Local search has been a major emphasis point with Google, especially since rolling out the Pigeon update in the US, as well as a few other countries. Google wants local business to really succeed and it’s clear that this is not going to change as we move forward. I read an interesting article from Search Engine Land and not that anyone cares about my opinions, I wanted to give my two cents.
The article really focused on looking at the big picture with local search. You can’t just focus on one tactic and expect to be successful. More importantly, I can’t just try to copy what other people are doing because different businesses in different industries will have completely different strategies that make them successful. For example, national versus local clients, will have a very different strategy to get them good rankings, traffic and conversions. Even if the national and local clients are the same industry, there is going to be a completely different plan of attack.
You have to take a step back and evaluate what is going to work for your specific business. The core of SEO is not going anywhere. You will have to do keyword research properly, competitive analysis, on-page optimization, have a strong backlink profile, etc. However, with all these updates happening, it has forced us as internet marketers to be creative and think of different ways to attack specific target markets. SEO used to be a cookie cutter process where you build links at a rapid rate and you rank higher than the next guy, clearly we have come a very long way since then.
For businesses, especially local, you have to make sure you are on top of your local citations, really great content that speaks to your customer, utilize social media and Google My Business pages, and get as many great reviews as possible. Some of these things have become a little more difficult for business, more specifically eCommerce, because Google no longer allows businesses without a physical location create Google Business pages, but again, this is just another example where we as internet marketers need to be creative.
Focus your online marketing around EVRYTHING and not just ONE detail. It will take a well-rounded plan in order for any business to be successful.