When someone does a local search, the results are displayed on a search engine results page (or SERP). In order to have the best chance at getting the attention of a customer, your local business needs to dominate a local search page regardless of what site someone searches or what device they use.
On a search results page, there are typically three types of results:
- Paid Ads – Ads that businesses purchase to display when someone searches for specific terms or geographic locations.
- Local Business Listings – Results pulled from the search engine’s local business directory. A map is also often displayed.
- Web Search Results – Pages from other web sites that match the person’s search. They are also called “organic search results.”
Here are all three types of search results as seen on a Google search for churches in fort collins:
To really dominate a search results page, your business needs to appear in all three places.
Paid ads are certainly the easiest way to get exposure on a local search results page … especially if your local business listing and organic web search positioning isn’t where you want it yet.
But even if you already rank well in local business and organic web search results, paid ads can be worth the investment. They provide extra exposure for your business at the top of the search results page. And remember, on many sites, you often only pay if someone actually clicks on your ad.
Getting your business to appear in the local business and organic web search results takes a bit more work, but is well worth your time. It’s a process called local search engine optimization and we’ve outlined some of the steps in our free Local SEO Checklist.
This checklist outlines the process, step-by-step and will help you improve your organic web search results position. Download it now and start dominating! 🙂