Planning For Local SEO Success In 2017

Written by: Jason Bayless | January 17, 2017
The world of local SEO is evolving by the minute. As 2016 comes to a close, it is time to take a look at what lies ahead on the digital marketing horizon in 2017. There have been some major developments in local SEO over the past several months. Many of the top trends of 2016 will remain relevant well into the coming year. Here are some tips to help you plan for local SEO success in 2017.

Learn to Anticipate User Intent

Just a few years ago, launching a successful local SEO campaign was as simple as finding the right keywords. While keywords are still important, search engines have gotten better at identifying user intent. Thanks to advancements in smartphone and smart home technology, users are now able to enter full phrases or queries into search engines.

In 2017, local businesses will need to focus on optimizing their digital content based on how their customers will use it, rather than just for the right keywords. As you develop your local SEO strategy for the coming year, keep the following objects in mind:

1. Get to know your audience. Now, more than ever, businesses need to invest in identifying their target demographics. Knowing who your ads are speaking to will help you anticipate what might bring them to your page. This will allow you to develop targeted content that provides solutions to their questions and problems.
2. Focus on the reader’s experience. Now that you have conducted a thorough investigation to identify who your target audience is, it is time to optimize your content so it will speak directly to that audience. This will require making changes as needed to ensure higher ratings. Based on the data you found in the investigative stage, alter your local ad campaign to reflect the reader’s experience.
3. Modify as needed. Monitoring your data and analytics will allow you to identify which methods are effective and which are not. Once you have identified what works, modify your strategy accordingly.

Utilize Structured Data Markup

As one of the most popular search engines in the world, everyone turns to Google for answers at some point. In response to questions, the search giant will often pull the desired information directly into the search results. It also displays relevant videos, websites, reviews and event information. As a business owner, your goal is to utilize structured data markup to create enhanced listings on search engine results pages. This will help search engines better understand the content of your website in order to present it in a way that is useful to users.

Enhancing your website with structured data markup can improve the chances of it being included in an enhanced search engine results page listing.

Focus on Cross-channel Marketing

If you have not been around the local SEO scene for a while, cross- and multi-channel marketing may sound like similar terms. In reality, they could not be more different. Multi-channel SEO is a relatively old concept that involves establishing a presence on multiple platforms. Cross-channel marketing involves using several different channels to market your business in an integrated way. For example, if a user browses your website for a specific product but does not make a purchase, you can send them targeted ads based on their browsing activity.

The primary objective of cross-channel marketing is to create a business presence that is consistent across multiple channels. This enables users to seamlessly move between various platforms and devices to make a purchase. While the significance of cross-channel marketing has been proven, the key to its effectiveness is knowing who your target audience is and what their consumption habits are.

As technology continues to evolve, modern consumers have become more connected than ever. Your 2017 local SEO campaign should focus on identifying ways to connect with your audience. By anticipating the intent of your users, using structured data markup and establishing a strong cross-channel marketing campaign, your business will be on the track to local SEO success.