LOCAL SEO AGENCY TRENDS FOR 2018
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Google’s search engine is improving every single day. Every year, Google’s algorithms update around 500-600 times, and every business keeps their website and content updated to gain higher rankings in relevant search queries.
Every Local SEO agency targets to provide local customers to their clients, and there are certain things you should keep in mind in terms of Local SEO. Here are top 10 Local SEO Agency Trends you should keep in mind in 2018:
1. Optimizing your SEO in terms of Voice Search:
According to Google, out of every 5 searches, 1 is a voice search. With the evolution of Google Assistant and SIRI, people are turning more towards voice searches because it is a lot easier than typing! With the increasing use of voice assistants in smartphones, SEO experts and every Local SEO Agency have understood very well that, it is something that cannot be ignored if one wants to rank on the first page of Google.
To keep your results higher on Google, it is necessary to predict the behaviour of searchers. Think about how people are going to voice search for a particular query. Definitely, the keywords that you’re targeting right now will have a slight difference.
Okay, see this stat:
Looks like, you are more interested in this voice search trend now. So let us dig a little deeper. Say, a user is finding a dentist in Manhattan, New York City. As with traditional SEO, any expert will target keywords like “Dentists in New York” or “Dentist in Manhattan, New York”. Meanwhile, these keywords hold apex importance, so we must focus on the other possible keywords in terms of voice search.
Try to involve situational keywords in your tags like “Find me dentists in Manhattan” or “Dentists near me” or “Dentists around my location”. These keywords might have lesser search volume, but in the future, these types of queries will increase.
2. Optimization as per Featured Snippets:
Check this layout of search result pages and analyse the structuring once:
Search engines and SERP featured snippets have changed a lot, and are still changing. To stay in the race, your local business has to adopt the latest SERP feature trends and optimize your content according to that.
If someone searches ‘online food delivery in Delhi’, your map location and website link may appear on the top of search result if you have got your business registered for this and optimized for the query. It may take some efforts or need hiring the right Local SEO Agency, but surely worth it. By making your place in the featured snippets, you can attract more and more buyers to your local shop, store or any business.
3. Increased length of Meta Description will affect many things:
Just around the end of 2017, we have seen SERP with increased lengths of meta-description. Google came out with this tiny update to offer better user experience to the searchers (As usual!). Up till now, the character limit of meta-description used to be 230 characters. But, in the recent past, we have seen results with increased meta-description of 300-320 characters.
This increased size of snippet might seem small compared to other Google Updates, but it has significant effects on your SEO. As the snippet size has increased, there will be less no. of results on the first page of Google. Hence, you or your Local SEO Agency has to give extra efforts to rank on the first page.
Check this out –
Looks different and elaborated, right?
The character increase in the meta-description has one motive, if the searcher is searching for any query, the increased length of meta-description can give more information regarding the subject. And the user does not have to go through pages to find the right information. Now, it is understood that it has become more difficult to rank on the first page due to increased length of snippet. But, you can optimize the meta-description with extended limits!
Back then with 230 characters, it was pretty difficult to include targeted keywords and relevant information at the same time, but now, it would be very easy. Because let’s accept, Google is focusing more on good content from the last few years to provide a great user experience. This is a good chance for you to optimize your meta-description with long tail keywords, and rank higher in 2018.
4. Directory Listing is Crucial:
That’d been a tradition, but some traditions always remain in trend. Ask any Local SEO Agency. They’ll say ‘directories are, and will always remain the best place to highlight your business competencies’, because that’s the universal truth. As of now, most of those conventional paper-based directories are online and so the searchers. All you need to do is, get registered in the online business directories, which are referred by most of your customers.
There are many SEO agencies which offer directory listing services already, and this trend will increase in 2018. Search engines are giving more preference to the trusted directories and brand’s reputation currently. As entering the right and updated information increases your brand and domain authority (DA), it will be a win-win for your brand from both, SEO and repute points of view.
To leverage most benefits from it, it will be a good strategy to define the detailed descriptions of your services and fill the correct location-related details. By doing this, you can rank higher in the local searches too. Whether you are a newly-established business, an SME or a well-fledged enterprise, not getting registered in GMB (Google My Business) and other business directories may harm your business for sure.
5. Checks on Link Building went Smarter:
Link building has always been a major part of Search Engine Optimization, but we should not forget that Google is becoming smarter every single moment because of AI. It is not just important to get more backlinks but it is also important, from where all the backlinks are coming. Yes, the number of referring domains matters a lot, and Google have a simple logic for that. The more domains recommend your domain, higher the chances of your domain authority (DA) rising up. And domain authority is something that is utmost important in SEO.
Backlinks from educational domains or trusted sources give a huge boost to your DA and PA. In 2018, the best optimization you can adopt is – restructuring your link building strategy. Try to get backlinks and mentions from more trustworthy platforms, and it will lift up your results in a very short period of time.
6. Position Zero:
You must have noticed these kinds of snippets in most of the search queries lately. These positions are called “position zero” for a particular search. Let’s be honest, it is damn difficult to rank on position zero. But, once you reach that position for local queries, there a rain of benefits. Google introduced this snippet to give out focused information for a particular query. Basically, Google takes out the best results for a particular query, and puts it on position zero. To rank at position zero, your content must be outstanding, and full of right information.
You can target with long tail keywords that satisfy searcher’s queries. Try to include frequently asked questions (FAQ), so it would be easier for Google to crawl your page, and you will carry higher chances to rank at position zero. In 2018, your Local SEO Agency should set position zero as your dream SEO targets. Optimized content is the key here, so you cannot ignore the quality of content at any cost.
7. More Mobile Friendliness:
Nearly 60% of the total Google searches are carried from mobile devices. It would be a shame if we ignore the audience that searches from mobile. There are some points you can keep in mind to rank higher, and here is the list of things to keep in mind in terms of mobile:
- Page Speed
- Site Design for Mobile
- Title and tag optimization
- Responsive mobile web design
- Using schema.org structured data
If you’ll optimize your website for mobile, while considering each of these factors in 2018, your chances of scoring more on the search engine ranking scoreboard will heighten up.
8. Wave of Social Media:
Social media channels have geo-location trackers; they store a lot of data according to locations and they were the front-runners of this whole geography-based search implementation. That’s the reason why each experienced Local SEO Agency would suggest you going social.
Your local business may or may not consider social media an important part of search engine optimization, but you will have to go social in 2018.
Well, Google is fetching the data from social media (with account owner’s permission). And as most of the businesses draft their posts and pictures as public, it helps in local SEO a lot. Now Facebook has also allowed the crawlers to fetch the data from its social search engine. So all you have to do in 2018 is:
1) Get registered on almost every social site such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on.
2) Post the location-specific content with proper geo-tagging.
Doing these two things may improve your local search ranking to a great extent. So make sure your Local SEO Agency implements it well. This way, if someone searches ‘clothing store in Delhi’, you will rank on top if your social media data is well-drafted as per the regional SEO requirements and keywords.
9. Raised Worth of Customer Reviews
Custom reviews were importance already, now they are priceless. Google and other search engines are most probably going to be streamlining the process of review analysis, making them a part of SEO ranking matrix. Many SERP features list the reviews, their count, rating and other details in the search engine pages currently. Reviews are also the part of rich snippets at present. So, you’ll need to focus a lot on the review management.
Reviews are trusted by almost everyone, regardless of their age. Got doubts? Well, check this survey’s results:
If you are willing to get the benefits of increase SEO-importance of reviews, here are the most important takeaways:
- Ask more and more customers to leave reviews for your business.
- Ask your Local SEO Agency to put their efforts in helping you getting enough hype.
- Do the same for every social and non-social platform.
- Stop neglecting or hiding the negative reviews! Instead, resolve the issues and leave a humble reply to show that you care about your customers.
- Structure your review page according to the rich snippet of Google search, so that it can be counted in SEO.
10. Any Good Local SEO Agency will AMP Implementation:
Accelerated Mobile Pages (or AMPs)… heard of them?
You must know about AMP, because it’s going to be a big trend of 2018’s SEO world. Google has shown its inclination towards mobile-friendliness and AMP is a practical deployment of same.
Admit it that your visitors, you (as a visitor), and search engine crawlers, everyone hates the slowly loading pages. And when you are on a mobile device, this sloth-like loading bar baffles you the most. So this new application is going to help each of us come out of this condition. AMP implementation ensures that your web page uses the least data and loads the fastest for the mobile devices.
It will not only reduce the bounce rate and enhance the user experience, but will also affect your search engine ranking. Websites, not having AMP pages in place, will not show up in the mobile searches. As most than 57% Google searches are made through the mobile devices, it does (and will) make a big difference for every local and global business. Hence, every wise local business should refine its website and implement the AMP standards as soon as possible.
Local SEO Agency Predictions for 2018: Final Words
Local SEO is gaining more attention and becoming a bigger part of Search Engine Optimization every year. Search engines’ zeal to deliver the maximum ease of searching and companies’ strategies to sustain with the highest visibility in the local online ecosystem is the main cause why you need to keep yourselves and your team updated with Local SEO Agency Trends 2018.
- By knowing it all, your local business can drag more visitors, customers, and attention easily. So these top ten Local SEO Agency trends will prove a big help, if utilised carefully.
Need to know, learn and implement more? Comment below and get your queries answered by Local SEO experts.