BrightLocal recently released the results of their 2016 Local Consumer Review Survey. The purpose of the annual survey, which BrightLocal first launched in 2010, is to evaluate how online reviews influence consumer behavior, and how these trends shift over time. This year’s survey had just over 1,000 participants, and consisted of 16 questions. The 2016 data further reinforces the growing importance of online reviews, and when compared to data from previous years, you can clearly see just how much online reviews have evolved over the past six years.
Google local packs have changed quite a bit over the years. First, Google cut down the local results from seven to three listings. Then in June, Google announced that they would start testing ads within the 3-packs, and earlier this month we’ve seen several instances of this happening in the wild. Now Google is shaking things up again, rolling out some major changes to their local reviews guidelines. In this post, I’ll explain what each guideline means, and how they impact local businesses.
Local SEO Guide, in conjunction with PlacesScout and the University of California Irvine, recently published their first-ever Local SEO Ranking Factors Guide. They looked at 100+ factors across over 30,000 different businesses to determine the top factors that correlate with higher local rankings on Google. To be honest, there are a few factors that I needed clarification on because of the way some were worded. I wrote this post help business owners and non-SEO types understand what each of these factors mean in layman’s terms.
I receive a ton of inquiries for multi-location SEO. Some are small, single location businesses looking to expand into new territory, while others are national franchises with over 50+ locations spread across the US. Over the years I’ve written several posts on multi-location SEO, but like most aspects of online marketing, the rules and best practices change over time. I won’t bore you with stats you’ve probably heard over and over again or platitudes about how important local SEO is for your business, because let’s face it: local SEO is no longer optional. Instead I’d like to offer some practical tips to help business owners future-proof their multi-location SEO strategy.
Google is always testing new ways to display information in search results to provide more value to the user. Back in August, Google started testing a new layout that removed the horizontal local carousel results. It now appears that Google has made this change permanent and officially removed the carousel-style results for restaurants, hotels and other local entities.