Dominating Local SEO and Maps for More Customers in 2024
For startups and small businesses looking to grow, one of the most impactful ways to drive traffic and conversions is to try and rank in Google Maps. While it might seem odd to aim for this as opposed to position 1, it’s important to understand that local searches bear a different kind of weight than standard informational or commercial searches.
For local businesses looking to grow and drive conversions, the Local Pack should be an absolute priority going into 2024.
Appearing on Google Maps – in a prominent Local Pack position – makes a huge positive difference to customer acquisition and traffic from people making passive local queries. There’s even a good chance they won’t even scour beyond the Maps SERP feature for certain queries. Proximity, prominence, and relevancy are all valuable factors for appearing in the Local Pack these days, especially considering the volume of mobile searches with local intent.
But how exactly can you go about this? How can you elbow ahead of competitors to land within a highly sought-after top local pack position? This short guide below will give you brief tips to take local SEO by storm next year, attract nearby searchers, and ultimately drive more sales for your business.
The Anatomy of Google’s Local Pack
Let’s first establish what we mean by the Google Local Pack. Essentially, it’s a special insert within standard organic results spotlighting the top most relevant local businesses for geography-specific queries like “dentists near me”, “florists in Brighton” or “local Italian restaurants”.
Clearly visible business info (NAP – name, address, and phone number) will help Google to isolate the geolocation of the brand. The content on your site helps Google understand what you offer and provide, as we know, but this essential business information can help the search engine give customers that all-important user experience Google values so highly.
For instance, before even landing on a website, customers can use the Local Pack to:
- Find directions to your location
- Make phone calls
- Send emails to or chat with your brand
- Visit your website via the built-in website button
It might seem a little ironic that this type of SEO invariably leads to customers interacting with your brand without necessarily visiting your site. However, the conversion improvements can be astounding.
Securing a coveted Local Pack position means you’ll capture more of those impulse buyers ready to purchase immediately.
Steps to Earn Local Map Dominance in 2024
So what are the crucial steps to making this goal achievable in 2024?
Optimise Your Google Business Profile (GBP)
Flesh out every section of your GBP listing, as this underpins your local pack eligibility and ranking potential.
Make sure business NAP info is correct and consistent, spare no details about services or products, add plenty of high-quality images, be clear on opening times, and also enable messaging so leads can be made easier to move through the sales funnel.
Within the realm of your GBP, make sure you are proactive in sourcing transparent reviews from customers. This can bear significant weight in your GBP ranking weight and visibility. Incentivise them to leave any positive feedback on Google, as positive average ratings will make new prospects take notice.
Take On-Page SEO Seriously
Local pack visibility is virtually nonexistent without an optimised website anyway. Ensure that your GBP listing details perfectly match those on your website to avoid confliction or contradiction.
Use variations of your core, targeted keywords within Page Titles, alt text, URL slugs, meta descriptions, and H1 tags. This will reinforce relevancy and local intent signals, but be mindful to avoid over-optimisation, as Google primarily puts user intent over keyword placement.
Schema markup for opening times, menus, stock levels, and price lists (among others) can also add dynamism to SERP listings.
Create Helpful Content
As we have seen first-hand with Google’s Helpful Content Update, create useful and purposeful content for your audience. Apply this to your main website service pages as well as blogs and supporting content. Reinforce your USP, thread keywords strategically but not forcefully, and capture local indicators where you can.
Going back and periodically altering, refreshing, and expanding on previously-published content can have a profound effect on rankings, within reason, and avoids diluting the search landscape with fresh content.
You may even find that creating templated geo-pages for specific locations might work in your favour when trying to optimise local visibility. Enhance this with carefully-considered service page and URL structures to help Google crawlers.
Unlock More Customers Near You
There is some overlap between strategic SEO and local SEO; the fundamental goals remain the same, but local SEO requires some methodical tactics to help your business stand out in local searches.
These types of searches are made every second, meaning your brand invariably has precious seconds to capture a searcher’s attention before that window closes and a competitor is chosen. Securing a coveted spot within the Local Pack results heightens your chances of earning those valuable clicks while search intent is specific and high.
Google is an evolving beast, as evidenced by 2023 alone, but there is no reason to suggest that the local landscape is any less important than it has been for years. If you want tailored guidance on how to create a winning local SEO strategy for your company, then we at Artemis would like to extend an opportunity to you. We have helped numerous local businesses expand search visibility for interested customers, driving results that have helped companies from accountants and solicitors to IT companies grow and scale.
We are constantly keeping abreast of the changes and modifications Google keeps churning out, but we never offer an ‘off-the-shelf’ local SEO package. We are transparent and flexible, catering to a wide range of sectors, budgets, and audiences. If you want to take your local visibility to the next level in 2024 and gain an unbeatable local advantage, reach out to our SEO experts for a free consultation today.