From Carousel to Local Pack, and finally, to Snack Pack—these are only some of the changes Google made in their results page formatting. While the search titan implemented these out of goodwill, which is to provide users with quality, organic results, we cannot deny that such moves have negatively affected local and small businesses in some ways.

Let’s look at the Snack Pack, Google’s most recent shakeup. Before its implementation, the results box would show the top seven local businesses. Once the change was completely applied, the results box started showing only three results. The effect is shocking, especially for businesses who were content with their lower positions in the lucky seven.

But there’s more to it than that. Search Engine Land cites a report from seoClarity, which shows that the old local pack used to show up in the number one slot of the search results only 25% of the time. With the update, however, the local pack appears in the number one position 93% of the time.

rank distribution comparison graph

It looks like you need to update your local campaign, but it will still depend on your current standing.

Understanding the Effects

You will feel the full blow of the update if you’re part of the top seven’s bottom four. As the local results box will only show top three businesses, expect that the competition will be tighter. But before you dive into the race, you need to understand the challenges you will be facing.

First is the removal of address and phone number. Searchers will have to click on your website first to find the pertinent details. Second is the removal of Google My Business page links. Searchers will not be able to access your website after they click your business name. Instead, they will be directed to a separate catalog where your competitors are also listed. It looks like this:

local search result for cakes denver

There’s a silver lining, however. In case you fail to make it into the Snack Pack, your business still has the chance of being noticed. This is because searchers will be directed to a listing of other businesses if they click on any of the business on the Snack Pack. But do not use this as an excuse to be content with your current standing.

Do not Panic! Do not Relax!

It may sound sarcastic, but you do not have to panic if your business fails to make it even onthe first page. But the implementation of the Snack Pack should give you enough reason to revamp your local campaign and surprise your competitors. Work harder. Work smarter.

If your business is part of the Elite 3, do not relax! Just like in the real world, nothing on Google is permanent. Resting for even a moment can affect your position on the Snack Pack.

Either way, here’s what you need to do:

  • Play by the rules. Google favors honest players.
  • Make sure that your information on the listing is updated.
  • Content is king. You should have mastered this by now.
  • Earn customer’s trust. Earn Google’s trust.
  • Be social.
  • Work with reliable SEO experts.

Perhaps, the most important thing you need to keep in mind is the details. A trivial disparity in your plan can break your game. This is especially true when it comes to choosing keywords.

Take a look at this example:

Keyword: Cake Denver

cake near denver local search

Keyword: Cakes Denver

cakes near denver local search

Notice how the letter “S”(or the plural form) made the difference.

If you need to come up with a flexible plan for your online efforts, you need to work with an SEO firm in Denver with a proven track record. Everyone here at RefractROI is committed to helping your business grow and beat the competition.

Contact us today to learn about our services.

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