A brand’s visibility in local search results is the foundation on which all other marketing efforts are built. After all, consumers can’t convert if brands don’t have an online presence. Appearing in organic search results is key, but there’s another important piece of online real estate just as worthy of attention — Google’s Map Pack results.
In today’s digital economy, consumers are performing on-the-go mobile searches to find immediate solutions to their needs at exponential rates. When tasked with a query, Google uses the searcher’s location (among many other signals) to return what it believes to be the most relevant, reputable results nearby. Consumers can then see store hours, read customer reviews, scan photos, click to call a business or receive instant directions. Map Pack results are increasingly converting online searches to in-store visitors without any brand interaction at all — at least not the type measured with traditional web analytics. In fact, Rio SEO experts have found that only one in 60 local searches result in a clickthrough to a website.
The best way to drive performance improvements and online-to-offline traffic is to optimize brands’ websites for both organic and local search results. For organic search, Google needs to be able to understand a site’s content and how it relates to the query at hand. Rankings are driven by traditional search engine optimization best practices, including the use of structured data, an optimized website structure, and logical crawl paths. Google then looks at quality and engagement signals in an effort to choose the “best” answer for each individual query.