With so much information around us at all times, people are becoming more specific about what they what and how they want it. Generic optimization methods that only take care of tags, headers and keywords are not enough. People are looking for results about specific regions, brands and times. It is a result of the evolution of geo-marketing over the last couple of years. Results are no longer local. The SERPs are hyperlocal, and that is what the search engine users want to see.
What are hyperlocal searches?
Hyperlocal is a search result that contains highly targeted geographic intent. The potential customers are looking for products and services in more precise geographic units. People are no longer happy with generic searches like “low-budget travel plans this summer.” They need something specific like “Panama travel plans summer 2018”. That is partially due to the flooding of the web with diverse material on any possible topic, but mostly it is due to the rise of mobile devices. As the majority of Google searches shifted from desktops and laptops to mobiles and tablets, it became essential for the users to look for content that had geo-markers. The purpose of these searches has a tremendous role to play in this shift.
How has hyperlocal shaped search trends in 2018?
When people use desktops and laptops for Google searches, they are possibly lazing at home or working at the office. They do not have the urgency to find hyperlocal information that will help them make a purchasing decision. When they use mobile devices, they are usually inside a store or near a business. Over 50% of the times, people who use mobile search engines to look for companies actually visit the store. More than 80% of potential shoppers confirm the address and location of an establishment they are visiting for the first time through mobile searches.
That can give us a clue as to how some businesses without reviews and testimonials manage to rank higher in certain Google SERPs compared to veteran brands. The design of the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) has changed in the last couple of months drastically, and upon searching for local business names, the most optimized ones end up in the Google Local 3-pack view. It is one of the most significant opportunities for the new start-ups to make their mark in the digital era. The proximity of the user to a business, the detailed location description, mention of landmarks and inclusion of other contact details are all ranking factors that Google considers before listing businesses. Earlier, it was enough to optimize on-page factors and off-site factors for SEO, but right now, a company has to work a little harder than before.
How can you capitalize your location for being more visible?
You must understand that proximity is not going to be enough reason for Google to rank your site higher than your immediate competition. You need to pay attention to keyword research, citation, reviews and link building just like you did yesterday. However, proximity, proper business listing, and location details are going to play essential roles in the determination of ranking as well. According to Google, there has been a 70% rise in the use of “near me” and “nearby” search terms since 2016. Over 94% of all smartphone owners look for local information, and 25% of them do so every 24-hour.
You should work with Panama SEO companies that can help you optimize your site and its content locally. For example – people are more likely to search for “pizza places open now near me,” “emergency plumbing services nearby,” “pharmacy location near me” or “cafes for chilling nearby.” There is a scope for a variety of businesses to cash in on this opportunity. The local factor drives the majority of the search intentions. People are always moving, and they are using their mobile phones on the go to look for shops, offices, pharmacies, restaurants, fast food places, libraries, departmental stores and other addresses.
How has the purpose and target of SEO changed over the years?
The change in the intention of the searcher has a distinct effect on the priorities of SEO. With the evolution of RankBrain, Google’s priority has distinctly shifted from keyword-centric search results to SERPs that can satisfy the users. Today, you will hardly come across a website on the first page of the SERP that has an annoying or complicated user interface (UI). The user experience (UX) is right now of paramount importance for all SEO strategies. No matter what amount you are spending on optimizing your website, you will still struggle to reach the first page unless you have a strong UX game.
It is not about gaming the algorithm anymore. It has not been so for quite a while now. Gradually, we are not only shifting to a world of White Hat SEO, but we are also making sure that the websites around us have the power to satisfy the user intent and deliver the correct information. Making it on the Google Local Pack is not easy when you think of it in a pan-country or pan-state perspective, but it might be easy for you to make it to the top by optimizing your business page for your block or your district.
What does your business SEO need right now?
A lot of SEO masters are grumbling about the new changes Google has ushered in, but for the new entrepreneurs, it can be a bright new chance to boost their business within the first-three ranks for hyperlocal searches. Google is converging the search possibilities of a company that serves a particular locality or a community exclusively. It might include your nearby cafe, the bookstore next door, the dine-in opposite to you or your store on the street corner. Hyperlocal SEO needs knowledge about the search trends, it needs monitoring of local citations and listings, it requires management of the Google My Business profiles, but one thing it does not need is a high SEO budget. With the right guidance, you can manipulate your old SEO strategies and modify your old content to meet the criteria of hyperlocal searches in 2018!
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