February 03, 2017
The path ahead looks tough for local SEO practitioners and agencies, but is there any hope? So let’s take look at what recent trends in 2017 can mean for those who serve local search clients.
Local is fragmented
This is the case for every local marketing niche and is one of the reasons why so many local search oriented companies able to thrive over the past decade. When it comes to local search engine optimization, there are three main buckets of business that can be benefitted
Low-end and High-end SMBs with one to a handful of locations.
Non local brands that target local traffic but do not have a physical location in the target market.
Among these it's Low-end SMBs and the NonLocal Brands that are probably at more risk from these trends(aka knowledge panels, local packs, voice results).And it's the SEOs who serve them will have to figure out the things.
SEO agencies that service Low-end SMBs
It might be just the time to the end of the ‘scalable’ SMB SEO agency. These are the companies that looked into the ever-expanding deep ocean of SMB that knew little about digital marketing and saw an endless stream of revenue. While certainly, there are good ones out there, in general, these are the types of vendors who have destroyed a lot of the industry’s credibility by offering cookie-cutter approaches.
There will always be a need to help those low-budget customers get their rights, but the ability to show ROI on anything beyond the basics at the low budget is getting tougher.
So the smile-and-dial distributors are going to need to get good at promoting multi-channel options.
The drawback is that each one of those options run into the identical drawback when it’s a must to do hundreds of them per month with very low budgets. Now, as an alternative of getting a weak SEO product with heavy churn, you would have a weak multi-channel product with heavy churn.
Companies with this type of challenge should probably determine either how to migrate up the food chain to higher-dollar engagements with fewer clients that they can keep happy or how to move into full-fledged software business because that’s basically the model they have built but without the software part.
The good news is that the problems of a scalable agency are the opportunities for the boutique agency. Smaller, more agile SEO shops should be able to selectively choose the best customers from these types of services and provide better-customized solutions.
Despite the challenges of Google, SMBs that don’t know what they are doing in digital marketing aren’t going away anytime soon.
Businesses with no physical location have still a place in SERPs, especially those that have their answer strategy tuned in. While a single voice search result may be good for some local queries like best steakhouse in town or set egg timer near me, it highly unlikely that a V-SERP, and even a desktop SERP with a limited set of results, will prove helpful for the majority of queries.
So what can SEO for non-local brands do?
Constantly improving user engagement with its content.
Prioritizing content that best answers relevant questions.
Ensuring Google understands its content via markup and page structure.
Evolving the standard “Local Directory SERP” from a list of business listings to a highly structured collection of the most vital information a consumer needs to make a decision.
Multi-location brands and High-end SMBs
There is a great opportunity in the local landscape for multi-location brands and those SMBs that want to compete at the high end of the market (e.g., plastic surgeons, attorneys, dentists).
Just due to the nature and complexity of multi-location SEO, brands big and small still underinvesting in SEO. Experts from Local Seo Company In Atlanta share that one of their multi-location retailer clients that makes more than 40 % of its revenue from organic traffic, half of which comes from non-branded queries, yet according to Search Console, almost 90 % of the site’s Google impressions come from non-branded queries. This implies that they still have a huge upside of untapped search engine potential, even in a world of shrinking SERPs.
So, brands still need to focus more on local search optimization, but it’s really hard to hire local SEO talent in-house. Generally, the reason that brands are not moving on local SEO is due to the insufficient internal knowledge to understand the full extent of the problem and operationalize the solution.
Thus, agencies with the right skill set have still a great opportunity to be able to help brands break into, and capitalize on, local SEO.
Working with the Top Local Seo Company In Chicago will definitely help in getting the better position for local search results.
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