Ads in Local Finder: How Google’s new update will affect your SEO Strategy

The ever-changing Google algorithm has produced two updates that will undoubtedly affect local search marketing. Here’s what Google’s new updates mean for your dental practice’s Internet Marketing strategy:

About a week ago, Search Engine Land reported that paid advertisements will now appear in Google’s Local Finder results. This update affects the results that appear once a user clicks-through the top three Local Finder listings to see “More Places.” Meaning, dentists who aren’t organically featured in the Local Finder top three-pack can utilize pay-per-click marketing and appear in the top results a user sees once they click through to see more listings.

Here’s an example found on SEO Specialist, Brian Barwig’s, Twitter:

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According to Barwig, “the lawyer is no where to be seen in the Local 3 Pack but is #1 on the Local Finder.”

In other words, paid advertisements are starting to look and function more like organic SEO. If you’re not investing in Pay-per-click marketing, now is the time to reconsider.

Google has also announced changes to how ads display in Google Maps. According to Ginny Marvin of Search Engine Land, “Google will only show ads that include location extensions in Maps; regular text ads will not be featured.” This emphasizes the importance of regularly checking and updating your Google local listings.

Finally, another big change is that Google Maps is no longer considered part of Search Partners. Advertisers that use location extensions but had opted out of Search Partners may see an increase in impressions and clicks, as they will now be able to have their ads shown in Maps. This could affect your SEO efforts either positively or negatively, depending on whether your location extension has been operating through Google Search Partners.

Here is what to take away:

  1. Investing in a Pay-Per-Click campaign to get your practice “seen” in the Local Finder is an opportunity to seriously consider. Continuing your monthly SEO efforts to get your practice ranking organically while simultaneously investing in a Pay-Per-Click Adwords campaign could give your practice a major new patient boost.
  2. A larger emphasis on location extensions requires whoever is managing your Google efforts to be diligent about updating your information.

The move to include Maps as part of Google search inventory will affect your practice’s internet marketing strategy. If you’re interested in investing in a Pay-Per-Click campaign, or have further questions regarding Google’s updates, give Identity Dental Marketing a call at (847) 773-5418.