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How Have the Changes to Google's SERP Affected Location-Based Businesses in the Finance Industry?

 

Insights for location-based Financial businesses: How do people search for financial services online and what can service providers do to reach them effectively?

 

Google search results finance local

Heat map of results to the task "find an accountant in Toronto"

 

We conducted an eye-tracking study and asked participants: "Imagine you are starting a business and you need to find an accountant. Use Google to find accountants in Toronto". 

 

KEY FINDINGS AND TACTICS TO IMPROVE YOUR SEARCH STRATEGY

 

LOCAL SEO

  • 56.5% of clicks were to the top 3 organic listings with 26% to #1.
  • 9% of clicks and 14% of time spent on the page were to the top 2 local listings.

Google search results finance - local SEO

 

​Optimize for local SEO in order to appear within the top organic listings or the top local listings.

  • People are scanning less horizontally and more vertically. Front-load page titles to match search intent based on the keywords you are targeting.
  • Have a web page per physical location that you operate from. Optimize them for regional modifiers (city, street, etc.).
  • Ensure each location has a complete, accurate and up-to-date Google+ Local listing
  • If you have any star ratings on your Google+ Local pages, ensure your listings are correctly marked-up with schema to ensure these are visible in the local listings.

 

LOCAL DIRECTORY LISTINGS

  • 54% of clicks and 17% of the time spent on the page were to local directories.

Google search results finance - local directory1   Google search results finance - local directory2

 

The top two organic listings were local directory listings (YellowPages.ca) and captured 37% of the clicks. Two listings from Yelp.ca, located further down the page, captured 17% of the clicks.

  • Make sure your business is listed on local directory sites and that the information on your listings is accurate.

 

SPONSORED ADS

  • 11% of clicks were to sponsored ads.

Google search results finance local - sponsored ads

 

  • The financial industry is very competitive online. With a sponsored ad, in addition to an organic listing, your brand will own more space on the SERP which will improve overall brand authority and clicks.
  • Very little activity was observed on the right rail sponsored ads. Make sure your sponsored ad is displayed above the organic listings rather than on the right rail.

 

What's new in local search 2014? Find out here!