We won’t mince words here: Local SEO is a big freaking deal!
People search for products and services closest to them. It’s all about quick answers and convenience. When these searches happen, Google gives the user’s search results for companies closest to their location. What does this mean? It’s important that you optimize your website AND your Google My Business (GMB) profile.
If you load up your GMB profile listing with as much information as possible and get several online reviews, your company will be more likely to show up in the local 3-pack near the top of Google search results. Here’s what we mean by the “3-pack”:
Yeah, there are four listings there, but the top one’s an ad so it doesn’t count 😉. But seriously, you can see the impact GMB listings have on search results. To add to the drama, the 3-pack doesn’t count as organic search results.
Even if you’re ranked #1 organically for keywords, your competitor’s website could be showing up higher than yours if they’re optimizing their GMB profile and you’re not. While backlinks still play an important role, just having the basics filled out completely can give you a jump above your competitors!
Boy, are we ever getting sick of hearing about algorithm updates? Every time they happen, pieces of the sky suddenly start breaking and falling to the ground. It’s the strangest phenomenon…
Anyway, Google does algorithm updates periodically and they can impact your SEO rankings (BERT, anyone?). On November 29th, Google ran an algorithm update that had some impacts on local SEO. Without getting technical, the update focused on providing search results based on the users’ intent as opposed to the exact keywords they’re using.
This led to businesses losing rankings for certain keywords, but ultimately there’s nothing specific you have to do to counter the update, other than providing the best possible content. It’s all about the end-user and serving the best possible website to answer the searcher’s questions or solve their problem.
What this means for your business is that your website needs to be relevant and helpful for your potential customers. You need to avoid keywords stuffing and instead focus on context and accuracy in your content. Relevance to user search intent is huge, so research long-tail keywords and write your content to answer people’s questions.
Have you seen a fluctuation in your 3-pack rankings lately? If so, please reach out to us. We can run a digital audit to pinpoint exactly what may be amiss.
We’re a print and digital marketing agency in Minneapolis and we’re passionate about helping other small-medium size businesses. Our team (with over 13 years of digital marketing specific experience) of strategists, designers, writers, and developers can help you define your brand, grow your audience and generate online leads.