A breakdown of the results page Google serves for a search on a term for a local product or service.
In this example we've searched Google for "penrith plumbers":
Google Ads section
The first results you see are paid ads. They are based on the keyword 'penrith plumbers' and are displayed based on a combination of the highest bids for this keyword, the relevance of the ad in relation to the keyword
and the ad quality.
Google Ads are based on a pay-per-click (PPC) model that uses targeted keywords and audiences to display your ad. You pay only for the traffic you receive from clicks, not for the number of times your ad is displayed.
If you don't see any paid ads for a particular search that means no one is bidding on those particular words. In general you will see 4 ads in this section. Learn more about Google Ads.
Google's Local Pack
Next is Google's Local Pack. Google will display the three most relevant results from the Google My Business Directory. As you can see this includes a map with location information, your star rating based on Google reviews,
phone number, website link and directions. A well optimised, accurate and consistent Google My Business listing will go a long way to get your business in the Local Pack.
Learn more about setting up your Google My Business listing.
Organic results are natural, unpaid results based on the search term entered. Google will attempt to return all relevant web sites for a particular search term using a complex algorithm to determine the best sites to show. It will use a combination of on-page (page content, keywords, title and description), off-page (backlinks, social media, directories), page speed, mobile friendliness, site age, accessibility, security and authority. The process of tuning you site to rank well in organic results is called Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). The higher your web site is placed in these results the better. And to get that high result you need to optimise your web site.
Learn more about SEO.
More Google Ads
Depending on the popularity of the search term, Google may display another set of paid results at the bottom of the page after the organic results. This is usually another 3 ads. Google will then display a 'Related Searches' section, with popular search terms similar to the main search term. Below that is the list of pages for this search term which will display both paid and organic results for as many pages as its takes to show all the results.
At the bottom of the Google local 3-pack is a 'view all' button. This will take you to a full listing of all the Google My Business results for the search term. It will display the results in the order of relevancy. Each result will have review rating, website link, directions, phone number and marker on the map. Google will display a number of pages of results.