Local SERPs: Hidden Value

Local SERPs describe the results that show up for a local-based query based upon where the customer is. Local SERPs usually include a local 3-pack on top and show the most relevant results on the map.

Why do local SERPs matter to me?

If you have a brick-and-mortar store or other local business, then local SERPs can have a significant impact on how easily people can find your business online. Local SERPs, as we mentioned, are the results that show up for a local-based query based on location. In other words, for in-person customers, it is valuable to you to rank highly in local queries around your area. This will boost your visibility for the most relevant customers.

Do local SERPs differ considerably from global queries?

When it comes to local search, local SERPs can differ greatly, and it is important for businesses to be aware of the changes.

The SEO team at Fathom, using our technology at BrightEdge, conducted a study to see the differences between local SERPs and global ones. They wanted to monitor the changes for non-branded keywords-- keywords that did not include a specific business name-- in local Google search engines versus Google US. The study was specifically looking local searches related to universities in Michigan. This study found the following:

  • Non-branded keywords in Google’s geo local engines had an average ranking difference of 11.06 positions compared to the Google US engine.
  • An average of 51.9 percent of the non-branded keywords in the study also had varied rankings across the different local search engines and had noticeable differences in rankings from one week to the next.

How do I take advantage of this insight for local search?

  1. Use software, like BrightEdge, to monitor keywords locally so you understand how they perform in particular areas versus how they perform for the entire US.
  2. Create measurable goals based upon these new keywords to focus your content development and marketing efforts.
  3. Make sure that you also optimize your site for US search, including using various forms of content, leveraging social profiles and employing clear images. The credibility you build on a nationwide level will also impact your local results.
  4. Check that your site is optimized for local search (link to local search project page).
  5. Measure your results and adjust your campaigns as needed.

Monitoring local SERPs can be a valuable resource for identifying how well you are performing in local search and the keywords that will give you the best local advantage in your community.

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