes the company’s rating (based on their Google My Business page), which is linked to its reviews. And finally, you can see there are links that users can click to visit the company’s website or get directions to its street address.
That’s the typical local pack, and it’s what you’ll see when you search for most services or businesses in your area.
However, for some industries, the SERP for your query will feature a local teaser instead of a local pack.
For instance, if you searched “luxury hotels gaithersburg maryland,” you’d be greeted with a local teaser that looks like this:
As you can see, there are a few features here that differ from those of the local pack.
Instead of seeing the business’ address and phone number, you are shown a short description (for example, “Slick property with a free local shuttle”).
Instead of links to the website and directions to the property, you’re shown a photo of the business and a price (in this case, the price is the cost of each hotel per night).
You are given the option to choose a specific date range during which you hope to utilize these business’ services.
You can choose to sort the local results by price, rating, or amenities.
You’re probably thinking, “Hey, it looks like these features only benefit hotels. Why should I care if I don’t own a hotel?” Valid question! The local teaser also benefits other reservation-driven businesses. For now, you probably see it most often when searching for restaurants in your area. It might look something like this:
You can see the description of each restaurant, along with its ratings, address, price range, type of cuisine, and a photograph of its exterior. Then you have the option to sort by rating, cuisine, price, or hours.
So, if you don’t own a restaurant or hotel, why does this matter? Great question.
Why Should I Care About the Local Teaser?
Let’s take a step back for a moment. We talked earlier about how getting into the local pack is hugely important for every industry, from HVAC to remodeling and beyond.
When people search for services that your company provides in your service area, you want your webpages to be in the top ranking spots, hopefully breaking into the local pack so you’re the first thing a consumer sees on the SERP. Right? Right.
A few years ago, the local pack didn’t even exist. You had organic search results, paid search results, and little else taking up space on the SERP for any given query. Then Google learned that people wanted answers faster and that they were looking for results relevant to their location. Thus, they came up with the local pack as a way to give users easier access to the information they were looking for on companies’ webpages: address, phone number, hours, ratings, directions.
But as informative as the local pack is, it doesn’t include all the information that users need as immediately as possible. Our theory is, that’s why the local teaser came to be! Google realized that when users were searching for hotels or restaurants, they cared about different things than when they were searching for other types of businesses.
So, Google started providing different information in the same location on the page to give the users what they were looking for right off the bat.
For now, our guess is that Google is testing out how the local teaser works with restaurants and hotels. If it works well and users continue to enjoy the features it provides, we foresee Google expanding the local teaser’s features to other industries as well.
For instance, if someone’s looking for air conditioner repair services, maybe they’d be able to see the price each company in the local teaser charged for that service and could sort by price. Or maybe they could sort by companies who are available 24 hours or who offer weekend hours.
Factors That Influence Your Local Rankings
The local pack and local teaser each show the top three results for your search query within your service area, based on the following factors:
Well-written website and Google+ content
Proximity of your business to the searcher
Number of and rating of Google+ reviews
Association with local directories
The local pack listing alone accounts for approximately 44% of clicks by users of Google, primarily with traffic to the business name and the website link. Local SEO and organic search are tied together, so the better your organic SEO strategy is, the better your local SEO standing should be, with some concerted effort on specific areas.
You want your business to be one of these three in the local pack, featured prominently above the fold with a Google algorithm box of approval.
Improve Your Local SEO Strategy with Blue Corona
We approach local SEO the same way we approach SEO, by making data-driven decisions to turn your website, and its ranking, into your strongest marketing asset. By evaluating the status of your current local SEO and then creating a plan of attack, our content marketing specialists can take your website’s ranking to another level. Our goal for you is always the local pack and we use the following tools to get there:
Increases in organic traffic
Content focused on locality
Unique title tags and meta descriptions for each product and service area
Consistent NAP across every listing
Authentic reviews, marked up with schema
Reputable directory listings
Mobile responsive website design
Authority building measures
There are a lot of moving parts to local SEO, and those parts change frequently, so finding the right company to partner with for your digital marketing needs is an important step to getting your local SEO authority established.
If you’re looking to move in to that envied local pack, fill out the form below and we’ll give you a free SEO analysis! This analysis will tell you everything about where your site stands now and will include our recommendations for how local SEO can help your company grow faster. Sign up for your free analysis now, or contact us with any questions you may have!
About The Author: Alicia is a content marketing specialist at Blue Corona. When she’s not writing spectacular content or boosting website traffic for small businesses, you can find her on her yoga mat… Or on her couch, binge watching a new series on Netflix.
View more blogs by Alicia Thomas
“Would you ask a plumber to install a air conditioner? As a mechanical contractor we are technically literate in our field of HVAC not SEO. This is why we chose Blue Corona. After phone interviews with several SEO companies we chose Blue Corona based on their professionalism and confidence to design and deliver a site based on our needs. The entire process to date has been more than expected and we are extremely happy with the staff's expertise, friendliness and professionalism. All expectations were clearly defined from the beginning and everyone at Blue Corona has been awesome to work with. It is very refreshing to work with a professional group that delivers on their word. ”