Local Search’s Search for Greatness: Is 2017 the Year?

Local Search’s Search for Greatness: Is 2017 the Year?

Search Engine OptimizationDavid Mihm’s 2017 Local Marketing Predictions was a great read that foretold of a potential downer marketers and businesses can expect this year.

Mihm insists that SEO will not die in 2017, which is a great relief for everyone. He did, however, say that “the number of beneficiaries of organic visibility from Google” will experience a drastic decline. The Tidings founder insists that the search engine giant has been leading everyone to a single result: the SERPs will favor voice results and entities more.

Yes, SEO will not die, but it will get more challenging this 2017.

So, what does that mean for a business dealing with Google and now faced with the supposed end of SEO? What does it mean for Denver’s local optimization?

The Fragmented Locality

For some local marketing niches, the reality is simple: local is fragmented; it’s one of the numerous reasons companies (who are big fans of local search) experienced an all-time high over the past 10 years.

When it comes to local SEO, three types of businesses benefit from it the most:

  • Multi-location brands
  • Small and medium-sized businesses (both the low-end and high-end)
  • Non-local brands that do not focus on local traffic

SEO Agencies Focused on SMBs

Unfortunately, there are plenty of SMB SEO agencies that offer short-term cookie-cutter solutions. What’s worse is many small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) take on their offers. In the end, they realize the consequences, but it’s too late.

2017 might just be the end for these “scalable” agencies.

Sure, there will always be a need for low-budget solutions; customers new to the SEO field would want to learn the basics without harming their wallet too much. Still, improving ROIs on a budget is tougher than before.

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The Fate of Non-Local Brands

Businesses that do not have physical locations have been receiving that Google touch for years. Even the biggest local directories are no strangers to double-digit drops; after all, local businesses are starting to invest more in local SEO.

The SERPs are still relevant to these types of sites. Voice search might answer local queries, but it’s not enough for a majority of searches.

So, what can SEO do to help non-local brands?

It starts by ensuring Google and the brand are on the same page; can the search engine understand the business’ page structure and markup? Also, improving content and user engagement is always a plus. When you prioritize content that answers questions, interested users will flock. An evolved Local Directory SERP standard is also helpful.

Typical local directories will no longer make the cut. For non-local brands to make it big, they should come up with something better than Google.

2017 will not be an easy year for SEO. As Google finds more ways to make things better for the users, practitioners and brands alike will struggle to survive.

Still, it pays to have good faith in the search engine giant. Things might get complicated, but as long as you hold on to your SEO practices and stick with Google’s guidelines, you’ll be fine. Local SEO will continue to soar towards greater heights.