We all know that local SEO allows small brick-and-mortar businesses to get out and get found in the online world, which can help them secure more customers in the physical world, as well. There is a plethora of literature about local SEO on the web, including some articles of ours from the previous few weeks. While we all know that local SEO is important, the questions are how it is changing, what will it look like in the coming year, and whether it will be important in 2016 as it has been in 2015.
Read on to learn more.
The Future of Local SEO
Anyone who works in digital marketing knows that the online world is changing at the speed of light. Things like the Pigeon algorithm update, the increasing focus on voice search, and the importance of Geolocation have all changed SEO.
That said, local SEO is not dying and it’s not even shifting in importance all that much. Rather, it’s changing with the rest of the web-based world and marketers who want to succeed in 2016 can do well to stay abreast the changes now in order to make the most of them in the coming year.
3 Ways Local Search Will Change in 2016
While local SEO isn’t disappearing, it is changing. Here are the 3 main differences local SEOs are likely to notice throughout 2016.
1) Mobile searches will be huge in 2016
According to a recent post by SearchEngineLand.com, 2015 was the year when mobile surpassed desktop in search numbers. This is big for a few reasons: first of all, more mobile searches mean more paid clicks from smartphones and tablets, which means an upset in the way marketers structure their advertising campaigns.
This, in turn, means that it’s no longer enough for marketers to optimize their sites for mobile – they also need to create content from a mobile mindset. This extends to local search. You can bet that a good portion of those mobile searchers are using their mobile devices to search for local establishments, and that means businesses who amass a good deal of customer reviews and stay consistent with their NAP listings will have a better chance of appearing in the wave of mobile search queries that is sure to sweep us away in 2016.
2) Google Search, Maps and + listings are going to explode
These pages are all things that local SEO experts are already familiar with, which is a good thing because ,in 2016, these things are going to be more important than ever. According to Jeff Bullas, 72% of the consumers who use their phones to search for local information visited a store within 5 miles. Additionally, 50% of all consumers who use their phones to search for local information visit a store within a day of their initial search. This is great news for local businesses and simply means that, yes, local SEO will still be huge in 2016.
To make the most of this, optimize your Google+ Local, Maps, and Search listings now. Ensure that each page on these platforms includes a full description of your products, goods, and services, as well as ample images, videos, and customer reviews. These steps will help you stand out and make the most of the increased importance of these popular local platforms.
3) Voice search will take over
Voice search is on it’s way, folks, and developments like Google RankBrain and the fact that Apple Siri, Google Now, and Windows Cortana phones all use voice search just lends fuel to the fire. This is important for brick-and-mortar businesses because, when people use voice search, they search the way they speak. This is important, in turn, because when customers leave reviews (which they do for local businesses), they do so the way they speak.
For example, a reviewer may leave a restaurant review that says “This place has the best cheap breakfast in town.” When a would-be customer goes to voice-search a company, he or she may well say, “I’m on a budget, where an I find a good breakfast?” Presto! Searcher and your page are matched and you’ve just won yourself a new customer.
To answer the original question for SEOs everywhere: yes, local SEO will still be important in 2016. In fact, there’s an argument to be made for the fact that it will be even more important than it is now. Fortunately, SMBs may be more ahead of the curve than some large e-commerce companies, which may have to make great changes in order to establish their local presence.
So, looking forward, small businesses can continue to reap the benefits of local SEO by simply keeping their platforms current, interacting with customers, building reviews, and ensuring that content gets updated often.
To learn more about how local SEO will change in the coming year, contact Bigfoot Media. Bigfoot Media is here for all of your digital marketing needs and would love to help your business create a game-winning strategy.
Call us today for a FREE consultation or shoot us a quick email to learn more.
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