What Happened to My Rank?
Unless you’ve been on a dream holiday far from the noise and clutter of technology, you will have noticed Google has been making changes to its search results. First there was Google Instant, which starts loading search results before you’ve even finished typing, more recently we had Google Preview which shows a searcher a preview pop up of the site and where your search phrase appears on it, oh, and of course all those who have slaved to get to the top 3 on page one for local search, yeah they’re now at the bottom or worse on page two.
That’s right, Google had given every small business a leg up in localised search results by placing local results front and centre on page one, no longer relegated to a red blob on a map, local results now dominate page one results where a local search term has been used.
It’s Open Season on Local Search
The recent changes have unsurprisingly resulted in a flurry of local search engine optimisation, and for good reason too. If you are in position one on page one of Google’s organic listings you can expect 56%* of clicks, just think what that could do to your business. For instance, at the time of writing, the monthly search figure for ‘Plumber Leeds’ is 2900 and the top local result (no.1 in the organic results) is Plumb Centre, that means they could be receiving over 1600 clicks a month. That could make the difference between going under and surviving, between breaking even and a nice fat bonus.
Local SEO Face Lift
My guess is that we will soon see the first page local results become amongst the most competitive which but at the moment local businesses can take advantage of the changes. Get in there fast to get before it goes crazy!
For SEO professionals this will mean an increase in focus on their localised customers. A good SEO will already be targeting localised search results for local customers, but this now provides them with a fantastic opportunity to deliver first page results like never before.