Google Maps, the part of the search engine results page (SERP) dedicated to “local” solutions to the search query, has undergone major updates the past few years including:
- dropping from 7 listings to a 3 pack making ranking for local search much more competitive.
- switching from City-centric to Searcher-centric, meaning results are influenced by where the searcher is, rather than the center of the city
- changing the location of the Local results on the SERP. It originally appeared by itself (or with ads) on the right-hand side of the page. It was then moved to the left-hand side with the other results and appeared as the top organic listing under the PPC ads. Now it can be found at different spots in the organic listings, sometimes still appearing at the top, but other times near the bottom of the page.
- recently adding a paid ad to some of the local listings.
- changing ranking factors so that Local Search optimization became more dependent on Organic Search factors, then changing it again so that both Organic and Local optimization strategies are important in ranking.
- increasing the number of keywords that Google Maps appear for. Traditionally, the local pack only appeared for a few, very broad terms in each industry (i.e. Financial Planning, Financial Advisor, etc.), but it it now can be triggered by a wide number of keywords depending on the situation.
Sample Google Maps 3-pack
Financial Keywords that Trigger Google Maps
These are the keywords that triggered the Map Pack for me at least some of time. My guess is that this list will continue to evolve and change, and it may even differ from region to region.
Note, that I’ve used a generic [city] to indicate the use of your specific city.
Keyword followed by City
- financial planner, [city]
- financial advisor, [city]
- financial planning, [city]
- wealth management, [city]
- investment management, [city]
- investment planning, [city]
- retirement planning, [city]
- retirement income planning, [city]
- estate planning, [city]
- asset planning, [city]
- asset management, [city]
- insurance planning, [city]
- business financial planning, [city]
Keyword By Itself
- financial planning
- financial planner
- financial advisor
- wealth management
- investment management
- retirement planning
- estate planning
- tax planning
- asset planning
- asset management
- risk management
- business financial planning
City followed by Keyword
- [city], financial planning
- [city], wealth management
- [city], retirement planning
- [city], estate planning
What Does the Mean for You?
Searches made within your city (where you have a physical office) will more often include the local pack in the search results, making it more important than ever that you’re optimized for Local Search.
Three advisors from your area are going to be included in the local search results – will it be you? With proper local and organic search engine optimization it can be.
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