Instead of doing a weekly Local SEO recap, I have decided to do a monthly mashup. So, without further ado, here is what happened in the wonderful world of Local SEO for the month of June, 2013.
Beware of scammy mc'scammers when it comes to local SEO, reviews, automation tools, etc. As Mike puts it,
Local scams involving Google are like dipthera on dog feces, very common
This blog post gives you an example and a few other common scams that plague the localsphere.
If you haven't addressed mobile yet, you need to start doing so now, not later. By 2014 mobile searches will overtake traditional desktop searches. The data shows it, and this post has a really good visual guide on whether you should go with responsive design or with a separate mobile website. (hint - it's all about your users!)
So there hasn't been anything else written, nor any other screenshots of this test, but Google, at some point last month, was testing "in-depth articles" around certain local search queries. It will be interesting to see if further tests like this are seen in the future.
Andrew Shotland, of www.localseoguide.com paints a picture of SMB's in two different lights, to me. One is that small business owners do not have the time, nor the budget, to spend on a good local search marketing campaign. The second, which drives me bonkers, is that there are local SEO service "providers" out there that charge somewhere between $79-$149/mo and provide little to no value at all.
Just yesterday I was speaking to a local business owner and he pays his "SEO" $350/mo. After checking a few things, it was apparent that the marketer was not doing any SEO at all, and was just doing a little bit of pay per click ads with Google AdWords. This local business owner truly believed he was getting SEO done for his website.
Though not utilized by a majority of Facebook users, Facebook Graph Search has tremendous opportunity for local businesses. Why not start leveraging some of these available benefits now? This new Open Graph Object that Facebook launched will help businesses better surface on:
- News Feed
- Graph Search
Need a primer on the best way to get set up on Google+ Local? This interview with Mike Blumenthal, or as Matt McGee has so graciously called Mike, "Grandpa Maps" (SMX Advanced 2013, Seattle), gives a well done Q&A on the ins and outs of Google+ Local.
I'll say it again, mobile matters. Google has rolled out a new algorithm change that changes the ways websites rank based on how well your website performs on a mobile device. This blog post gives examples of some of the biggest mistakes websites are making when it comes to mobile, and even gives recommendations on how and what to fix. Remember the hint I gave earlier? It's all about the users!! Users need a positive user experience on your website. Having a poor mobile user experience will effect your rankings.
Prior to getting this, you could only manage 25 listings in the new Google Places for Business Dashboard. Hazah!
The new local carousel has officially launched for the US for certain local based search queries. The carousel, prior to this, had been spotted every now and again. This new displaying of local results just signifies how dedicated Google is to local search.
Trying to get back into local, Yahoo launched Localworks, a listing management tool for small businesses. The tool works similar to that of Yext, GetListed.org, or Universal Business Listings. There are a few other features, including an reputation management page.
Curious as to how the carousel results are ranked? The algorithm used is the same as what was used for local 7 pack. For a visualization, click on the link.
Gems on gems on gems. There is a multitude of great insight provided in this post. If you are just scanning and are looking for one good local SEO nugget, then read this post.
Yelp officially launches a visualization of reviews. How does it work, you ask?
How does it work? Easy. Yelp will match photos and reviews contributed by the same Yelp user for the same business and display them together on that business’ Yelp page
So with the launch of Google's local carousel results, and now this by Yelp. Would you assume that photos are important? Abso-freakin-lutely! Not from a ranking perspective, from a user experience perspective. Provide your potential customers with great images that show your products and/or services.
Jade Wang, whom works for the Google local business team, posted a thread on Google Business Help. If you happen to see oddball or categories that do not belong in your listing, to not edit them. Jade wrote:
We've found a technical issue affecting some users that causes a handful of new categories are showing up in Places dashboards. We're working on a fix and will come back with an update when we can. Please do not edit these categories for now while we work on the issue. Please note that these categories do not show on the publicly-available listing.
As of now there hasn't been an update to the thread, so if you happen to see this technical issue, leave it be.
This study shows how well the local carousel is working so far from the user side. What does this mean? The new local carousel of results are here to stay, and will more than likely be rolled out to more local based search queries soon.
This study shows a different side of how users react to the new local carousel. You are able to see video recordings of each of the 10 people and what they click on a SERP that shows the local carousel. Take a look!
That is the June Mashup of what happened in the ever changing world of Local SEO. Did I miss a blog post that you think should be included? Add the blog post and a short overview in the comments below!
Thanks for reading,