The Role of Local SEO in 2017

By Terrance G Kern on October 18, 2017

There was a time not so long ago when SEO was simply SEO. How many visitors visited a site and how popular it proved to be, was the key component in making sure a website got placed near the top of search results. Rankings were rankings. Today, Google, Yahoo, Bing, and all the rest look closer and closer at the finer details, fully optimizing the personal when it comes to digital marketing. This includes local searches, a more user-specific method that yet ranges from the automated to the manual in its approach.  In short, Local SEO aids potential customers in finding the businesses they need, nearest to them (not miles across the country).

Automated vs. Manual Search Tasks

Specific to Local SEO are SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platforms. These have emerged in the last few years to help businesses with a physical location market their services online. Rare is the person who hasn’t looked up a company and been rewarded with the name, address, and telephone number of that business (if not further details); this is business location data that has been pushed far and wide by the SaaS.  These are, of course, automated programs, but in order to overcome what has been a shortfall in appearance in organic search results, even the SaaS need manual (human) involvement to tweak the platform to promote each company’s particular niche, or Unique Selling Point (USP), to suit the specificity of user search engine input, even when using Local SEO.

Analytics Tracking and Content Management

This is where analytics tracking and content management come in. Popular in traditional marketing, as well as digital, you are investing time well spent by extracting commercially relevant data and using it to forecast for “crawler friendliness”, as well as marketing content for review on external sites.  Furthermore, to have your company listed on Google Maps is the most effective way to be found at the top of organic search results, as well as Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) which more often than not rely on paid advertising, or Pay-Per-Click (PPC).  DAGMAR Marketing a Jacksonville based SEO Company knows the tactics for the most efficient Google Map listing. This process takes the onus off the websites themselves, and instead focuses on optimizing the external properties of company websites, i.e. location and relevant details. Listing on Google Maps information is available through Google My Business.

Customer Engagement

Once customer reviews have been gathered, or your company listed on review sites, the next step is to engage with those responsive users. Whether positive or negative, replying to critique portrays your business as client-focused. If your company is being listed on Google Maps and even Yelp through the aid of Local SEO, the least desirable scenario is for poor reviews to be the first thing read on SERPs or organic search results. Keep it positive, and be prompt in responding.

In 2017, Local SEO is all about intent. To this end, it has a threefold business goal; to provide immediate answers or clarification, to take users to predetermined information, and to assist users in completing purchases or tasks.

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