“Google introduced Pigeon in July 2014. The update forever changed local search and how to optimize for local ranking. Businesses are still learning about local search optimization. The fact also remains that local SEO becomes more complicated as time passes.
Google’s Hummingbird integrated a number of elements into local search. Their mission has always been to provide a digital highway that is as user-friendly as possible. Thus, there are four areas for website owners to place focus. These include organization, user-experience, technical consideration, and content.
Use Schema Markup
Schema Markup is an additional element that can help, or hinder, how well a site ranks. The markup tells search engines what a business does. Business owners can add the markup like other tags on a web page. Google provides a data testing tool that alerts for errors in structured data on any given page.
Pair Up with Google My Business Listings
Google My Business carries weight for business that want to rank locally. Users who view complete business listings are more likely to buy a product or service from that business than others without a listing. It is also possible for broader queries to show up in local search results.
Remember That Content is Still King
Content is still the foundation for any successful digital marketing endeavor. It is the element that determines a social media fan base and who followers choose to associate with. Website owners can write content that is specific for their business location. They can also mention historical landmarks, local events, and offer information on things specific to their location. Marketers should use language that appears authentic to local customers.
Organize Your Website for Local Search
Bing and Google algorithms are smart, and can read a website’s navigation like a human being. Google and Bing are likely to view pages as unimportant if those pages do not appear in the website’s primary navigation directory. Important service or product categories should be accessible from a primary navigation link.
Dedicate Landing Pages for Multiple Locations
Building dedicated landing pages for multiple locations is critical for local and mobile searches. Every dedicated landing page should contain information about a particular location such as name, address, phone number, and hours of operation. It is even wise to include driving directions. This helps search engines to return the most relevant results for a search query.
The key to ranking for local search is to stay on top of Google’s algorithm changes. Sixty percent or more of all Internet users search on their mobile device. Regardless of how Google continually tweaks things, it rewards websites for being easy to crawl, having relevant content, credible backlinks, and providing a helpful user experience.”