Now more than ever, consumers expect the answers they see in search results to be relevant to their context and location. And when 75% of local mobile searches result in an offline business visit within a day (with nearly 30% of those visits resulting in a purchase), it’s essential for brands to make sure that the public facts about their business are available in local search results.
But holding on to your share of local search through each algorithm update requires care and maintenance — and driving customers from search results to your front door requires much more than a great homepage. Especially following Google’s core algorithm update this spring, it’s more important than ever to have local landing pages.
Here’s how marketers can manage their local pages to improve their search ranking and boost sales.
Maintain accurate, comprehensive information on local pages.
The first step is to build out local landing pages that have comprehensive business information, making sure that the address, hours, and offerings are correct for each storefront, office, kiosk, or branch. Incorrect or inconsistent information confuses customers — and Google’s algorithm favours pages with clear content and verified, consistent location details.
Next, make sure your local pages link to any social media profiles (like a Facebook Local Page), the correct page on popular reviews sites like Yelp, and a claimed Google My Business page. These cross-links provide Google with more information, increasing your chances of showing up when people search — plus they give your customers more opportunities to interact with your brand and find the specific information they’re looking for.
Think about unbranded search situations.
Over the past several years, the search experience has shifted away from a list of blue links and towards maps, featured snippets, and spoken answers. Consumer expectations have evolved as well.
Today, if a consumer performs the search “new car,” they don’t simply see links — they see knowledge cards, with prices, configurations, and features of cars for sale. All of that information is available directly within the search results. Similarly, if someone uses Google to search for groceries or banks, they get maps back (Google now assumes you’re looking for a place if you search for something present in the physical world… no “near me” required). So when building out local pages, it’s important to prioritise ranking in unbranded situations — like in consumer searches for “best pancakes” rather than, say, “Denny’s.” That means marking up your code so search engines have the right details about your products and prices, and drafting copy that uses unbranded keywords to describe your products and services.
Have an accurate store locator page.
Google has explained that to bulk verify locations (10+) for multi-location businesses in Google My Business, an accurate store locator page is necessary. If store locator pages matter to Google in this verification process, you can trust that they should be a priority in general. Not only does building out a store locator page make the process of verifying your GMB pages more efficient, it strengthens those important cross-links which can help your business rank higher.
Afterall, for a customer to engage with your business in the physical world, they must first be able to find you when — and where — they’re searching.