Local/Maps SEO: the VIP line for local businesses

If you own a local business, then there’s a good chance that you can profit greatly from getting your business in Google’s local business organic search results.

See the picture and watch the video below for an explanation on why I can say that with great confidence…

…and an idea of how to go about moving your business into view of the many customers looking at local listings every day.

If you have a local business, then contact me for a free SEO analysis and recommendations.

Sample Google Search Engine Results Page for Local Search.

Approximate transcription of video above on YouTube:

Hi, David Hood here, Dallas SEO Geek, and this video is about the VIP line in Google for local businesses, maps SEO or local SEO, basically ranking your Google My Business page in Google’s Maps results can have a huge effect on a company’s bottom line and making money and turning their online presence into an asset that grows their business over time.

First, let me prove it to you, what I mean by the VIP line or demonstrate it to you. This is a normal search result. Yeah, it can look a little bit different depending on exactly where you’re searching from and what your search history is, stuff like that, but this is a very common look that I see when someone searches like for Dallas personal injury attorneys, something very valuable.

The red area is the ads. These are the paid results. 80% of people always skip over this. When’s the last time you clicked on an ad. There’s something about the authority of an ad versus a non ad result. Non ad results seems more real, more authentic, and I think that’s represented by most people skipping over it. To me, the VIP line is this green area, the local listings. This is the maps organic and below, this is the organic listings, down here in blue. I’m giving you air quotes because it’s really the non maps organic and the maps are organic because organic to me means non-paid. Okay. These are the non-paid results.

Again, the green area, these are the maps listings. So these little bump upside on bubbles or whatever the pop-up on the screen, I guess they’re pins, push pins or something. They pop up on screen. This is the rankings. This is kind of the VIP line. You get more screen space because you get this law firm here and you get it twice. You get the colorful star rating. So this is very attractive and a lot of the traffic goes here when you can rank there. So that’s what I mean by the VIP line. If we look at all this, if we take what percentage of traffic goes to the biggest area, it’s the local listings by a lot.

The first, second and third positions are based, basically the maps listings. The number one result, what might show up in like a rank tracker is actually the number four result. I want to point out that there’s localization. Basically, Google has localized search results to varying degrees. Sometimes there’s a little bit of localization, where there’s a little bit of relevant results to near where the searcher are searching from, or if they put a city in the name, it might put a little bit extra into the search results. All the way too, like the maps listing being the number one non-paid result and then all of the results below being relevant to that location and that’s highly local.

It’s like a plumber would be highly localized, a lawyer is typically highly localized, but if you’re trying to buy shoes or a hammer or something, that’s not really a localized type of result. It’s kind of very low amount of localization. It’s not zero one. There’s a scale there. And what I’m saying, what I want to point out here is that the localization for searches overall I think have increased over time. There are some where the maps listing has popped into the search results where I wouldn’t have expected it there and it wasn’t, I know it wasn’t there two, three, four years ago. The maps listings almost always at the top, unless it’s super broad, but some localization on the maps listing is almost always at the top. So it shows up in a lot of search results.

Okay. What does it really mean to rank in Google maps? And I’m going to use these two pictures with lots of data points on it to explain that. Basically, at the center of these is a Google My Business page, the actual address where somebody verifies their local business and then each dot is a mile apart from the dot next to it, and it checks where you rank, where that Google My Business page ranks in Google maps at that location. The reason for this is that where the searcher searching from has a huge effect on what Google shows in the maps listings. It’s proximity to business. So much more like proximity relevance to business is a huge factor.

As you can see by this first one, where right on top of the business, they ranked number one. So if I’m searching right next door for personal injury lawyer, I might show up, but one mile west, and I’m actually fifth. Okay. Now, what you can get is something like this in the bottom one where you get a large area of where you’re number one and that’s increasing the influence of the Google My Business page. So this is really important to understand what it really means to rank. I’ve seen rank reports where it’s like, for a personal injury lawyer in the maps, I ranked five. It’s like, well, what does that mean? If you said that here, if you took that right on top of it, you rank number one. You think you’re your number one, but you’re actually not even close. You have a lot of work to go, a lot of work to do.

Or in some cases let’s say it was actually four and you think you ranked fourth, but really, you’re much worse off than you think. Or you can have a lot of green. Let’s say this three, somehow creeped on top of where I was searching, I thought I was number three, but actually, that’s not really true. It’s mostly number one. Okay. That’s an important understanding for maps SEO. I think I pointed this out. When the maps listing showing up, it’s taking up more screen real estate, which gives more engagements, more clicks, more sales.

One of the reasons for this, you just might say, well, why is this and where’s this going? Google makes more money. They get more ad revenue. They get more data from people because they keep them on their platform. If we go back to the search result right here. If I’m a searcher and I come here and I click on this blue area, one of these blue links right below, I go off their platform. If I engage with this brand right here, clicking on it, clicking on it there, click on website, click on directions, I’m still on their platform. They can still load ads, and that ads is the majority of how they make their money. So they make more money. So it’s ads.

And then the thing that makes them more money with ads, then the thing that doesn’t really make them any money anymore. It makes sense, right? I think that this is kind of aligned with Google as a corporation of public corporations priorities. So I don’t think that this is going away. I think that these maps listings are going to continue to be prominent in search results. Maybe some will go in and out of different searches. They test different ways of serving that market that search and that keyword. It’s not going away completely. And especially if you’re a local, like a home repair person, like plumbing, electrician and stuff like that, maps listings is everything from an SEO standpoint. Everybody’s going to click on that, especially the more urgent your service.

Anyway, if this was helpful to you or you want to talk more about how I can rank your local business in Google and drive a lot of business to your business with lots of businesses, business all around, please give me a call or shoot me an email, and I’ll give you a free SEO analysis and recommendations and we’ll go from there. You can give me a call at (214) 504-3848, 3848. I’ll put a link somewhere around here, where you can click on the contact me page on DallasSEOgeek.com and contact me there. Or you can shoot me an email. Well, just do the contact form, that’s best. Thank you for watching. If you liked this video, please like, subscribe for more business SEO techniques and tips. Have a good day. Thanks. Bye now.

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