Your SEO efforts must be one that prepares you for the coming changes in local reviews, knowledge panels and mobile displays. Get the best local SEO services through our SEO company in San Francisco.
“COVID itself has changed the way that people interact with businesses online,” said Amanda Jordan, director of a local search at LOCOMOTIVE Agency, in her session at SMX Next, “which means that search engines, businesses and marketers had to pivot to meet those demands and needs.”
The scenarios and situations of 2020 have led to a change in how local businesses operate as well as Google’s search results. These shifts are intended to make the search easier for consumers, but many businesses have been caught unawares and have also lost visibility on Google.
Local marketers are helping clients adapt to changes in features such as their Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) and Google Maps based on the SERP updates. But the differences in these updates are not lost on local marketing professionals.
“Google, as always, is changing the layout and testing new things, so that’s not surprising,” said Jordan. “The thing that I found most interesting were the changes to reviews and the knowledge panel.”
In order for the local SEOs to navigate these developments, Jordan provided the following strategies. And to incorporate these, do get in touch with our SEO agency in San Jose, San Francisco.
Improve the quality of local reviews
“Google has grouped reviews together by topic,” said Jordan. “This is one of those updates that were mentioned in a timeline. You can see that there is a new badge for the new reviews.”
With this update, Google also seems to be reorganizing how it displays third-party reviews.
“Third-party reviews are going to continue to be important because those are being shown in the knowledge panel,” said Jordan. “They’re being shown in regular organic search results, so it’s important to know where you stand.”
Review topics, relevancy, sources, and recency each play a major role in how the local algorithm ranks them. Marketers, therefore, have to know where their clients stand in terms of each of these factors in order to facilitate the creation of quality reviews.
Edit your knowledge panels using on- and off-site sources
Google is revamping its local knowledge panel in many important ways as a part of shaping it into “its own entity, which includes lots of third-party data,” says Jordan. This means that much of your clients’ panel information will be coming from sources that you have no access to.
“While these things may seem out of our control, sometimes we can influence what Google uses,” Jordan said.
Here are some areas Jordan recommends marketers check if their panels contain inaccurate data from sources across the web:
– Site content
– Robot directives
– Google Business Profile completion
– Industry sites
– Third-party reviews
– Google reviews
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By making corrections to your data sources, you can test your knowledge panel appearances when possible. Even if the corrections might be small, Google can still find the new information if the changes are made in one of these key areas.
Prepare to adapt to mobile SERP changes
Business information is not the only thing that is changing in this local landscape. Mobile SERP layouts are also transforming as well. Though marketers know that this happens, SERPs have begun transforming them frequently and it’s not always for the better.
Jordan also highlighted an instance in which one of her clients’ local panels lost some important information: “We had a client that had their site links not showing up only on mobile only if you search from their city; anywhere else in the world everything was fine.”
Local SERP issues can be complicated to fix. Marketers can use insights from competitor analysis to decide the best course of action. In Jordan’s case, her team worked on updating their client’s local panel so that it would include each element the competitor used.
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It should be understood that Google often experiments with local results. This could result in temporary changes to how they display in the SERPs.
Moving forward with local SEO
“Google is going to continue focusing on online reputation and customer sentiment,” Jordan said, while she was pointing to what she believed marketers should expect from local SERPs going forward.
Getting the clients onboard with these areas of focus will help to future-proof their campaigns in the long run. Do get in touch with our SEO agency in the USA to have pro campaigns.
The changes to local SERPs, along with the rise in features that are focused on purchasing products and booking appointments, will need the marketers to become more adaptable. Businesses can rest assured they’ll be ready for what comes next if Google provides actionable data along the way.
Get in touch with our SEO experts in San Francisco to know how well you can adapt to Google’s local SEO changes.