According to Google, 76% of people who use location search on their mobile devices visit a business within a day and of those, 28% make a purchase. This goes to show the power of location and search results, and how they affect consumer behavior. As a business it is critical for you to know where you're landing in local search. If your business isn't visible in branded or unbranded searches, consumers simply won't find your business.
Local rank tracking tests where your business falls in local searches for branded or unbranded queries that link to attributes about your business. Optimizing your business's online data is critical to improving your search ranking, and the ease with which your customers are able to find your company. There is often a significant amount of variation in ranking depending on what device the search is coming from. For this reason it is critical that your local rank tracker allows you to look at mobile and desktop data separately. This will help you to understand where your site is underperforming on mobile search, remedy this issue, and recapture that valuable mobile traffic. Local rank tracking also keeps you up to date on how you rank in relation to your competitors, allowing you to respond quickly to these changes and remain visible in relevant searches.
While local rank tracking is a very useful tool, it is not without faults. Search Engine Land highlighted their key concerns about the use of local rank tracking in their post, Why Local Search Rank Trackers Fail. The main concerns they highlight are the ambiguity of the term "local rank," the fact that user behavior influences search rankings, and that slight differences in local ranking methods can affect results. The kind of user behavior in question is click through rates. While we can't definitively say that click through rate (CTR) is a ranking factor, we can say that there is correlation between the clicks and the "visible ranking" of a query, which means that CTR may influence visible ranking. Just as it is critical to understand how local search drives traffic to your business, it is also important to understand the potential downfalls of some local rank tracking tools.
Ranking high in local search will drive traffic to both your business's online and brick and mortar locations. Here are a few recommendations to help your business shows up higher on search engine results pages:
- Start by creating a Local Adwords and Keywords List**.** This will allow you to target your location and keywords by entering your zipcode and key search phrases.
- Ensure your business' NAP Data is consistent and up to date. Your business's website is no longer the only platform where consumers search for your company's name, address, and phone number. Users will likely encounter information about your business from intelligent answers on Siri or from search engines like Bing, therefore it is critical that your digital information is accurate and consistent across each of these platforms.
- Monitor your online reputation. Online reviews are becoming more prominent in consumers' decision making processes. If reviews go unaddressed, it may harm your reputation and your search marketing strategy. Yext Reviewsallows you to track what's being said about your business and respond to reviews directly from our platform.
- Add Rich Content to your listings. Including enhanced content, like photos, reviews, and descriptions is a very effective way of making sure that your business appears at the top of local search results.
- The Google Places Category Tool helps select the best categories to list your business under, ensuring that you are visible in related searches.
While ranking high in organic, local search is still important for your business, search is constantly evolving, and no longer only consists of keywords and ten blue links on a SERP. Instead, consumers are starting to rely more and more on intelligent search services like voice search and Google's knowledge card that provide them with direct answers. These answers are taken as a source of truth, making it all the more important that the public information about your business is accurate and consistent across all platforms.
The Yext Intelligent Search Tracker allows you to understand how your locations are performing for both branded and unbranded searches. You can track up to 7 keywords across 4 query templates for each of your locations. Then, view results on a location-by-location basis, or easily aggregate results across locations or across keywords. This tool is seamlessly integrated into the Yext Knowledge Engine, making updating these templates, keywords, and aggregating this data, a quick and painless process.