A survey conducted by White Spark's Darren Shaw summed up an annual survey for Local SEO. This survey was done for the past ten years. It involves looking at 40 local search practitioners for the western world who give over 130 ranking factors. Each year the survey looks at the trends and shows what works, and what does not.
In the survey we see that Google My Business (GMB) is taking a large share of 25%.
Local SEO for 2019
Here are the results of this year's survey.
- Reviews account for 15%
- References - 16%
- Internal optimization - 14%,
- behavioral factors - 10%,
- Mention - 11%
- Personalization - 6%
- Social networks - 3%.
The big takeaway is that Google My Business is getting more and more important. When compared to last years we see a growth of 32%. Reviews are also gaining weight - plus 18% - this year, experts are placing more emphasis on feedback.
The factor of references falls again, and this is logical. Previously, it was used in a local search as a proven tactic — you simply ensured that the Name, Address and Phone number (NAP) was mentioned as many times as you could. Now the local search algorithm has become much more complicated, and the influence of this factor is reduced by all other factors. This does not mean to stop adding your company to directories to build citations, as it could still be an important aspect of Local SEO. You must still strive to include your site in all important site directories.
How to get the best Local SEO results?
Google My Business:
The important news is GMB is getting more and more important. Google's shareholders don't want users to leave the page so consider this like a new home page. Fill in every important detail such as services, Q&A, and the heap of new features GMB allows you to add. Fill in as many fields as you can.
Benefit from Posts
Yes! you can post on Google My Business just like your Facebook timeline. You can post notes or photos.
- Upload an image,
- Write engaging posts (300 words),
- Add event name (with start and end dates and times),
- Add call-to-action buttons such as "More", "Order", "Registration", "Buy" or "Get a bonus"
The content you post in your Google My Business page definitely help with your keywords. A good engaging post will also add more conversions. If you haven't started posting on GMB we invite you to start trying. If you look at your industry many people are not using posts so now would be a great time to get ahead of your competition.
Fill out your Q/A SectionGoogle Q/A is the questions and answer section of your page. Many clients don't know this exist, and many page owners don't know this exists. If no one is asking questions seed the page with your own questions and answers. This may also help with voice search optimization.
Publish an image or video
Add photos and encourage your customers to do the same and upload a video. If you haven't any videos the Snap Video service may be for you.
Complete Each Field
You'd be surprised at how many don't do this. Add yourself to as many categories as you can. If you have not edited your information for a couple of years, you will be surprised how much you can send to Google by providing more information about your company.
Getting good reviews is becoming more important for local SEO. On top of that is not just important for local search but it shows users that you're a real company, and a good one at that. Ask your customers for positive reviews or ask us about our reputation management system to increase positive reviews and decrease poor ones. It's definitely worth while to ask your customers for good reviews. In the past they were only an important factor in competitiveness. Now feedback is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for success, since it seems everyone gets a lot of feedback.
Summing it up you definitely need to strive to successfully confront your competitors in terms of the number of reviews and their quality.
Getting good links continues to play an important role in local search. Getting good, quality links can be a valuable asset. This is a very important factor of competitiveness, because many companies will only have links from local directories but no other inbound links from the web. So if you manage to get a few links, this can really make a difference. If you're looking for quality link building then Snap Link Building classic maybe a right fit.
What does the future look like for local SEO?
Here at Snap SEO we are always looking for the next big thing and to future proof both our business and yours. Many individuals ask what local seo looks like for the future. Here's what we found:
User Retention with Google
Google, just like any site, does not want to send users outside it's site. Like many corporations it has shareholders it has to answer to. Keeping all its users on Google means no one clicks out of Google and it becomes heavily favoured. We call this a zero click search result. This means less and less traffic to your site.
Behavioral signals will become more important
Google is trying to see what is happening in the real word and not just virtually. Google is looking for signals from real life, showing that real people are interested in this company and keep in touch with it.
Manipulating the Google algorithm can be difficult but if you follow the tips we posted above it will greatly brand your search although in general adding more quality links usually means you get more positive feedback from Google.
Google will monetize everything
As we stated above Google has shareholders and looks to monetize and bring in an income to make its shareholders happy. If you haven't noticed Google is taking its share off flights and hotels and is slowing growing to expand into shopping, and more.
Summing up if you have a local business, immediately open Google My Business, see what you can fill there. In the words of Nike, "Just do it!" (we have no relation to Nike). Stimulate your customers to leave feedback - make this step easy for them, give a direct link and tips. Take photos and videos, "hang" them on Google maps. Create detailed questions and answers and fill out Google Q & A. If this all seems too complicated we have a local seo service to help you get started.
Make Google love you, and he will send customers to you.