Local SEO has been a huge part of the search engine optimisation landscape in 2016. Search engines are giving more weight to location-based searches, allowing users to find the information they need on local businesses, products and services more effectively. Local SEO will still be huge in 2017 and here are some of the things you can expect next year.
Richer Search Results
We’ve seen an increase in schema markup usage this past year. Google and other popular search engines are trying to provide users with more information faster, which is why richer markups are more popular than ever.
Review markups, for instance, can provide so much more than the usual title and excerpt. Users can instantly see a star rating followed by the name of the person who wrote the review.
The same can be said for location-based search results. They now display a map and details about the business, reviews from various sources and of course a Get Direction button to allow users to quickly find the businesses they’re looking for.
If your business hasn’t used these advanced markups just yet, now is the perfect time to start. Recent reports show that sites (and businesses) that use markups effectively get more visits and have higher click-through rates in general.
Other Platforms to Boost Your SEO Performance
Google Maps has been the go-to app for millions of users, but this domination is about to be challenged by serious contenders. We recently talked about how Apple is expanding Apple Maps through Public Place pages. The Maps API is also more advanced, allowing third-party apps to pull data from its database.
Facebook is taking the same route with local SEO. When you do a search on Facebook, it will now display results based on where the search is coming from. The algorithm behind Facebook search has also been improved.
To fully maximise your site’s local SEO performance, adding detailed information to these platforms is critically important. With Apple’s Public Place pages, for instance, you can get a high quality backlink and the chance to be discovered by thousands of Apple users near you.
Go Mobile or Go Home
Smartphones are now the source of over 70% of the world’s internet traffic. That number is expected to increase next year. More importantly, over 80% of users who found websites or businesses on their mobile devices actually followed through and made a purchase. The trend is crystal clear: mobile devices are where you need to be.
This trend is further pushed by search engines prioritising mobile-friendly sites when the search is coming from a mobile device. Google, for instance, is promoting its AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) technology to further pamper mobile users. The optimised pages will load quickly and provide a more consistent mobile experience. Facebook is doing the same thing with Facebook Instant Articles.
Switching to a mobile-friendly web design is simply a must. A mobile-friendly site will get you the exposure your business needs to attract customers. Sticking with a responsive design is no longer enough. You can utilise these new ways of providing information – along with the previous trends we talked about earlier – to further boost your local SEO performance in 2017.