What does the new Google search engine results page layout mean for accountants?
The SEO sphere has been buzzing for the past 24 hours about the new layout for Google search engine result pages (SERP). While doing a routine search for “accountant in Birmingham”, I saw this new layout in effect and could witness why
being listed ranking well on Google map is now more important than ever.
A picture being worth a thousand words, let me share this screenshot with you:
The first thing we notice is the prominence of the Google Places / Local results. They represent over 1/3 of the screen real estate and almost half if we don’t take into consideration white space. In fact, even with a large screen resolution (1280 by 1024) you would need to scroll down a fair bit to start seeing “organic” results which now only show 6 results representing 17.6% of screen surface (almost as much as Adwords).
“Organic” results are now pushed way down and you need to scroll the page a fair amount to even see them.
The second thing we notice, on screen resolution above 825px in height, is that the map is fixed in the top right corner which means than when scrolling down, it hides Google Adwords. Will this be definitive, I am not sure, but that’s what happens at present. Is Google considering that local listing will become a main source of revenues? It certainly looks like it!
What does this all mean for accountants?
If you haven’t already done so, you should strongly consider registering your practice with Google Places. In fact don’t even consider it, please just go and do it!
Also make sure that your website contains your contact details (phone number and address) and if you use an SEO company, ask them to spend some time improving your practice listing in Google Places. To that effect, you should encourage your clients to leave positive reviews about your practice using their Google Account. You could, for example, send them an email with a direct link to your Google Places page at the same time you send them their completed their tax return.
Finally, make sure that the information from your listing in Yell and other online directories is accurate. If you are not registered with Yell, add it to your to-do list. Also try to find local online directories that let you register your company details (a link to your website would be beneficial but it is not mandatory).