Did you know that 90% of online users look for information about local businesses through search engines? This can amount to a tremendous amount of targeted visitors to your business. Reaching the coveted number one position on the search listings for the keywords used by your potential customers can help you generate new sales leads and boost conversions. This has made local SEO a must-have in your overall online marketing strategy. Read on to find out what’s happening in the local SEO industry and what improvements to expect in the future.
The Current Status Of Local SEO
Many experts used to consider local SEO as far simpler and easier, primarily because local ranking factors were not the same as conventional ranking signals. But back in July 2014, Google Pigeon was released. This algorithmic update changed the way Google ranks local search results, emphasizing that they are now tied to traditional rankings signals.
For webmasters, this means they should take the same approach as their traditional SEO projects when they’re trying to rank for local search terms. Both Google Maps and web search were influenced by the Pigeon update. A major shakeup in the local SEO landscape was evident across different industries, showing the changes implemented by Pigeon are in full effect.
Also, local directories also received a massive boost in search visibility. A couple of years ago, Yelp—one of the most popular local directories online—accused Google of rigging the search results, causing Yelp-related search results to get pushed down in the search listings. But since the Pigeon update, Yelp and other online directories have enjoyed higher rankings. As a business owner, you should take advantage of this by getting your business website listed in these online platforms and ensuring that you keep your profiles updated.
The Future Of Local SEO
Recently, Google also made changes to how they display ads on their results pages. The sidebar ads were removed. Now, you can see ads at the bottom of the search listings. This can have a significant impact on your PPC campaign. It’s a must to analyze the effects of these changes in your click-through and conversion rates.
More changes like this are to be expected in the future as Google tries to deliver the best experience for both their users and advertisers. It’s also reasonable to expect their local search algorithm to be enhanced even further. Many are hoping that Google’s distance and location parameters would be more accurate as this can significantly influence the results seen by search engine users.
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