Changes to AdWords Make It Significantly Easier to Rank for Local Search

Googles Local Three-Pack

Digital marketing agency, Tandem Buzz, shares how changes to Google Adwords may mean changes for local search rankings for your business.

In May of 2015, Google announced a significant amount of changes coming to the AdWords interface during the Google Performance Summit. Many of these changes were in regards to mobile and local search.

One of the changes that came to AdWords had to do with the “local three-pack”. The change went unnoticed for quite some time, until recently when it was explained in greater detail.

You may have noticed that while searching for a local business on Google, a map at the top of the search results appeared and listed three local businesses that were relevant to your search query. This list of three local businesses is informally known as the three-pack, also referred to as the map-pack.

The three-pack originally listed up to seven businesses, but this shrunk to three to create a consistent experience across desktop and mobile devices.

What do you need to know about Google’s local three-pack?

Google’s local three-pack is where many of us go when we are looking for a local restaurant, hair salon, or other local business. This is where many local businesses are getting a good portion of their leads and customers. It is now the place that users find anything that they are searching for locally.

In short, everyone relies on the Google SERP three-pack. It is important for businesses, especially small local businesses, to be both present in AdWords, as well as the organic search below in order to rank locally.

Local three-pack competition is aggressive.

While local search agencies in Fort Lauderdale will tell you that it is crucial for small businesses to be present in the three-pack, it is not the easiest task to rank locally. Due to the limited amount of space available in the three-pack, it can take anywhere from months to a year, perhaps longer, with consistent marketing efforts to finally rank in the local three-pack. Businesses need to optimize all of the elements of their webpage, as well as the elements outside of their page such as reviews and well-built local directory listings and review sites in order to have a shot at ranking.

In addition to copious amounts of marketing efforts, the degree of competition can make this task even more difficult. If a company is located in a medium to large-sized metropolitan area, they will face steep competition to get to one of Google’s local three-pack positions. Whereas, a company that is located in a rural area will not face such fierce competition when they attempt to rank locally.

How the game has changed.

Fortunately for companies, the rules have changed; and despite competition or how optimized a business’s presence is, it is possible for any business to rank locally and secure the first spot in the local three-pack. One of Google’s changes to AdWords makes it possible for companies that advertise in AdWords to easily create ads that will show up in the first position.

The requirements for ranking locally through AdWords are easy to meet. By simply connecting a Google My Business account to an AdWords account and adding a local search extension, companies can be eligible to rank in one of the Google three-pack positions. Since the official roll-out date has yet to be confirmed, the local search experts at Tandem Buzz will be keeping an eye out for further details on the release date and tips for implementation.

One thing is for certain, AdWords is now even more important for small business, as well as businesses in general. Optimizing your AdWords account with extensions to rank locally for Google’s local three-pack is of paramount importance to outperform other advertisers in the same geographical location.