#LSA18: The Changing Face of Local SERPs

During a tactical session at LSA18, local SEO experts David Mihm and Andrew Shotland explore the changing landscape of the local search engine results pages (SERPs). They broke down the discussion into four sections:

  • Understanding the SERP context
  • Current state of play
  • What you can do about it (agencies and brands)
  • What you can do about it (publishers)

David talked about how Google has basically built a web app directly within the SERPs, offering a number of features that enable actions without ever leaving the SERP. Similarly, Andrew shared an example of a SERP which had 10 SERP features for one query. All of this creates a tremendous amount of complexity and variability within the SERPs.

Modern history has also shown that Google SERPs are putting emphasis on answers and ads, not necessarily websites. From an ads perspective, Moz estimates that 35-64% of local packs now contain ads and David shared a great visualization of this increase in ads on the SERPs over time (below):


Tactically, David and Andrew provided some concrete actions in order to succeed in the new SERP:

  • Implement a review acquisition program
  • Post frequently (including tracking and A/B testing)
  • Monitor + respond to Q&A
  • Add detailed services
  • Pay attention to Reserve with Google
  • Deliver great content that answers questions
  • Opt in to new AdWords programs

However, Andrew said that the best SEO investment is “creating a product that customers want and then squeezing every last drop of SEO out of it.”

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