Local SEO in 2015

By | August 21, 2019


Hi. It’s been around about a year since we
last spoke about local SEO. So today I’m going to look at some of the updates that have occurred
since we last did a video on this subject and give you some of the top-level information
that you guys need to understand and know is going on from an online business point
of view. So the main update that we’ve seen with local
SEO has been the now infamous Pigeon update from Google. Now this went live in the United
States around about I think it was June/July 2014, and as you can imagine, with all Google
updates, people were expecting big things from this, big changes mainly on the back
of the impact that the likes of Penguin and Panda had. The Pigeon update was more to do
with providing you with even more local results than you had before. So for example, if you
were searching for a localised term or a term that had local intent within it, the information
that you were given back by Google was going to be even more focal to the area that you
were searching from. Now this went live in December in the U.K., and the impact that
we’ve seen to date hasn’t been that big. But we are starting to see that the results are
starting to slowly scroll out, and we are starting to see the impact that we were seeing
in the U.S. So as I’ve mentioned there, the idea is the
information that you’re going to receive is going to be far more local to you than it
was before. So for example, if we were searching for dentists in Fareham, what you would find,
particularly in Google Maps is that the dots would probably be sprayed all over the place
within the Fareham area, whereas if you do it these days, you’re going to find that those
dots are going to be very centralised to the area of Fareham and to the area that you’re
actually searching from. If you remember, Google now knows exactly where you’re searching
from based on your IP. So the idea is that the information is now going to be far more
local than it was before. The other change that we’re going to start
seeing as well is the change to the seven-pack or the five-pack in the local results, where
you would see the local listings more often than not towards the top of the search results.
These are now going to start being brought down to only three results. So as you can
tell, making sure that you’re locally optimised is going to be more important than ever before. What we’re also going to start seeing are
profiles like Yelp and Yell.com, these are now going to start ranking far more highly
than they used to. If you go back three or four years, they used to rank well within
their own right, and then that kind of got taken away, and now it’s going to come back
into play. So making sure you’ve got these profiles verified and on these platforms is
now highly, highly important. And the other change that we’re also going
to see is the change to your Google+ profile page. This now comes under the umbrella of
Google My Businesses, and this is like a central point for where you set up your profile now
within Google+. So first things first, what should you be
doing in 2015 to make sure that you are found locally? Well, if we go back to the on-page
optimisation, it’s still very important that all of these elements are still looked at
and still optimised as they were a year ago. So you need all the relevant local information
on your site. You need it marked up with schema. So we’re looking at things like the name of
the company, the address of the company, and the phone number of the company, and these
need to be consistent across all profiles that you have online. If you make any changes
to any other profiles with the way that your address is set out, then that’s going to cause
conflict of interest, and you might not get the citation or the strength that you need
from these external profiles. Make sure that your Contact Us page is completely
up-to-date as well and has all the relevant information there. If you have landing pages
on your site, because you’ve got various different locations, then again make sure that these
are all unique, they’re all relevant to the area that you have, and make sure that you
have the individual addresses for these physical locations as well. As I touched on there as well, the profiles
are very important. You still need to make sure that you’re on the likes of Yelp and
Yell.com. Make sure these profiles are completely filled up as much as you can and make sure
that you verify them as well. So nothing’s changed there. Make sure as well that they’re
all branded up. But if we go back to Google Platforms, and
it used to be Google+ Places, and then it used to be Google+ Business, and now it’s
Google+ My Businesses. So this is now kind of like the focal place that you need to set
up your profile, and this will kind of manage everything that you’ve got within Google+
if you like. Not much has changed with regards to the information you need to add to these
profiles. It’s still all the relevant information. You still need to fill in all the fields that
Google provides to you, because the more information you give to Google, the better this is going
to be for you guys. So what we’re looking at is making sure that
your company name is consistent with the one that you’ve got on your website. Make sure
the description is filled out and is optimised and is relevant to what you’re offering. Most
importantly, make sure the category that you add your profile to is highly relevant to
the one that you are trying to focus on. Don’t go for a very, very generic one. If you can
really boil it down into the exact category that you are relevant to, then make sure that
you do that. Phone number, again, make sure that is consistent
with the one that is on your website. Make sure this is a local phone number as well.
If you’ve got a business phone number like an 0845 number, make sure that the local one,
if you’re going for your local audience, is also present and make sure that’s on your
Google My Business profile. You’ve got the option to add your opening
hours as well. Make sure you add that. Again, that shows that you’ve got an actual genuine
presence there, as does adding photos as well. This gives also the human side of things.
It also gives a very visual side of things, and this, again, gives Google more information
about you. And you’ve also got the option as well of
adding a virtual tour. So if you’ve got an online shop or you’ve got a physical shop,
do the virtual tour. If you’ve got the kind of capabilities to do so, you can add that
to your My Business profile as well. Also, make sure that you verify it. Make sure
that you link it up to your website and make sure those two are connected, because without
that, Google probably isn’t going to give as much information to the end user as it
would if you’ve got a verified profile. So the main changes to the local SEO for 2015
are keeping an eye on the Pigeon update. Be aware that the information that you are now
being given is highly targeted to the individual who is searching. So, of course, this makes
it harder for you probably to rank if you’re on the periphery of where the person is searching
from. But if you make sure that all your boxes are ticked and you’re doing everything that
you should do for local SEO, then you’ve got a better chance of appearing in front of them. Be aware that Google+ you’re now looking at
Google My Business profiles. This might have already been updated for you. You might already
have a generic one set up because you’ve got the Google Maps profiles or the Google+ local
profiles, but do go in there. Make sure that you manage these accounts and make sure you
update them. So keep an eye on those and fingers crossed
you should start appearing for your local audience.

3 thoughts on “Local SEO in 2015

  1. Sơn Hồ Post author

    Thanks for your sharing. Some benefits for me and i want to ask you about submit to directory or yellowpages type on local  sites is good idea?

    Reply
  2. SEOVerge.com Post author

    Andy, your video and observation about Google's new emphasis on local SEO is dead on. I believe that clients that take advantage of this new emphasis will benefit greatly in the their business. My company services local SEO advantages in California, and that's it. We advise our clients to concentrate on their own backyard.

    Reply

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