How to dominate local SEO: more challenging in an evolving local search environment
Columnist Sherry Bonelli explains how recent changes to the local search landscape point to an ever-changing discipline that requires increasingly complex strategies.
Getting a local business to rank high on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) used to be as easy as having a website, getting listed on some online business directories/citation sites and claiming your Google My Business page. Once you did those few simple things, you had an incredible shot at ranking high on Google for local keywords like “plumbers in Austin.”
But those days are long gone.
Local SEO is much more competitive
These days local SEO is more and more competitive. Why? Part of the reason is that many local businesses have finally realized the importance of doing the local SEO “basics” and are actually implementing those basic local search strategies. This means more local businesses are vying for a limited number of high-ranking spots.
More importantly, the local search ranking factors have changed significantly over the past few years, making it much more complex (and difficult) to rank for local search keywords. Quick and simple SEO fixes don’t work anymore.
If you work with local businesses, understanding this changing local SEO environment is important. Following are some important factors that influence local search visibility, including some recent changes that have had a huge impact on current best practices.
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