How Does Google’s Recent Local SEO Change Impact Your Business?

4 September, 2015

Google’s local search results often present a great opportunity for local websites to exposure, compared to Google’s often brand-dominated organic results. For example searching for “website design”, from our base in Sheffield, produces a search results page that gives precedence to a number of Sheffield-based companies before displaying the main organic results.

local-seo-search-results

On the 6th of August Google made a significant change to how it displays these local results by reducing the number of websites it displays from seven to three. As a consequence of this change it’s now more difficult for companies to get “featured” in the local-map results.

Many industry experts have argued that websites previously featured in positions 4-7 probably weren’t receiving much traffic compared to the first three results, however these companies were receiving a great deal of visibility so they have lost a branding opportunity. Needless to say, it’s very important for local businesses to do everything in their power to get featured in the local-map results for their target keywords.

If your company is not currently being featured, here is list of things you can do to improve your chances:

Local On-Page Factors

You should ensure that your keyword / location combination is featured in your landing page’s title tag, H1, URL and main content. If possible, your company's name, address and phone number (NAP) should be included on every page of your website. Extra bonus points if you can implement schema.org markup.

Google My Business

If you don’t yet have a Google My Business profile you will need to create one. Once you have a Google My Business profile, you should ensure:

  • Your company’s name, address and phone number matches 100% with the details listed on your website and your map listing is showing the correct location for your business.
  • Add a unique, detailed description of your business/service and add links to relevant pages on your website.
  • Choose the most appropriate business categories and use your primary category wisely.
  • Add accurate opening times and upload as many high-quality photos as possible.
  • Ask customers review your business. Once you have more than five reviews, your star rating is eligible to display next to your business’ name. If you receive positive reviews, and have a high star rating, the amount of searchers clicking through to your website is likely to increase.

Local Links

An important element of performing well in the local search results is gaining links from local websites. You can do this by getting mentioned in the local press, taking part in local events or sponsoring a local sports team etc. You can also request links from customers and suppliers in the local area and any business/organisations you deal with on a regular basis.

The aforementioned tips should help improve your organisation’s local search presence. If you would like Evoluted to implement these changes for you, or if you would like some SEO advice, please contact us at info@evoluted.net or on 0114 272 9753.

Written by Neil

Neil’s highly-analytical mindset is perfect for the digital world. Having joined the Evoluted team back in 2015, he’s since grown to lead our marketing unit. With considerable in-house and agency experience, he spends his days improving internal processes and applying his knowledge across PPC and SEO campaigns.

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