Since the beginning of 2017, Google has made significant changes to local SEO search results, most notably in the Possum update. You may have recently noticed a rise in ‘SERP features’; say you type a question into Google, like “how to bake chocolate chip cookies”, and the #1 result is a short snippet from an article on the web – not the usual link or Adword ad. It gives you the first few steps to begin the recipe which prompts you to click through to read the rest, effectively stealing clicks from even the top organic search result. That’s huge.
To ensure your business appears first, it’s more important than ever to stay up to date and constantly adapt to the current SEO best practices. Below, we’ve compiled 3 of the most important changes to local SEO in 2017. If you would like help, eSasson Studios of Miami provides the most affordable, tailored SEO plans for brands across the country.
Location, Location, Location
If you own multiple businesses or even several locations for the same business, things can get tricky. Google attempts to filter duplicate search results for the same location, which makes sense – it’s an easy way to reduce spam and benefit the end user. While this won’t cause Google to issue you a penalty, it can make it confusing for your customers.
Results are proximity-based
Since most searches are done on smartphones these days, Google is now prioritizing the local listings that are closest to the user. Furthermore, with most business listings providing their hours of operation, Google is more likely to show search results for businesses it believes to be open at the time of a search.
Quality, not quantity of content
At the end of the day, Google bases its search rankings on relevance to a query. The more efficiently and accurately you respond to the query, the higher your ranking. Even though Google has placed a higher importance on meta-tags, site load times, and web pages that are mobile responsive, the most important thing is still providing quality content to your reader. Remember to focus on writing attention-grabbing H1 and H2 tags that encourage readers to click, as well as writing quality meta descriptions for each page.
If you need any assistance with your business’s Local SEO, reach out to a specialist at eSasson to get your webpage ranking higher today.