How to use local marketing trends for SEO in 2018

The best way to expand the audience for your business website is through improving your organic search results. To do that, it’s imperative that you pay attention to the local marketing trends, as your audience will be able to find you more easily. Micro moments, AMP pages, and voice search expand audiences pave the way for increased revenues.

So let’s take a look at how you can capitalise on the local marketing trends for SEO.

Micro Moments

What exactly is a micro moment?

According to Google, they might just be one of the most important factors in driving customers to your site.

Basically, a micro moment is when a prospective reader or customer uses their smartphone or computer to search for something. These are usually categorised as “I want” moments, such as:

  • “I want to know”
  • “I want to do”
  • “I want to go”
  • “I want to buy”

micro moments google seo 
Source: Search Engine Land

91% of people generally turn to their smartphones when searching for these kinds of things. 65% of people are looking for the most relevant content to their query, no matter the source.

So, how can you optimise these micro moments?

First, consider how Google favours webpages and places them in SERPs. They tend to rank pages that provide their visitors with as many detailed answers as possible with a minimum of clicks. Keeping your content simple and to-the-point as well as keeping your answers available in one blog post will help in this endeavour. Creating helpful FAQs and “how to” or “DIY” tutorials can also help in this respect.

Voice Search

Gone are the days where you actually have to type in your search terms. Amazon Echo, Google Home devices, Siri, Google voice search, and Microsoft Cortana have made voice searches a powerful tool.

And people are utilising these features regularly, too.

In fact, more and more users are conducting searches through voice rather than typing on the screen. However, users have become used to typing as few words as possible in a search bar. Voice searches though, tend to be more conversational, making phrases longer, and accordingly, search engine optimisation is important for these keywords.

So, how do you optimise for voice searches?

One piece of advice is to think conversationally.

If you have a business, note the kinds of questions your customers ask over the phone or in chat. Then, optimise your content for these kinds of searches with the statements and questions you’ve gathered.

Another area to keep in mind is that voice searches tend to be more specific than typed keyword searches. Instead of searching simply for a recipe for vegan lasagna, voice searches tend to want a recipe for vegan lasagna cooked in a crock pot, as an example.

Offering quick, succinct answers to these questions will help to optimise your blog for these searches.

Proximity as Ranking Factor

If your blog is the online face of your business, the number one factor in ranking on Google will be your proximity to the searcher. This ties in with micro moments. A number of these searches will be performed on smartphones and many of these are while the user is out and about. When they search, Google tends to rank their listings by which is closest to the customer. If there are few results nearby for a user’s query, Google will pull matches from a further distance.

Reviews

While proximity may be a major factor when it comes to local searches, one should not discount reviews.

In fact, when it comes to organic local listings, reviews are the more important ranking factor.

how-reviews-boost-seo-google
Source: Yotpo.com

 

Reviews are important because they provide social proof that your product is good. 88% of customers will read reviews to determine the quality of a local business or the product they are looking to buy.

While Google Reviews gets a big slice of the pie, Google does utilise reviews from other sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor, so these cannot be discounted as irrelevant.

In fact, having reviews that match up on other sites as well as Google, only improves your ranking.

Mobile First Index

We’ve already established that a great majority of searches are coming from a mobile device. Thus, optimising for mobile searches is a must if you want to increase your SERP ranking and traffic.

Websites that are optimised for mobile access will go a long way towards raising your site visibility and user visits. Mobile searches are so important that Google is going “mobile first.”

What does this mean?

In a nutshell, it does not mean that Google will begin ranking websites that are mobile-friendly higher than sites that are not optimised for mobile devices.

What it does mean is that if you have both a mobile and desktop-friendly site and your mobile site has less content than your desktop site, your mobile site will be considered your primary site. This can impact both your customers and readers’ impression of your blog or your brand.

The takeaway here is that you will need to optimise your content to be available and easily accessible for mobile devices, even if you do so on a separate site.

AMP Pages

Tying in with the mobile trend, we have Accelerated Mobile Pages, known as AMP.

AMP is coding that allows a site to load quickly on a mobile device, which can be clunky, with slow response times. AMP will affect SEO in two ways:

  1. Ranking
  2. “Fast” designation on SERPs

Think of it like this: since many searches are now conducted on mobile devices and many of those searches are not connected to a wifi access, they are using data. Depending on where a person is and their plan, it can either be blazing fast or agonizingly slow.

The sites that are thought to benefit the most from AMP are sites that produce actual content, ie: blogs, news, and update sections of sites.

AMP Google page speed faster is better - tech crunch
Source: TechCrunch

By installing the AMP Wordpress Plugin to your site, activating it and updating your htaccessfile using a program such as Filezilla, you can optimise your Wordpress site for AMP.

Whether selling your product or or simply offering your thoughts on current events, your business blog is an important part of reaching your customers and audience. Knowing how to optimize your site is necessary to obtaining the ranking, reviews, visitors, and customers you want.