SEO Trends & Why Local Search Matters: Our Takeaways from MozCon Local 2017

SEO Trends & Why Local Search Matters: Our Takeaways from MozCon Local 2017

Did you know that location-based searches have grown 50% faster than any other type of search on mobile?

In addition to a mobile-first design approach that we've adapted in the last year, we've also adapted to search engine optimization that centers on the mobile experience. For many B2C companies, this means that local search is king.

Just a couple short weeks ago, we sent SEO and Conversion Specialist David Caffey across the country to Seattle, Washington for an annual conference with some of the SEO industry's best and brightest - Moz. Attending MozCon Local, David was able to hear the latest on everything local. He came back with new tools of the trade, and a clearer focus on just how to move the needle. Check out the video below for David's takeaways.

1. Links are more important than ever

For now (q1, 2017) links are the #1 factor that Google uses for gauging the popularity of a business. That means any link that can attract traffic from your audience is relevant. Building links as if Google didn't exist will ensure that customers can find your site everywhere.

Think about sponsorships, business partners, local organizations, chambers of commerce or any other relevant link  - these are all great link building opportunities.

2. The search landscape will be very different in 5 years

Think back to 2012 - hard to believe that just 5 short years ago we were combating Google's Penguin update which frowned upon "link farms" and started penalizing what had been successful SEO methods for years. As we've experienced since then, SEO is a rapidly changing industry and that trend will continue in the future.

New local ad types being tested in select markets will start to expand - think paid local packs, and more competitive ads for service-based companies like lawyers and home services.

Additionally, voice search is a new channel that has changed the way people search. Long term keywords and focus on natural language will be important to stay ahead of the curve.

Additionally, the competition will be thick to rank for authority - it's no longer enough to have a great title tag or meta description. Good, quality content that places your business as the authority of a given subject will go a long way.

3. Quality reviews matter

We tell many of our clients that review matter - but the proof is in the pudding. We're seeing exponential growth in local packs when businesses get regular, positive reviews. This should be a constant piece of your marketing - how are you getting good quality reviews, when are you getting reviews, and are they genuine?

4. Top-tier citations rule

Just like link farms have gone away, there's been a shift in citations in local directories. Focus on building out robust directories for top-tier location directories, and remember the industry specific ones, too! Keep all of the information accurate, delete duplicates and don't spam people.

5. Don't forget - your customer comes first

Above all else, a quality customer experience, both in store and online is the biggest way to enhance your brand. Well respected businesses naturally gain links and positive reviews - and the best way to gain both of those is to provide a quality experience for your customer. 

Data from credit card transaction companies, location data from Android, Google Chrome engagement metrics and more are a few of the new ways that Google is looking at your site - eventually, it's our belief that user interaction across the web to your site will be more important than link building - so it's important to start now!

The results

In just a couple short weeks with this new knowledge, we've seen BIG growth. Immediate gains in local packs, more image searches and higher website traffic are a few of the wins we're reporting back to clients this month.

We're applying this newfound knowledge to businesses in a variety of industries. From medical service providers, to landscapers and small to medium sized businesses, we're seeing better results, better engagement, and more leads coming through to our customers.

If you're ready to discuss digital marketing, and how we can help local customers find your business, contact our team of digital experts. We're ready to help your business grow.

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Posted by Kindra Svendsen at 19:02