Why It’s Important to See Your Online Presence from a Visitor Perspective
In this solo episode, Jesse explains the benefits of showing up both at the top of the organic search rankings and in the map pack together! While this requires a google business profile to achieve, a GBP (formerly Google My Business/GMB) is free and easy to set up. With these tips, you’ll be better able to understand the psychology behind who gets the clicks on Google, and how to put yourself at an advantage over your competitors.
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What you’ll learn
- Why ranking in both the maps and search is extremely beneficial.
- What to do to improve your position.
- Why reviews are important to your business!
Transcript For Local SEO Benefits of Showing Up in Google Maps and Organic Search – 153
Jesse Dolan: Get maximum local SEO benefits by showing up in both the map pack for Google Maps and for organic search.
Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I’m your host, Jesse Dolan, going to be talking to you in this episode here today about local SEO benefits of showing up in Google Maps and organic search. What we mean by that is showing up in the map pack for your GBP profile, your GMB profile, and directly underneath it in organic search.
To be clear here, we’re going to be talking about showing up at the top of organic search and in the map pack, not just somewhere on the first page, and talking about some of the ranking factors, some of the psychology and just the overall impact of being in these two spots and then the magic of what happens when you’re in those two spots together for a search at the same time. Now, before we get into that, there is some predicating factors here.
One of them being that you do have to have a Google Business Profile. If you don’t have one yet, it’s totally free. Check it out, go to, I think, it’s business.google.com. We’ll check it out and put a link in the show notes here. Otherwise, go back, check out some of our previous episodes, just go to localSEOtactics.com and find some of the GMB, Google My Business, or GBP, Google Business Profile, episodes talking about setting it up and getting started there.
The reason I say GBP and GMB is because this used to be called Google My Business. Google decided to change the name on all of us after we got super comfy with the GMB acronym and it’s called Google Business Profile now, or GBP, which will not flow off the tongue for quite a long time here so bear with me if I mess that up.
Okay. For what we’re talking about here, you have to have your profile set up. You have to do some things to it to get into the map pack and get shown for the keywords that you’re trying to target and what you want to be found for in your local area. Now, with that being said, we’re not going to dive super deep today into those tactics and those tricks. We’ve covered those in some other episodes, and have got plenty more content on that kind of stuff coming up in the future as well. That’s one of our core things that we do here. Today, I want to talk about the importance of showing up in both the map pack and at the top of organic search and why we need to do that.
Okay? One thing that you need to understand, and this information I’m citing is probably a couple years old, so it’s going to be even more powerful now, but there was a BrightLocal report that came out, I want to say two or three years ago, and I’m going a little bit off the cuff so this is rough numbers with a rough citation here, but definitely not things that I’m just guessing at or that we track. This was a industry study by BrightLocal. I want to say it was close to, in their study, one third of all the clicks on the SERP, meaning the search engine result page, S-E-R-P, one third of all the clicks on the SERP go to the GBP listings.
Now, maybe you think that’s a little bit low. That’s regardless of the industry and the niche being searched here, right? If you are a local service, a local business, your percentage might be a little bit higher of how many clicks go to the map pack for particular searches, right? If it’s somebody looking for a coffee shop, you’re going to get probably a lot higher percentage of the clicks are going to go to that map pack. This study was just across a giant survey that they did.
Within that, which is well balanced, over one third of all clicks went to the GBP listings. That also takes into account Google Ads. Depending on the search term and the niche that you’re in or that the searcher is searching for, there may be more or less ads at the top. There may be some Google guaranteed stuff at the top.
There’s a lot of other things on the page that can definitely take some of these clicks away. No matter how you slice it, the map pack is getting a very large chunk of all the clicks when people are going to Google to search, especially if they are searching on a mobile device. In this same report, I want to say it was 78% of local searches done on a mobile device result in a direct purchase within 24 hours of that search being performed.
If somebody’s searching for a coffee shop near me, yeah, within 24 hours, probably within 24 minutes, they’re going to be getting coffee there. If you’re trying to get your phone repaired and you do phone repair near me, today or tomorrow, most likely you’re going to go get your phone repaired, right? Auto repair, things like that. Showing up in that map pack is not only important just for the overall being in the game to catch those clicks. If it’s something that you provide as that local service, if people are looking on their mobile devices, the vast majority of those people are going to patronize somebody that they find in the map pack within the next day.
That’s pretty powerful for us, right? Trying to run businesses, grow, get customers, expand, that’s the kind of people that you’re looking for, who is looking to patronize me today or tomorrow in my local area for the products and services that I have? Got to be in the GMB, GBP game, and you got to be showing up in that map pack. Overwhelming majority of clicks are going to be going to there for those niches.
All right. Now let’s pull back out a little bit. You want to be in the map pack. That’s a given. There’s a couple things there real quick within that. Notice I’m not saying like number one position in the map pack, number two position in the map pack. This is just saying in general, the clicks are going to the map pack to a large degree, one third total. A large percentage of those, I’m sorry, a larger percentage is going to be for those types of searches that are very local type searches.
You’re going to want to get reviews, right? If you’re in that map pack, if you’re number one listing, number one position, but the people underneath you have more reviews, have a better score, things like that, then it doesn’t matter, you’re not going to get that click. You’re not going to get that call. You’re not the most attractive one on that screen. We always shoot with our clients to be double the amount of reviews that the competitors have in the map pack, regardless of position. You could be in the third position in the map pack, the third listing, top to bottom, and if you have twice the reviews of the other two competitors in there, you’re going to get that call. That just looks way sexier, way more attractive.
For us as consumers, we have a lot more confidence in the business that has all those reviews. Within the game here, you want to be in that map pack, but then you definitely want to put your best foot forward. Make sure your opening hours are there, so people understand if you’re open or not. Make sure you’re getting reviews continually. There’s a lot of other little tricks kind of within that for either manipulating, I shouldn’t say that, impacting your position within the rankings and then also what people see when you do show up. You got to be in the map pack, right? If that’s not clear, hopefully it is now.
Now what we want to be transitioning to is you want to be at the top of the natural search as well. In that same BrightLocal survey, it was 27% of clicks on the SERP went to that number one listing in natural organic results. What we mean by that is the web links, the web listings, kind of the traditional thing that Google really started with. Directly underneath the map packs, you’re going to see web listings for websites, web pages specifically. Like we always tell everybody, Google doesn’t give you websites in results. It gives you web pages. Those links we’re going to see down below with kind of the page title and a little snippet of text that take you to a web page, those are going to be the rankings and the displays for individual web pages on the search and result page, the SERP.
Hey everyone, just a quick message about our free SEO audit tool on localSEOtactics.com and we’ll get right back to the show. If you haven’t taken advantage of it yet, go on out to localSEOtactics.com/freeSEOaudit, or look for the yellow button up in the top right corner, click that. It’s going to take just a couple seconds. You enter in the page that you want to optimize, what you’re looking for the audit to score against. Enter in that page, enter in the keyword you’re looking to get optimized for and enter in your email address, click the button. It’s going to take a few seconds and then it’s going to send you off a PDF report via email.
It’s a great report. It’s going to kind of give you an overall score of some vital SEO areas for that page and for your website at large, even though it’s auditing this page. That’s going to tell you some of the good things that are happening, some of the bad things that are happening too, and give you basically a checklist of some things that you need to address and what you can do to improve your SEO for that page, for that keyword that you’re auditing.
Now, you can use this as many times as you want. You can do multiple keywords, multiple pages, multiple keywords on the same page. You can even use this to check against your competitors, right? If you want to do a little reverse engineering, see how they’re scoring for a certain keyword, what they may be doing good that you’re not and some things to improve there, so lots of different ways to use it. Completely free.
Again, go on to localSEOtactics.com/freeSEOaudit, or look for the yellow button in the top right corner of the website.
What you’re aiming for here as a business is to be in the map pack, look fairly attractive with some reviews, and then also be in that number one spot in that organic natural search. Not only are now you’re going to capture at least one third of all the potential clicks on that page by being in the map pack, 27% of the clicks go to that top spot in the SERP. This doesn’t take into account if you’re in both positions, this is just kind of agnostic, right? If you’re in the map pack, you’re getting a third. If you’re at the top spot on the SERP, you’re getting 27%, almost rounded up to a third right there.
Now here’s kind of where the magic comes in and what our ultimate goal for our clients is and what your goal should be if you’re doing this out there yourself. Or if you’re a business owner, your current SEO agency should be having the goal to be getting you into the spot too. You want to be in the map pack and at the top of that SERP. Not only are you going to have a high percentage chance of you getting some of that traction and clicks, just think about the psychology of the consumer at this point. If they’re doing a search and they see you in the map pack, your business name, and now they see you at the very bottom of that map pack as in the first natural listing.
They’ve got maybe four to six businesses. They’re seeing three in the map pack, depending on your screen, mobile, desktop, whatever. You may be seeing one to three actual natural listings down there. If you can occupy two out of the four to six mentions of business on there, you’re taking up a lot of real estate, number one. The more real estate you can take up, the less your competitors have, the less exposure they’re getting, right? Now in the map pack, you have your business name. Let’s just say if it’s Fred’s Auto Repair, that’s up in the map pack.
Now, if they see Fred’s Auto Repair again as the number one listing in the natural search, that’s going to be your page title, maybe even within your meta description or the snippet that Google’s pulling, so they’re seeing your name, Fred’s up here at the top of the map pack. They’re seeing Fred’s down below in the SERP right there. Psychologically speaking, you seem dominant. You seem like the best choice. Again, as long as you’ve got a halfway decent score in your map pack right there, that’ll definitely turn the tide.
Now we’re going from potentially 27% of the clicks in the first listing, organic, one third potential clicks in the map pack. I’m not saying that you’re guaranteed to get this client and this prospect and the traffic to your website, but if you think about it as a consumer, what are you going to choose? Who are you going to go to first? Who’s going to get the first shot to get your business? It’s going to be the business that’s most dominant on that page that’s jumping off to you, that you’re seeing in common in those various listings, right? They seem like the best choice, they’re showing up. Google is showing that they trust this business by showing it in multiple spots. You’re also, again, taking away exposure from your competitors by occupying those areas.
Now, from there, we’re talking about getting a click, right? They’re clicking on your GMB, maybe going to your website, or if they’re clicking on that first listing in SERP, they’re going to your website there. You got to make sure on those pages… So do these searches yourself, find out where you’re ranking, use some tools to track your ranking, whatever it is, understand where you are dominant, showing up in both of these locations, and then pay special attention to that page that you’re pushing the traffic to. Make sure it’s going to convert. If you’re looking like you’re dominant on the front side and you’re getting those clicks from your map pack or from the top of the SERP, and then people land in your webpage and it just looks like crap, well, then it’s all for naught.
Then, it was just a game to get that positioning and get that traffic. At the end of the day, that’s not what we’re really looking for here, is it? We’re looking for people to call us or contact us via an email or a form on the website, things like that. Make sure that when you land on that page, after that experiment of checking your ranking, click through and as a consumer, what’s your impression? Is your phone number there? Are you easy to contact? Is your business hours visible? What is it you would be looking for now for your next step? Make sure they can make that leap and actually patronize you.
Now, you’re not only capturing the results, you’re dominating the results, capturing the audience and all that. Now you’re capturing the actual lead and the prospect because if they’re not having confidence once they land on your webpage, they’re going to go back to Google. They’re just going to now pick the next person on the list, so on and so on. Give yourself the best chance by getting into both the map pack and at the top of that SERP, and then seal the deal by making sure your webpage looks really good and converts people.
There you go. Like I said, no special tricks or tips or tactics to employ here from an SEO standpoint, just trying to impress upon you the importance of being in both of these. A lot of times we’ll talk to clients, they’ll come on board and they say, “We just want to have you help us optimize our GBP and do some SEO on our GBP. We don’t want to worry about the webpage.” We’ll run through these scenarios, like why not get your web page up to the top? Additionally, if we help your ranking for your GBP and people go to your webpage and it looks like crap, it doesn’t matter what your ranking is. You’re not going to get that business.
This all ties together. We’ve talked in other episodes about how to synergize your webpages with your GBP to increase your ranking. We’re going to be talking more about that content here too in the future. Again, today, I just want you to understand that these things are related, not just from an SEO and a ranking standpoint, but to those people on the other end of the keyboard that are doing the searches, that are seeing your brand, seeing your ranking, clicking to your website, and then making a decision on if they want to commit to engaging with you, stopping into your location, things like that. Make sure that comes full circle, make sure you’re considering that and your strategies for your marketing, your branding, and put your best foot forward.
All right, hopefully that helps you out and it’s some benefit to you and there’s some actionable things that you can do there to make a difference in your business. If you have any questions on that, we’d love to hear from you. If you want us to expand on any of these topics or dig a little deeper, please just let us know, go on to localSEOtactics.com, scroll down the bottom, click the button for submit a question. You can send it in via a form, or you can call it in. If you call it in, Sue and I will cover it on an episode and play the audio on there. We send you off a free Intrycks T-shirt for mustering up the courage to leave a voicemail and get it played.
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