The new realities of local search
How does Google's local algorithm really work? What are the factors that impact your results and how do you optimize for success? It's more imperative than ever to learn which tactics really matter.
The concept of “local search” has always been somewhat ambiguous in terms of how it’s defined, how it functions and who uses it. Broadly speaking, local search helps users locate nearby services or retailers based on physical location. Over the years, local search has improved with the widespread adoption of mobile devices and the ever-increasing accuracy of geolocation services.
But the lines have always been blurred. For example, does the local branch or store of a national or international corporation count as a “local” provider? And now, with the advent of one-day or even same-day delivery by giants like Amazon or WalMart, is “local” even a meaningful differentiator at all?
These and other issues are the subject of The Evolving Landscape Of Local Search panel, taking place at SMX Advanced on Wednesday, June 5 in Seattle. In this session, you’ll learn that traditional SEO techniques are still integral for reaching locally targeted audiences, but other factors are now also playing a significant role in success. You’ll learn how to improve your results by focusing on reviews, questions and answers, knowledge panel management and other organic tactics.
“The biggest challenge facing Local SEOs these days is the changing Local SERPs,” said Andrew Shotland, one of the speakers on the panel. “Google keeps putting ads and Google-owned properties all over them making it tricky for SEOs. And as Google keeps adding new features to Google My Business (e.g. GMB posts) prioritization of work has become trickier as we need to continually test what’s worth investing in for clients.”
You’ll also need to keep an eye on new options for local advertising: Product listing and map ads, location extensions, local inventory ads — the list goes on.
And last but not least, you’ll learn how to combat spam, the bane of all SEOs. This is especially important when competitors have managed to optimize spammy content to outperform your own listings and locations. “Local spam has become more and more prolific,” said Conrad Saam, another speaker on the panel. “Previously it was in the realm of locksmiths and plumbers, but it is now invading Main street across America in various different industries. We plan to demonstrate the various techniques that local spammers use so you can spot fake offices and have them removed from the map.”