Most businesses understand the significant competitive advantage that ranking highly in Google for relevant local search terms can provide. However, for the majority of Omaha businesses, there’s a major disconnect between that understanding and their actual local SEO efforts.
It wasn’t that long ago when ranking for local search terms was fairly easy. Since most businesses weren’t doing any optimization and many didn’t even have an online presence, ranking could be as simple as having a quality website with the right keywords on it. But in a fairly short amount of time, the local search landscape has changed significantly.
The Current State of Local Search in 2015
There are several reasons that the local search landscape has transformed in just a matter of years. The first is because Google, Facebook and other large tech companies have made targeted efforts to bring small businesses online. By specifically focusing on creating an online presence for as many local businesses as possible, these efforts have noticeably increased search engine competition.
The second big change is Google made updates to their algorithm that specifically impacted local search results. This update, which took place in July 2014, is commonly referred to as Pigeon. According to Google, the purpose of this update was to make local search more closely resemble their traditional organic rankings. While that’s part of this change, what we noticed quite a while ago at Big Red SEO is there was a lot of spamming going on throughout local search results. So with their Pigeon update, Google wanted to algorithmically weed out fake businesses and improve the rankings of real businesses.
As with any major Google update, some businesses saw improvements, while others saw declines. Although plenty of businesses are still trying to deal with those changes, this update really drove home the fact that Google is going to continue relying on the basics of solid local SEO for the foreseeable future. Those basics include consistent NAP citations, a consistent content strategy, and proper on-page optimization.
Finally, the explosion in mobile usage has directly affected local search. Whether someone is out & about in Omaha or simply searching for a local business at home, there’s a good chance that they will be using a cellphone or tablet. Since these devices have smaller screens than desktops or even laptops, the number of visible results has decreased. This has made it vital for a site’s listing to be included in the group of Google Map results (commonly referred to as the Local 7-Pack) at the top of a search page. It’s also increased the importance of ensuring that results are properly optimized to take advantage of features like click to call when they appear in the Local 7-Pack.
Now that we’ve covered the most important things you need to know about the current state of local search, let’s take a look at the three biggest local SEO challenges businesses face, as well as how Big Red SEO can help your Omaha business rise to the top of relevant local searches:
Challenge #1: Not Enough Resources to Consistently Produce Content
Although the changes and updates Google makes may seem to come out of the blue, the best way to understand their thought process is to keep their top priority in mind. What Google cares about more than anything is providing the best experience to their users. As long as Google remains the best way to search online, their revenue and everything else will follow.
Since Google wants to deliver the best possible experience, they reward sites that do the same. And in Google’s eyes, sites that regularly publish new content that’s original offer a better experience than sites that only have a few pages of content. That view is why blogging is such a powerful strategy for SEO and online marketing in general.
While there’s a lot of value in consistent business blogging, most businesses quickly discover that they simply don’t have the time or resources to maintain a consistent publishing schedule. That roadblock is why Omaha businesses turn to us for help. Thanks to our team of professional writers, we can ensure that a business website consistently publishes great blog posts that are properly optimized for search engine rankings.
Challenge #2: Search Engine Visitors Not Staying on a Site for Long
In order to turn a visitor into a potential customer, people not only need to come to your website, but they also need to stay on it long enough to take action. That’s why it can be very frustrating to look at your Google Analytics data and discover that most visitors are only staying on your site for a few seconds.
The most common reason that visitors leave so quickly is because of web design problems. Those problems may show up on mobile devices or screens of all sizes. Fortunately, Big Red SEO can help remedy your web design woes. With one of our optimized design templates, you can ensure that your site looks great and is functional across all devices.
Challenge #3: Not Showing Up for Local Searches Despite Being An Established Business
Even though Google wants to display established businesses in their search results, the company isn’t psychic. That’s why it’s vital for businesses to be listed across all the major online directories. Not only does a business need a presence in each directory, but its name, address and phone number details need to be consistent.
Since many businesses are frustrated by their lack of local search visibility, we help by first doing a local SEO audit. Once we know where a business is listed and what issues they have in terms of listing consistency, we can begin building a fully optimized online presence that Google will take notice of and reward.
(402) 522-6468 is the Number to Call for Proven Local SEO Help
You’re already busy enough trying to run your business without adding the worry of local SEO to your plate. If you want to increase leads by improving your business’ visibility in Google’s local search results, Big Red SEO has the team and resources needed to make that happen. We’ll take the time to get to know your Omaha business and then develop and execute a highly effective SEO strategy. Call us today at (402) 522-6468 to talk more about your specific needs and how we can help with them.