SEO. Search Engine Optimization. You may have heard the popular marketing term, but did you know that it can be a key in whether a customer (that is actively searching for your service or product) chooses you or your competitor? Recent data highlights that 79% of digital advertisers are using SEO as part of their marketing strategy in 2019. More and more businesses are seeing the long-term value of investing in SEO strategies. But with the continuous evolution of the internet and constant algorithm changes by Google, it’s vital to understand the ins and outs of SEO to stay up-to-date on SEO trends.
SEO has layers. From 301 redirects and meta descriptions to Google My Business pages and backlinks, there are multiple layers to SEO that, when executed correctly, will help optimize organic rankings. And on top of that is Local SEO.
Local Search Engine Optimization isn’t all that different from organic SEO. It just has a local focus. But there are differences in the two tactics, and with that, comes unique strategies for each. Local SEO: what is it, why does it matter, should it matter to your business?
Why is local search important to include in your SEO strategy? If you are a local brick-and-mortar business, Local SEO can help elevate your presence online when someone searches for your business’s services. One in three searches on a smartphone was conducted just before arriving at a store. Data shows that 78% of local-based searches on a mobile device end in purchases being made offline. Local SEO isn’t always a good fit when it comes to certain businesses. Online-only ecommerce shops or businesses, as well as private businesses that don’t have a specific local presence aren’t ideal candidates when it comes to Local SEO services.
But are the trends you’re seeing actually important when it comes to your site’s SEO? We’re breaking it down for you.
Voice Search for Local SEO
Okay, this isn’t necessarily a new trend. Voice search and the rise of virtual assistant devices have been trending for a while now. But voice search is actually still in the early stages when it comes to optimization. In a recent study, 1,000 consumers were asked about voice search usage–the largest segment (57%) said they did not use voice search at all.
But for Local SEO, we’re seeing a trend of more and more businesses interested in being optimized for voice search. But is it necessary to optimize your company’s website for voice search? The answer is maybe.
If I’m looking for a cupcake store near me, chances are I’m going to grab my phone and say, “Hey Siri, where is a cupcake store near me.” So how do you capitalize on this?
Search Engine Journal suggested the following: ”For local businesses, focus on your citations and learn which sources home assistants are using to pull local business data. Once you have that list, focus on review generation for those sites.”
Claiming Google My Business Pages
An extremely easy and effective way to improve your local SEO efforts is to immediately claim your Google My Business page. That’s no secret. But a lot of businesses are actually unaware of the errors they have on their Google My Business pages. Having the correct business category, hours, URL, etc. can help increase your Local SEO rankings and deliver the correct information to users searching the web.
Google is constantly making updates to GMB pages. Through a recent update, product catalogs will now appear in your profile in both desktop and mobile search results. We are seeing trends to show users important information, regardless of the device they are searching on.
Quality Customer Reviews
Over the last few years, quality customer reviews have become more important to the success of a local business in search results. One way your brand can build more authority with Google, an important aspect when it comes to Local SEO, is increasing quality online reviews of your business. Reviews that are submitted directly on Google carry the most weight, but having high-quality reviews online will help improve your business’ visibility. And potential customers read reviews. Ninety-seven percent (97%) of customers say they’re influenced by customer reviews.
SEO matters. There’s no way to deny it. Businesses are rarely optimized to effectively reach their audience, but the trends we are seeing in Local SEO will necessitate a change. It’s pertinent to make sure all information across Google’s local search landscape is consistent and correct. By reaching your local audience who is utilizing voice search, claiming your GMB page and ensuring online reviews are high-quality and positive, you’ll be able to better reach your local audience.