- Google Local SEO Changes - How to Prepare Your Business for 2022
- Local Search is Changing - So Be Prepared!
Google Local SEO Changes - How to Prepare Your Business for 2022If you want to prepare your business for local SEO changes in 2022, the best place to start would be to understand what exactly is happening to the software in the first place. Google is constantly updating and changing its systems internally and by keeping up with it you’ll be able to continually see great results for your domain.
Local Reviews are CrucialGetting third-party reviews for your business matters more than ever with the new updates. These will now be shown in the Knowledge Panel and will impact ordinary organic search results, so getting the general assessment of your community at large is a great indicator of where your business is projected to be. 45% of the updates to Local Search algorithms had to do with reviews, which immediately displays their importance. Relevant comments, review relevancy, and third-party prioritization are all methods to track the importance of client reviews and how they can affect your standing overall. In order to get a huge boost from reviews, make sure you try the following:
- Make sure your reviews come from many different sources. Having reviews come from Facebook, Yelp, and any other platform is much better than getting all your reviews from one source.
- The more reviews the better. Always try to encourage your customers to leave reviews when they interact with your store!
- The more recent reviews the better – make sure that the reviews you are listing aren’t outdated. Google introduced a badge for the new reviews, so it's clearly an important factor.
- Reviews with relevant comments - comments should be relevant to your business, so encourage your customers to write about the product you're selling
The Local Knowledge PanelGoogle’s Local Knowledge Panel is a feature that is increasingly becoming relevant to local businesses all over the world. Knowledge panels are boxes that appear on Google that display a variety of information and are meant to provide a quick summary of knowledge that you may be interested in. For local businesses, that means your establishment and the surrounding competition! One of the changes leading into the future is that the local business knowledge panels are trending towards third-party information. This means that you need to encourage third parties to provide the best and most reliable information about your business that they can. There are several ways to modify what’s being presented on the knowledge panel: Your Sources
- Industry sites like Yelp
- Reviews on Third-Party sites like Facebook
- Google Reviews
Mobile Search Engine Results PagesEven before the pandemic, business was moving more and more towards mobile engagement. Mobile is becoming the top way for people to interact with businesses so your store’s website better be ready for it! Not only are people using their phones to search for your business, but they’re constantly on social media, review apps, and more services that are all connected to them finding your business. [caption id="attachment_48130" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/434152/local-mobile-desktop-search-query-volume-usa/[/caption] Ensuring that your store and website are both mobile-friendly is a huge boost to your overall exposure in the real world and online. The phrase “near me” doubled in 2020, and over 60% of Americans use smartphones and tablets to find local products. Mobile searching must be taken into account when optimizing your business! There are many strategies you can use to improve the mobile presence of your business:
- Design a specific mobile-based site with the phone or tablet user in mind. This is the easiest step to increase traffic if you do not already have a mobile site!
- Add a clear menu and a search option to the mobile site that effectively lets anyone study your business while looking at their phone.
- Think of ways to style page elements without needing dividers. Make it aesthetically pleasing to view.
- Make sure it isn’t garish. White background, black text, one or two colors are the current template for a reason: it improves readability which is the most important function of a website!
- Make sure your button hit areas are the proper size. Aim for around 48x48 pixels for most boxes.
- Ensure the page loads as quickly as possible. Don’t stack many large, high-res images on the homepage!
- Keep your ads to a minimum to avoid customers clicking away in frustration.
Google’s GuidelinesOf course, what better way to understand how best to rank on Google than asking Google themselves? The general guidelines posted by Google are incredibly relevant and a great way to track the list of potential strategies you can undertake to improve your website. It’s always a good idea to trust Google as the final source on the matter since they created all the infrastructure at play in the first place. Maximizing your local search impact will be a lot easier with the rule book available to you! Some easy, basic tips are located in this article and are essential for any business starting their online presence:
- Always fill out the complete data for your business into the Google forms. Make sure it’s all correct so that it can give accurate information to your customers.
- Verify your location with Google to ensure proper search results.
- Keep your store hours accurate and up-to-date.
- Manage and respond to the Google reviews that you receive.
- Add relevant photos, like of your storefront, your merchandise, etc, in order to tell a story for your business.