As a marketer, it can be beneficial to think of Google’s infinitely complex algorithms as one big brain. Yet the thing you need to know is, for your marketing campaigns to be truly effective, you need to understand how Google “thinks” in some key situations.
In a recent episode of the The Multi-Location Marketing Show, my guest Kevin Mullett, who is VP of Program Services at MarketSnare, gave two simple yet powerful examples of how Google “thinks.”
Can you—part marketer, part psychotherapist—get into the mind of Google like my colleague Kevin can?
1. Searches that Google Thinks are Probably Local
There are various types of searches that Google automatically deems to be local. Whenever these searches are typed into Google, it’ll spit back at you localized results. (There are also searches that Google simply knows are not location-specific.)
In the podcast, Kevin talked about someone Googling ice cream. Google’s big brain simply knows that if someone searches for gelato or sorbet, that they want an ice cream parlor that’s, first, in walking distance, or second, in driving distance. Accordingly, the search engine result page (SERP) will show a Baskin-Robbins, a Ben & Jerry's, or a Dairy Queen that is close to you. That is, something that's walkable or driveable from the vicinity of the searcher (if you’ve turned location tracking “on” for your phone/laptop).
2. Searches that Google Thinks are Informational Versus Searches that are Transactional
Kevin also gave a great example that illustrates the crucial differences between informational searches and transactional searches. Here it is.
If someone Googles “HVAC scams,” then Google will deem that to be an informational search. Accordingly, it probably won’t show you a Google map pack.
However, if someone Googles “HVAC repairs,” then Google will consider that to be a transactional search. Consequently, the SERP will likely include a map pack.
So Why Is This Important to Multi-Location Businesses?
With local SEO, the key thing to know is this: if you play your marketing cards right, so to speak, you can show up in the top results. That is, your local business can show up in either or both of the map pack or the organic listings. But this will only happen if you do a few fundamental things, such as:
Optimizing your Google Business Profile.
Knowing which key local words you’re going to feature on your localized website.
Getting local reviews from customers.
Building quality local citations.
I hope you found this article helpful!
Make sure you check out my chat with Kevin Mullett and Tim Flint on our podcast.