As search results get more and more crowded, it’s more important than ever to stand out. So how can you break through the noise and prove to Google that your location’s result should feature prominently on a local query?

Search expert Mary Bowling shared her five steps to standing out in the SERPs via richer, more engaging results at our recent Local Search Summit 2017 in San Diego.

Search expert Mary Bowling

1. Know Your SERPs

Who dominates search engine visibility for queries relevant to your business? Are these results from media, your competitors, directories, or other sources?

Know Your SERPs

Search is a zero-sum game; as one listing falls downs the ranks, another rises up in its place. Seek out opportunities where no competitive businesses are ranking. Or seek out best practice search engine optimizations to catapult you into top spots.

2. Use Ads to Your Advantage

Ads get a ton of visibility in local search results. Find your lowest cost opportunities to appear and convert by identifying queries with weak competition, displaying local inventory to better answer consumer needs, and using Google Shopping ads.

local listings

3. Feed Google the Best Info

Is the information you’re giving Google–either directly through your own efforts or indirectly via directories and third party listings–accurate and complete?

listings management

Regularly verifying and cleaning up your local listings information is critical. You don’t want old, outdated or inaccurate information eroding Google’s trust in your business and giving your prospects a poor user experience.

4. Be THE Answer (Or At Least One of Them)

local listings

Consumers may be looking for all kinds of information when they search local: businesses nearby, hours of operation, what the atmosphere is like, what others think about those locations. Are you giving Google all of the information necessary for it to show YOUR location as the best option on relevant queries?

5. The Results Will Only Get Richer (So You Should, Too)

Send coded messages to search engines via Schema markup, enabling richer, more prominent search results. Schema can add more visual and informational elements, but can also add functionality, as well. See this example of a Bank of America. This allows consumers to book an appointment from the search result:

Schema markup

You can see Mary’s entire presentation from Local Search Summit 2017 here:


Want to learn more about accelerating your local search optimization?

Author Bio:

Karisa Macias has extensive expertise in local search, digital marketing, and technology.