Recently, digital marketing trends have shifted towards local SEO in a bid to generate more traffic from the internet. In 2016, websites will be trying to tap the opportunities presented by this particular platform by using strategies that are not only user-friendly to visitors but also tenable. Nowadays, there are various advanced geolocation maps that can be used by any digital marketing specialist, that help in targeting specific audiences based on their geographical area. Thus, making virtual advertising easier and more fruitful as well.
Narrowing down on identified niches using locality has been a common practice, which will continue well into 2016. This factor will definitely play a major role in determining search engine rankings. Below are some of the developments to watch out for this year:
1. Mobile search will take over
Currently, studies have shown that mobile search ranks the same with desktop queries in terms of internet volume. With the trend expected to lean even more towards handsets as a larger percentage of people continue accessing smartphones, which are cheaper and readily available compared to computers. So, if you’re going to promote your products and services online, designing a website that boosts user experience will really be helpful.
Thanks to inclusions such as a wider mobile browser capacity, improved network speed and majority of sites embracing handset-friendly designs, local SEO technology has now made the future of past marketing giants like native apps quite bleak. In fact, experts predict that in just a few months’ time most websites will be predominantly designed for mobile phones. Those that are not optimized this way shall be rendered irrelevant. Google’s search algorithm gives more credit to such sites, and it would soon be a bare-minimum criterion for all stakeholders in the location marketing industry.
2. Voice queries will compliment text search
Though voice search is still new in the virtual space, it’s already gaining momentum thanks in part to mobile phone usage which is slowly replacing traditional desktop platforms. Speech query will continue gaining popularity as a useful local marketing tool, especially on SEO services for hotels and travel companies that rely heavily on immediate responses to stay relevant. In such cases, clients won’t have to go through the trouble of typing for driving directions or address information.
Search Engine Watch wrote an interesting article on how the growth of voice queries continues to rise, and will continue to rise as mobile continues to grow in size. This will greatly affect the way keywords are searched through Google, as it’s no longer simply a means of typing words and phrases in.
Furthermore, Google plans to launch a voice recognition software on its applications very soon. Something that will increase overall volume of web search and also make position marketing a whole lot easier. These changes shall have a big impact on web users who prefer accessing their content through mobile phones.
3. Consistent citations would be required
The information posted on search directories will have to be consistent, relevant and fresh in order to be effective. Any errors present in the content must be removed so that local visitors can find your website effortlessly. For instance, if a business has grown its portfolio or shifted base at any given moment in time, this has to be cited or else Google may assume that there are several businesses in the region with a similar name. Any full service digital marketing agency will surely agree that correct citations are necessary for better search engine rankings.
A good example of how you can take advantage of local businesses and the power of Google, is to simply claim your business through their site. The benefits to doing so are vast, such as potentially better rankings, making it easier for your audience to find you and allowing Google to provide the most accurate data on your business.
Though any online mention of a business can still boost web ranking to some extent, search engines still value local presence more than general traffic. Apart from directory listings, they also want solid evidence that your business commands respect in its immediate community. This can be done through mentioning credible indigenous sources like backlinks, reviews and citations. Other pertinent options include references from consumer-oriented blogs, and evidence of prompt responses to consumer queries.
4. Content must be optimized for local keywords
When web users search for local products or services, they often include location as one of the keyword terms. (image reference below) Therefore, in 2016 for an online business to be conspicuous they will have to include locality-based keywords on their site. Apart from the town, it can also include names of specific boulevards in the region or even nicknames of those particular areas.
Similarly, in an effort to establish the company’s legitimacy the website must be listed in well-recognized online directories, such as Yahoo Local. Information found on these directories should include company name, phone number and physical address. It will also be helpful to give a brief description of the firm including a direct link to your site.
In conclusion, as businesses continue making huge investments in online marketing and diversifying their content portfolio. Those focusing on local SEO techniques will benefit even more this year.