In 2019, almost no Google search engine result page (or "SERP") looks the same. Different results appear based on many different factors but let's focus on what matters to you: search results for your business. Here's a quick breakdown of the top three search types used by local businesses today:
Appearing in organic results is likely what you think about when you hear someone talk about "SEO", but keep in-mind these appear below local search results from Google Maps, and paid ads from Google AdWords. There's not much organic space "above the fold" these days, either. Especially on a mobile device.
Google AdWords ads appear at the very top of the page, above all content, with a green "Ad" label beneath the title. Paid ads are Google's #1 source of revenue for a reason: they work really well. AdWords, however, can be a very pricey little project; and if you're not reviewing ads every day it can spin out of control.
Google My Business is a free tool that works with Google Maps. Most folks overlook Google Maps as part of their SEO, but with almost ten years of SEO experience we've found Google Maps' Google My Business is the single most overlooked tool a business has to succeed online.
Simply owning your business listing is a start, but does not guarantee your business is going to be in the coveted "3-Pack" (only three GMB listings appear in search results). Unlike traditional SEO, Google provides only general guidelines for Google Maps optimization best practice.
You must verify and optimize your business listing to stand a chance. But how?
Having control over those little red balloons is a powerful place to be. We have been building successful business listings on Google Maps for over a decade. We know how to create, claim and publish your listing; but we also know how to optimize your listing to ensure you stay ahead of competitors. First, you have to learn a bit more about the listing itself.