Page one of Google’s organic results receive nearly all traffic. Therefore, the impact of Googles latest SERP’s layout, often called Google “Snack Pack” is hugely important for local business. (The Snack Pack contains just three of the top organic results on page one.) Along with paid ads and the Google Map, the Snack Pack takes up nearly the entire page. (Especially when searching on mobile.) True, there is an option to “see more,” but this action requires more time and energy…something most people aren’t willing to do if they find what they need in the top 3 results.
The pressure to appear in the top 3 is not only on local business, but also on marketers who provide SEO services. So much so, that some marketers go so far as to “guarantee” placement in Google’s top 3 SERP’s. Truth be told, there are no guarantees with Google …other than more change, of course. (With over 400 algorithm changes each year, change is a constant for Google.)
If someone makes this claim of “guaranteed Google SERPs placement,” they are not being truthful. Even if you are promised a PPC rank, it may or may not happen and it could cost you a lot of money. Even Google warns about agencies who provide guaranteed AdWords/ PPC placement. There are too many changing factors involved. Be skeptical because purchasing PPC is an auction bidding system that fluctuates your placement over time.
There are no agencies or marketers that work directly with Google to guarantee a business rank position. Google provides certifications and basic support to an agency that requests it, but that’s the extent of it.
Regarding organic SEO, having a physical address and close proximity to the searcher is in itself a strong ranking factor. (This gives every local business a shot at attracting new customers from search engine results.) Every business should create and verify a Google My Business page. Beyond that, there are a multitude of factors that go into Googles ranking factors.
So what should a business do? If you’re going to buy PPC, ask questions and get any promises in writing. Hiring an honest, experienced and knowledgeable digital strategist and PPC powerhouse will get you far. Find more information online with reputable sources such as MOZ and SearchEngineLand.
*NOTE: The image seen here notes ranking signals from June 2016 according to Search Engine Land. These signals, and their weight, change constantly.