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.
In late July, Google released an unnamed update that heavily impacted local search results. Since Google didn’t give this update an official name, or reveal what percentage of English search queries were impacted, the folks at Search Engine Land started referring to it as the “Pigeon” update. According to Google, Pigeon allows local search to utilize many of the same core ranking factors that traditional web search uses.