Local SEO is becoming a significant factor in attracting customers were searching through smartphones and tablet devices. Local SEO may sound like a new digital hurdle for small business owners to understand. But the tactics are really straightforward, based on SEO tactics that experts have used for years, now influenced by search engine algorithms like Google’s Pigeon.
Another influence is the algorithm changes in the search engines, particularly Google. The changes have focused increasingly with mobile devices. The chart below highlights the influence Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, and Pigeon have had on Google search results. Pigeon is the most recent change, but it also the most related to local search, interpreting local clues on a website into queries.
That difference leads to an emphasis on keywords associated with a metropolitan area, as well as phrasing in the descriptions that show up for local search. The change also impacts review sites such as Yelp. Customers with mobile phones typically access these sites, looking for local services and products.
In 2012 Search Engine Land had predicted that the majority of local search queries would be mobile by 2015. Judging by the latest data the trend is become more evident as fact.
Ultimately the influence of Pigeon, along with local SEO tactics, means businesses that people typical look for locally – pharmacies, pizzerias, restaurants, barber shops, auto repair shops, banks, laundromats, and other services – must have a website well tailored to local search and to have a robust presence on review platforms that are sharable on social media.
The customer segment that search for services are strategically important because as they discover a business through their smart device, the customer will likely decide to call or contact that business. That means that the customer is ready to purchase… and your business can potential increase sales, registrations, or any other online activity.
I sat down with Ivana Taylor of DIY Marketers to showcase basics tactics that are used with Local SEO. You can view our talk in the recorded Google Hangout below.
One tip which I provided in the hangout is the ability to track character count when modifying the title and page description of a web page. The reason for this spreadsheet tactic is to permit a better focus on arranging keywords relative to the page, title, and URL rather than worrying about the character count. Exceeding the character count will not provide any benefit in a search query and can cut off information to display and describe their services in a way that will appear in a Facebook post in a tweet.