Local SEO & Beyond: Ranking Your Local Business in 2017

Written by: Jason Bayless | November 28, 2017

Search engine optimization is always changing. As the years go by, Google continues to refine its algorithms and the idea of what it means to have a page that’s optimized for a search engine evolves. What isn’t changing, though, is that your business still needs to be able to follow these trends. It’s more important ever that your business ranks highly on a search page, especially as users are becoming used to the top few spots becoming more relevant to their needs. Below are just a few of the things that you’ll need to keep in mind as you ready your page for the years to come.

The Focus is On People

As Google continues to refine the way that searches are made, the mechanical part of web design is becoming somewhat less important. That’s not to say that you don’t have to pay attention to your tags and your key words, but rather that the human element of web searching is more important. The more user-friendly you can make your website, the higher you are going to end up on a search page. While the mechanics behind deciding what’s user-friendly and what’s not are somewhat difficult to determine at this point, it’s become obvious that human-friendly sites are starting to rank better.

Contact is Key

If your users can’t find where your business is located, they are unlikely to keep using yoru business’ website. The amount of time your users spend on your site is incredibly important, and users who can’t find important contact information are likely to bounce away more quickly than those who can find the relevant information. It’s time to stop hiding contact information on a separate web page and make sure that it is available on every page of your site. The easier it is to find your business’ contact information, the more likely that users will want to keep using your site.

Interactivity is Required

Google is paying more attention to how social connections are made in ranking pages. While Google+ may not have taken off, the connections that one can make on other social networks can now play a huge role in how your site is perceived online. You don’t just need to have a social presence – you need to have a presence that’s connected back to your main website. Making use of social sharing buttons is a must online, as is making sure your users can post directly to their social accounts from your business’ web page.

New Tools Will Emerge

Finally, you’ll need to keep an eye on any new SEO tools that emerge, especially if they’re put out by one of the big names in the business. One of the major game changers in the last few years has been Google My Business, which has made an astonishing impact on the world of local SEO. If you’re not careful, you’ll miss out on one of these tools and miss the brief window in which those who adopt early have a real advantage.

As the year continues, SEO is likely to continue changing. Human-first SEO is going to continue to be the goal, and it’s likely that new changes to the algorithms will shake up how businesses optimize their web pages. What seems obvious, though, is that you can’t go wrong by making your page easier and more interactive. If you think of your page as the first place that your customers will visit, you’ll see the need involved in making it more user-friendly. Once you adopt that as your central goal, you’ll have all the guidance you need in the realm of SEO.