While speaking about local Search Engine Optimization, we refer to the process of making sure all the online elements of your business are optimized, so that your search result appears in front of an extremely relevant audience at a time when they’re displaying interest in your product or service.
In case of local search SEO, the audience is someone that is currently, or will be, in the same vicinity as your business. When people visit a search engine, in this case, Google, and enter a search query or term, the goal of Google is to provide you with the best possible result.
It’s why you continue to search on Google. If Google keeps delivering satisfactory answers in the first few results, you’ll continue to conduct your searches on their system. Google is motivated to deliver the best possible result. It’s how they make their money. So when you enter that search term, in an instant, Google has to make a determination.
Do you want to optimize your website, drive more traffic and deliverhigher conversions? This is a checklist that we follow, and can get your site to rank consistently on top of search engines. Download this ultimate SEO Checklist which includes On-Page SEO
How important is Local SEO? It’s very important especially to make your business stand out on the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs). With every passing year, trends are changing and the case still stands this year too.
As a business, you need to learn more about local SEO trends and tactics so that you can know whether it’s a good fit for your business and the best practices you should follow to step up. It’s time to review your tactics and make sure you know what to look for and what to expect in your industry.
4 Local SEO trends of 2018
1. Google My Business
Visiting Google My Business (GMB) listing is an important first step in any local SEO so as to claim and verify your local business. Being present on Google My Business increases your chances of showing up in Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps, and organic rankings in general. Local businesses can claim this free listing on Google and include basic information about their company, like their address, website, phone number, business hours and types of payments accepted.
It is a common habit for many businesses who just claim their GMB and forget about it.
There are a variety of features which can be used to optimize the GMB listing which the local businesses are unaware of. The businesses do not perform local search SEO so as to keep relevant information, which results in more visits on their business page by search terms and queries. The accuracy of the listings on GMB must be kept intact.
When it comes to digital marketing and search engine optimization, the devil is truly in the details. Seemingly trivial choices can have a dramatic effect on your web presence and search visibility, and nowhere is that more evident than in Google My Business (GMB).
2. Google Carousel
Local Carousel feature officially launched by Google back in June 2013, as an expansion of their already existing Knowledge Graph. The 2013 version of Google Carousel is shown in the image below.
Carousel provided the local searchers with an interactive display of results so they can quickly make an informed decision based on reviews, pictures, prices, and numerous other factors. Though it mostly affects searches related to local bars, restaurants, and hotels. With this new feature, as with any other new search feature, it is important for local businesses to optimize their listing so they don’t miss out on any opportunities to gain new customers.
The current Carousel, now often referred to as the “Local Stack” or “Local Pack” amongst industry professionals, has a white background and blends in more with the rest of the search engine result page. It also dramatically reduced the number of results shown, a “3-pack” in this instance. The updated version which is presently functional on Google search engine is shown in the image below.
Local SEO can get technical sometimes in its implementation, and hence, we have listed some quick tips that should be relatively easy for you to do for your business listing.
Quick Optimization Tips:
- Create a Local Google Plus page for your business and connect it to your Local Places account (if applicable).
- Fill in as much information as possible and available. This includes a proper profile image, selecting the proper business category, hours of operation, etc.
- Upload images to your profile, and remember to upload the one you want to show up in the Local Carousel first.
- Fill out the About section completely in the best possible way with a detailed overview of the business.
- Add the website link.
- And last but not least, link to your new profile on your website.
These steps should give you a great foundation for your local business listing in Google search results. After completing the steps and completion of the Google crawl over your page, search for your business and see how it looks. Based on the review of the page, you can keep it or make any necessary adjustments.
3. Voice Search
According to Google, one out of five search queries already come from voice to text functionality. New technology brings in more personal experiences, especially with developing the voice-to-text capability. It has changed the way of communication with the devices, making it easier and faster to process information.
A more significant shift towards voice search is expected in 2018, so it’s important to focus on optimizing more long tail keywords and natural language that facilitates the conversational tone used in talking. With improvements in the accuracy of voice technology and digital assistants, more people will make a move toward using it often.
Algorithms will keep getting smarter and changing as the method of search evolves.
Assessing the search engine requirements for ranking is critical to stay relevant and at the top of lists. Also due to the surge of smart home hubs like Alexa and Google Home penetrate more and more houses, voice search will integrate even further into consumers’ lives. Growing opportunities to connect brand and user infiltrate today’s market, making it imperative that you improve your local SEO and content to take advantage of these unique and relevant statistics.
4. Put Mobile First
This year is going to be all about putting mobile first. Google plans to deploy a mobile-first index and this fact must be realized by the brands. Even without a mobile-first index, the majority of search terms comes from mobile devices and keywords rank differently on mobile than they do on a desktop computer. The best possible visibility comes from local SEO marketing strategies geared toward mobile searches for your local businesses.
Mobile searches are most commonly based on context, and that includes location, making it a huge opportunity for brands to market locally. Here local search SEO gains importance in terms of optimizing your page for such search queries. People on the go need fast answers, and optimizing your site for local searches on mobile generates relevance and increased chances of discovery.
A mobile-first strategy must take into account the voice searches by facilitating a search experience through personalized answers. Website speed is also critical, and you should consider accelerated mobile pages that load up to four times faster. Using a mobile device automatically implies urgency, and if you can’t compete, you’ll lose the battle.
Local SEO trends are important to keep your business from getting lost in the crowd. Irrespective of the fact that they change from year to year, these four trends are here to stay for the next few years to come. So, no matter what you do, keep these four trends handy and see your business grow as the year moves on ahead.