Now that B2B marketers have had some time to adjust (and, in some cases, recover) from this summer’s Google Pigeon update, it might be a good time to re-evaluate your local search tactics and consider what, if any, changes you want to make for 2015.
Probably one of the biggest developments in the world of local search is that it has now become tougher to try and “game the system.” Those who employed all sorts of clever tricks in an attempt to fool Google in order to get higher results have likely seen considerable fallout in the post-Pigeon period. Legitimate marketers, meanwhile, will be wise to focus on tactics and metrics that are tougher to manipulate, such as clickthrough rates and website author indicators.
Directory results are also getting positive results, so businesses should continue their efforts to get listed in directories and review sites such as Yelp.
With categories and descriptors, it seems like the more specific you can get, the better. So, for example, rather than just indicating that you provide technology services, you might want to go a step further and promote your “enterprise level technology security solutions.” From a geographic standpoint, the emphasis seems to be on hyperlocal, with some businesses going so far as to include mentions of specific neighborhoods.
Personalization can have a big influence on local search results, taking past user behavior and search preferences into account. Of course, this only matters when the user is actually logged in, so it helps if you can encourage visitors to log in (social logins make this process much quicker and easier).
From a technical standpoint, recent Google algorithm updates and the elimination of authorship functions now makes it virtually irrelevant to add author tags on your site content.
For more insights as to the major factors that affect local search results, check out the 2014 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey from Moz.
Creating effective strategies for local search engine optimization is one of our specialties at KEO Marketing, and we can help you implement the best tactics to boost your local search results.