SEO in mid-2017 – Local SEO
Local Getting Creepy
Local search is an interesting thing at the moment. It’s one of the last hold-outs of low-grade SEO, where keyword stuffing still can work, as can link manipulation, and often just outright spam. It’s like a directory strategy from the mid-2000s currently. Local accuracy and social are going to be very big for performance in the next 12-18 months.
- Google is trying its very best to be right in your pocket when you pull out the mobile to search. Now if you ask for a bar, Google will use your mobile location to pull in the nearest results. This is a touch creepy. One of the big problems is that Google does not necessarily present those close-by results on the basis of quality, an although Google occasionally filters by reviews, proximity still outweighs it.
- There’s not a lot you can do to fix a proximity problem, beyond ensuring that when quality filter are applied, your quality is high.
- Google’s big issues with reviews is that they are still eminently game-able, and it does not have the social graph to be able to rank based on reviews from your friends / connections, yet.
- When a user thinks of a review site, they don’t really think of Google – and that in an inter-connected, personally driven world is a problem.
- With the shift towards proximity, it is not likely to be long before Google uses information from your circle of friends to feed a quality filter for local results.
- Competing Ecosystems
- One of Google’s biggest issues is that it has major competitors in the local search / reviews / information field, from Yelp to TripAdvisor, these apps provide very healthy competition. What they lack in structured, or prosaic data about a business, they make up for in the depth of contextual quality from their reviews (even if there are instances of fake reviews / astroturfing on these sites).
- Of course, there are also a number of social platforms making a half-hearted turn into local search as well. (Facebook, I’m looking at you).
- I think I talked about SoLoMo first in 2010 / 2011. Everybody stared at me blankly then, but it is coming to pass, especially as we get more used to being tracked locationally by our mobile devices. I already have at least one app that pops up offers based on my location & SnapChat is currently offering promoted filters which are geo-fenced. Get used to this. SnapChat, and others which have a high degree of impulse and location combined will be prime candidates for local search and running local offers.
Key Actions to take:
- The standard Local Search reccomendations still apply.
- Make sure your NAP is correct and consistent.
- Make sure you have citations, especially local ones.
- Make sure you are engaging with all social networks and their local offerings.
- Make sure you are engaging with all the review sites & apps, which would like to be social networks, but aren’t.
- Don’t spam – even if Kevin The Home Renovations, Home Decorator, Home Builder does.
- Work to get social reviews, not just drive-by reviews. This will help your local presence as the social gets applied to the geo-filters.
- Get in touch if you’d like to discuss further.
TL;DR Local SEO 2017
Apart from moving to be nearer to individual searchers (not possible), you need to get your socials sorted out properly in 2017. They are starting to play properly in Local SEO.
If you’d like to discuss further, please get in touch.