For my New York Local SEO Service, the metric I care most about improving is the SoLV number. SoLV is a metric from Local Falcon that is a percentage of how often your business appears in your search’s top 3 listings in the map pack box. Google only shows three organic listings on page 1 for their results, so getting a business there leads to more exposure for their service.
Here is how I track this progress for my clients and more.
A Video Going Over This
Local Falcon Trends Report
I use Local Falcon to track how my local clients rank in and around their addresses for non-brand terms. When you create a report initially, Local Falcon saves that as a report that you can re-run at a later time. When you re-run the report, you now have a before and after report on your optimizations.
This report (before and after) is critical to see if your optimizations work. The metric I look at for my business and clients is SoLV, and if that number is increasing.
Why SoLV Matters
Moving from position 8 to position 4 in Local Falcon is a win, but it has yet to be in the top three. Therefore, the average rank improves for my keyword, but getting more eyeballs on my listing is not since it is not on page 1. Again, Google only shows three organic listings on page 1 of their results, so moving from 8 to 4 keeps that metric the same.
However, if Google ranks a listing from 4 to 3, that dramatically changes the exposure. My client (or I) has our service directly on page 1, which someone can call now. For example, if you were a dental SEO client of mine, you would want to show up in the top 3 for a term like emergency root canal. That user doesn’t have time to visit websites. They need to call a dentist near them to see if they can be seen, especially if they are in a city or location that is not home.
If you ranked as position 7, that user might not even see your listing because they only call what is in front of them.
How I Go About Optimizing for SoLV
To start, I focus on building the radius around a location for keywords that matter most for my or my client’s business. For example, I like to look at listings that are position four and are near my location. If I can move that from 4 to 3, I would improve the SoLV score.
Some ways I might go about that include the following.
- Make sure that the town or city is listed on my website.
- Make sure that the town or city is listed in my served area.
- Make sure that the town or city is in my description.
- Ensuring that I’m on relevant directories in that town if I service. For example, if I have an insurance SEO client, I encourage them to get listed in the nearby cities as a business on a directory website.
- Getting reviews from people in this area.
Conclusion: Why I Care about SoLV for LocaL Keyword Rankings
In summary, getting into the three-map pack listing in Google (or Bing) leads to more visibility for a business.
For example, think of an HVAC company that serves a 30-mile radius. If my heater stops working, I (as a searcher) will search for HVAC near me or HVAC heating report and see what shows up. Since this is an emergency, I want to call a company to come to my house. I don’t need to waste my time visiting a website. Instead, I need to know their price, if they are available, and if they can do this job.
That is why getting into the three-map pack listing is so critical. As a searcher, you need to contact someone, and Google (and Bing) give you that phone number to call directly in the map pack listing.
Greg Kristan, owner of TM Blast, LLC and The Stadium Reviews, LLC, has over 10+ years of SEO experience. He was also the SEO Manager at edX and was a contractor for Microsoft Bing Ads. Today, he works on optimizing local, national, and international company websites to rank higher in search engines through SEO. Finally, Greg has been featured on podcasts about his search experience and regularly updates his YouTube channel sharing digital marketing tips. Do you want to reach out to me about SEO help? If so, email me at email@example.com or call 877-425-2141