Local SEO Updates.

Local SEO Updates: –

  • Know about local consumer behaviours, new search tools and features, industry insights, and more that will affect strategy.
  • It has been a fast-paced year with many developments in digital marketing, and local SEO was no exception.
  • As consumers’ information needs have grown and local markets have become more competitive, search engines have adapted to meet these needs.
  • Businesses, local SEO professionals, and their agencies have new tools, more data, and easier access to both.
  • They are gaining access to more information that matters to them through an increasingly rich, engaging and seamless local search experience.
  • Google and the change in consumer buying habits disrupted local search.
  • Many of the top local search updates come from Google, but that should come as no surprise.
  • Google responded quickly to changes in consumer buying habits as a result of the pandemic and remains the dominant force in the market.
  • Google currently enjoys a market share of more than 92.4% in the search engine space worldwide.
  • 83% of local consumers use Google Search to find information on local businesses, and 90% will make a purchase within a week of their initial search.
  • Google facilitated 2 billion connections, such as reviews and reservations, between US businesses and buyers.
  • Businesses, local SEO professionals, and their agencies have new tools, more data, and easier access to both.
  • They are gaining access to more information that matters to them through an increasingly rich, engaging and seamless local search experience.

1. Google’s business profile made local SEO more convenient for businesses:

  • When Google changed the name from Google My Business to Google Business Profile, the new nickname also included updates and new features.
  • Perhaps most shockingly, business owners no longer have to search an app or platform to update or correct their listings.
  • Add or update contact information, opening hours, add images and more directly from Google Search and Google Maps.
  • Complete the verification process and also address issues like Search suspensions, making it easier than ever to gain a powerful presence in local search results.

2. Google made it easy to find and update the latest local news.

  • As searches for [news near me] tripled over five years worldwide, Google added features to local SERPs to make local news easier to find and create.
  • Google launched two projects to help journalists enrich their stories with local information and data:

Census Mapper Project:

Collect, analyze and visualize data collected and processed by The Associated Press in a local area.

Common knowledge project:

  • Access geographic comparisons, charts, and visualizations for data analysis at the national, state, and county levels.
  • The search engine also made local news easier to find in the SERPs with these updates:
  • Local news relevant to a user’s query now appears at the top of SERPs, making it easier to search and providing more visibility to local journalists and publications.
  • Authorized local news sources appear alongside top posts, which once dominated this part of the SERPs.
  • Google improved its ability to connect the news with broad topic queries.
  • Local Tweets – Local journalists and posts appear in local news with tweets instead of just-published stories.

3. Bing added more visuals and rich results:

  • Microsoft Bing released five updates focused on giving local search engines a richer experience by improving the integration of visuals with their text-based search results.
  • Expandable carousels give users access to additional information when hovering over a result.
  • Infographic-like results now appeal to search engines that use broad queries to dig into a topic.
  • Intuitive highlights pull details like ingredient lists, calorie counts, and nutritional information from one page without the need for the user to click through to a website.
  • Built-in visual search allows users to visually search for similar-looking items by clicking the built-in visual search button.
  • Bing incorporated these same concepts into its local search results.
  • Rather than a simple carousel of images or text-based facts, Microsoft Bing offers a visually rich SERP for local queries that consists of relevant resources gathered from Bing Maps, top images, visitor reviews, and other sources.
  • These changes have made targeting some local SEO efforts on Bing a more attractive prospect.
  • Creative businesses can own local search space if they are willing to get creative with the many local search opportunities.
  • To enrich the site and listings with various types of media and content, including user-generated content.

4. Everyone gets new attributes:

  • It seems that Google is constantly releasing new attributes.
  • Attributes provide proactive answers to the questions search engines typically have about a specific type of business and are featured prominently in Google business profiles.
  • Google is always looking for ways to help businesses stand out and better satisfy a query.
  • Characteristics like black-owned or female-owned business attributes, for example, help seekers looking to support companies with shared value make these connections.
  • Google added health, safety and pandemic related attributes to Google business profiles.
  • With the addition of these attributes, local businesses can share information on safety protocols and announce changes or new services, such as curbside pickup, contactless delivery, and dinner service.
  • Google also included attributes for online dating, estimates, online classes, and digital attention.
  • Call logging, messaging, and access to new data and insights in Google Search and Maps help keep customers engaged by allowing businesses to track customer phone calls and respond to missed calls.

5. Local e-commerce got a boost with Pointy:

  • 50% of US shoppers planned to check online to see if an item was in stock before purchasing their holiday items.
  • Adding the products to the Google business profile and keeping the inventory up-to-date is very advantageous.
  • A time-consuming function is one that companies don’t always have time for as sales increase.
  • Google announced the Pointy integration.
  • With this new feature, eligible US retailers can have their in-store product inventory automatically added to Google.
  • Keep product availability up-to-date online, so search engines always know what they have in stock.

6. The launch of mobile indexing first is still in development:

  • Mobile device indexing has first been popping up since Google first announced it.
  • There have been several expansions, stops and starts, in which the search engine stated that it would stop indexing mobile devices first.
  • The source of the problem? Google cited several, including robot meta tags, lazy loading, locked assets, main content, moving images, and videos.
  • Google search statistics tell us that 76% of people use their smartphones to search for something nearby during the day, and 28% of them result in a sale.
  • The best advice for local businesses and marketers hoping to attract local search engine attention on the go, according to Google, is to focus on creating a positive mobile experience.

7. New free local SEO tools and knowledge:

  • Local businesses and SEO professionals looking to keep up with all the changes also got access to some new free tools.
  • One of these tools, developed by the Local SEO Guide, is Local-Pack-O-Meter.
  • SEO and business professionals can crawl data for ten different types of Google search features, including local packages, knowledge panels, shopping, job openings, and advertisements, to name a few.
  • The tool runs on data collected from approximately 60 million US search queries provided by Traject Data.
  • As a result, it has a much larger sample size and is more representative of all US queries.
  • Another great resource published this year was a research paper from Milestone Inc, which looked at 500 companies based on location, their sessions, and page views to better understand which channels were making the most profits with the best ROI.

Some of the ideas include:

  • Referral traffic ranked third behind organic and local ROI search.
  • However, referral traffic had higher engagement rates.
  • Local search offers the best ROI with the highest page views per session.
  • Rio SEO has been analyzing GMB’s aggregated performance metrics from the more than 200,000 US business locations managed on its platform.
  • Every month the brand publishes a new report with specific verticals for Search Views, Clicks to Call, Website Clicks and more.
  • If starting out with local SEO, be sure to configure Products for maximum visibility and conversions on Google Search and to get the most out of Google Maps for the business.
  • For large companies with multiple locations, be sure to take advantage of the data available in Google Merchant Center to drive local SEO campaigns.
  • Take care of local company SEO challenges or common service area business problems.