March 28, 2016

Why Local SEO Eludes Us…And What We Can Do About It

A commuter, searching for the local coffee shop to start his morning. Local marketing is all about mobile.

By Megan G.

The primary goal of online marketing agencies is to get clients found in Search. Agencies with local focus, such as eGumball, Inc., do so by implementing tools like Google My Business and other local directories. However, traditional modes of SEO (search engine optimization) might not be enough to rank locally, thanks to the ever-increasing presence of mobile tech.

Local Searches Move from Desktop to Mobile

A couple of weeks ago, Street Fight published an article about “The Changing Role of Local Search Ranking,” which spotlighted the changes in traditional ranking strategies for local businesses. Nowadays, because of mobile devices, organic searches on desktop are superseded by “near me” searches on smartphones and the like—making desktop Googling nearly obsolete.

The problem here for business owners is that traditional local optimization focuses on desktop platforms. Ranking organically in Google Search ceases to matter when the closer of two businesses shows at the top of the SERPs anyway. Furthermore, who clicks on more than one plumber when their toilet is about to implode? It’s rare!

In short, it doesn’t matter how excellent your SEO strategy is…proximity trumps traditional optimization on mobile.

This wouldn’t matter if everyone still used those loveable, less-than-versatile flip-phones but, as we all know, this is far from the case. In fact, according to a study by comScore, 21% of millennials only access the internet from their mobile devices. While my iPhone isn’t my sole Internet gateway, it is my primary one. 

And, if most people use their phones to search for information, you know Google wants to make sure that it reaches as many of those people as possible with their search engine. This is why more and more of their search algorithms favor mobile-friendly sites—and why Mobilegeddon freaked the heck out of every SEO and business owner.

What Can We Do To Optimize Locally?

The digital landscape is always changing, so how can developers, marketers, and businesses keep up? The folks at Street Fight suggest that, although local search does shake up the meaning of ranking, it does not sound its “death knell.” This gives hope to smaller businesses who cannot afford multiple locations throughout an area, or those that may not be located on the most bustling streets.

Here are some general tips for ranking locally, without worrying about being “nearby” your potential customers.

Practice link building, or increase the number of links to your website.

Yelp and other online directories aren’t just popular for consumers who want to find quick info on local businesses. Directories also offer excellent link building opportunities for business websites. At eGumball, Inc., our team develops unique local directories that list your business information, driving traffic directly to your website.

Manage social media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter.

Well-managed social media accounts can build your company brand into a unique, personable persona for customers to relate and engage with. If you foster a friendly company image online, clients will want to search for you no matter how close in proximity you are!

Also, many social sites feature geotag options, so nearby customers can find your business, post about it, and geotag their location—thus bringing in more happy clients from your area!

Be honest.

Search Engine Land released a report of SEO companies guilty of spamming their Google My Business profiles by keyword stuffing, posting fake addresses, and building duplicate listings for the same business. No, no, NO!

Guys, if there is one thing we’ve learned from Google algorithms, it’s that shallow SEO work is bad SEO work. Fill out your Google My Business profile, social media accounts, and other professional listings with accurate, consistent information about your company. Otherwise, Google will recognize your business as untrustworthy, thus useless to searchers, and could be taken down from Search completely.

Do these tips make sense to you? Do you have time to do this, being the busy business owner that you are? If not, please seek out eGumball, Inc.’s services. Our marketing experts can assist  you in building your personal Google My Business profile, manage that profile, input your company into various local directories, and a variety of other key SEO tactics to keep your business relevant online.

Have you tried any of these methods? What was your success rate? Let the Tek Team know in the comment section below!

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