Local search engine optimisation has come along leaps and bounds over recent years, though looks to be taking some of its boldest strides to date as of 2015. Once a tool primarily used by a few scattered local businesses here and there, what’s becoming clearer by the day is how Google is putting more focus on local than it ever has before. The 2014 Pigeon update may have been where things kicked off officially for local SEO, but over the coming months and the years to follow, it’s likely to take on a completely new and exponentially more important guise than ever before.
Suffice to say, now’s the time to make sure your own brand or business is ready.
Let’s put it this way – when you’re logged into Google, those ads that pop up aren’t just conveniently matched to your tastes. They’re specifically targeted to not only your perceived interests and activities, but now also your local area. A food lover may once have been presented with a world of odd food ads, now they’re pitched offers from local restaurants and take-away joints.
This is destined to become a more integral part of Google’s advertising model going forward as these kinds of targeted local ads tend to be infinitely more powerful in pulling in the clicks. Which in turn means that if you’re playing by Google’s rules in local SEO stakes, you stand a much better chance of appearing in these lucrative local search results and ad listings.
Above all else, Google is successful for one thing and one thing alone – giving people what they want when they carry out web searches. As such, the fact that the overwhelming majority of searches tend to be for products, services and other things within any given locality, it’s in Google’s best interests to return said results. This is precisely why more attention is being given to businesses focusing on local SEO and service provision than ever before – it helps Google give the people what they want.
Does Google track your every move? Of course, but only to the same extent as every other creepy tech firm, so nothing too sinister. In any case, the growth of mobile technology and wearable devices is allowing Google to spy on us all like never before. And as they know where we are, how long we are there for and what we do while we’re there, they’re of course able to use this information to target us with very specific local advertising. From the search results offered via mobile devices to the paid ads themselves, it’s all sculpted around the immediate locality and local SEO plays a big, BIG role indeed.
When considered alongside the fact that global web traffic and competition is exploding by the day, it becomes pretty clear that local SEO and generally trying to compete at a local level is the only realistic way to go for the modern business. It’s a hard-fought battle to get it right with local SEO and one that’s not necessarily cheap, but as the future of Google and the rest of the lower-ladder search engines looks bright, it’s a fight you need to be thinking about beginning right now.