If you want to drive organic traffic to your site and improve your search rankings, you need to conduct website audits regularly. A site audit is truly the first step in any effective local SEO campaign.
Local search users are motivated and targeted. If you can attract them, you’ll see a leap in your conversions.
Local SEO is the lifeblood of your business listing, as far as organic traffic is concerned. If your web pages are not doing well locally and local search users are struggling to find your search results, you’ll likely fail in local SEO.
Ranking in local search is the easiest way to grow your online business listing. Google’s research on local search behavior found that “50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and 34% who searched on computer/tablet did the same.”
First Panda. Then Penguin. And then the speedy and accurate ‘Hummingbird.’
You get it, right?
I am not talking about birds and animals.
These are well-known algorithm updates by Google that significantly affected search results through the early part of 2014.
But not many businesses paid heed to the next update that came along…
‘The Pigeon’ (the update’s name as given by Search Engine Land).
Google shook the local SEO world with this local search algorithm update in July, 2014.
They started with launching it only in the United States. But later in December that year, Pigeon was expanded to the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.
So why was this update important and which websites did it affect?
Well Google’s intention with this algo shift was:
To give greater weight to local businesses that have neighbourhood-focused keywords.
Want to know the effects of the update?
1. Itand Yelp.
2. Reportedly, there is now less of a mismatch between Google search and Map results. Pigeon connected Google maps search and web search in a more cohesive manner. Although the results also depend on the sector of your business.
Businesses based in the mold removal, dui defense, real estate and emergency plumbing industries were badly affected.
3. It was the biggest local search algo update by Google. Look at the.
Darren reported that there was a.
But the update was supposed to lift local businesses and help them compete with authoritative brands, right?
Well some businesses reported a significant improvement in their rankings. Like Shawn M’s clients.
But then there were people like Robert whose Google local listing disappeared from its number one spot in search results.
As you can see, the fluctuations wereand even illogical. Now, Google was giving prominence in local results to businesses with no physical address.
To add to the Pigeon dilemma, look at thefrom Nifty Marketing.
He found that each search query could get varied interests based on ads, images and intent.
Users are clicking all-over the place and hence you just cannot take a one size-fits-all marketing and optimization approach.
Here are the statistics for the term ‘Burley Lawyer’ on desktop.
Now compare it with the statistics for the same search on mobile.
You might have never imagined that this tiny local SEO update would unleash such complex results.
But that’s the point.
Just relax. Let’s step back and revisit Google’s major goal.
It’s to serve the most relevant and personalized results to its users.
Many marketing professionals forget this and operate as if Google is focused on serving them or their clients.
And, with the growth of number of searches performed on mobile devices ():
Proximity based search results are going to get more popular. And we already witnessed that the local search results are changing more rapidly than any other result.