SEO is Not Dead for Local Businesses

Written by: Jason Bayless | March 14, 2017

There are whispers that local SEO is dead. People say it’s being replaced by social media, mobile apps, PPC, and other technologies. However, local SEO is still going strong. Here are some reasons why.

1) Google’s Algorithm- Google is constantly updating their algorithm, for national and local SEO. That means that SEO is still alive. Why? Well, Google’s ideal is to answer every search query with the most relevant answers on the web, ideally ranked in order. Search engine optimization literally means maximizing your webpages for search engines. As long as Google’s grading webpages, SEO will continue to exist in some form, even as the easy shortcuts get eliminated.

2) Local SEO and Social Media- People say that local SEO is being replaced by social media. However, they aren’t fighting forces. Instead, when lumped together, their whole is much greater than the sum of their parts. For instance, Google now considers social engagement as part of their algorithm. So, if your businesses is active on Twitter and Facebook, your website will get a boost. You’ll start to dominate the local search rankings for certain terms. However, if you only do social media, you won’t be nearly as visible. Another problem with only social media is that you have less control on other platforms. Twitter or Facebook can suspend your account, or change their terms and conditions. That risk isn’t there with your website. That’s why clever business owners use social media to boost up their website and SEO rankings.

3)Using Maps- Another key point is there are still a lot of local SEO tricks you can do to improve your ranking. One of those tips is to use a map on your website. Integrate Google Maps with your website, so Google knows your precise location. Then they will display your business appropriately during local searches. If you’re using WordPress (a popular CMS), you can find plug-ins here that will allow you to easily add a map.

4) Other Local Businesses- Do you have links from other businesses and influencers in your community? People might say that local SEO is dead, but this tactic will boost up your local rankings. How can you do it without artificial link spam? One way is for you and other business owners to promote something that you love locally. Another way is to give away your product or service to an influencer for free and have them review it. Another tip is for you and other businesses to donate to a local cause, or help sponsor a community event, such as a youth soccer team.

5) Websites and Locations- Do you have a small franchise? Let’s say you have three businesses, all in a 50 mile radius. You should have 3 websites for those three businesses. That way you can maximize your local SEO for each business. A customer searching in one town will get a different result than a customer searching in another town.

As you can see, local SEO is far from dead. It’s thriving. There are so many tactics you can use to increase your rankings. Most of the “SEO is dead” talk comes from people who were using a certain SEO technique, only for it to stop working. Then they claim that SEO is dead. Yet, SEO isn’t dead, it’s evolving. And it’s not only SEO. The whole world is constantly evolving. Take a look at music over the last 50 years. People have used albums, cassette players, CD’s, the Sony Walkman, IPods, and now phones to listen to music. During that span, music never went away. Even if SEO goes away (unlikely in the near future, since Google gets 3 billion search queries a day), branding your local business has been around for thousands of years and is here to stay.