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Local search stampOver the past several years, the Cazbah blog has featured a few posts regarding strategies to improve your website’s local visibility and sharpen your local SEO efforts. If you are not familiar with these posts, it may be time to reacquaint yourself (or better yet, talk to your Cazbah Internet Marketing Consultant), as local search engine optimization is becoming even more important.

It is well known that Google’s “Pigeon” update in 2014 included an algorithm change that improved their location and distance ranking framework, leading many to focus more on local SEO efforts. Over the next few years, those efforts are likely to become ever more poignant for a few reasons.

1.Google Loves Local
While Google greatly rewards big businesses with a strong, recognizable brand, their main goal is to give the searchers what they are looking for. The rising importance assigned to localized search is giving small local businesses some ground to stand on, and being recognized as the solution to many searchers.

Google’s track record of making free tools, like Webmaster Tools and Analytics, available to help business owners improve their online visibility, also shows their desire to enable small-business owners. Of course Google makes these tools free as part of a greater business model, but the fact that they are indeed free certainly indicates Google’s aim to empower small business in the online marketplace.

2. Increased Individualization
Search results are becoming more and more tailored to the individual, and less to a specified “target audience”. Your history of searches, geographic location, and social connections have been a part of Google’s search algorithm for a few years now, and will likely not be the last changes that increase individualization. The likelihood of this trend continuing will further increase the importance of Local SEO efforts.

An ideal user search experience is one where a single query results in the answer the searcher was looking for without having to search through a dozen different links (see Knowledge Graph). Google will have a better chance of satisfying this scenario if they are able to further individualize your search.

3. Maturation of Mobile/Wearable Tech Market
With the rise of mobile device use has come an inevitable growth of mobile searches. With Apple’s jump into the wearable tech market, this industry is bound to grow (It is hard to tell exactly how popular the Apple Watch and other wearable tech may become, but the industry is certainly projecting upward). As you might expect, the vast majority of these mobile searches are being done while on the go. Consequently, these location based searches will become more frequent and hyper-localized. Gains in mobile tech popularity will increase the need for better, more finite Local SEO work to be done.

4. Increased Competition
Believe it or not, there are still millions of new websites being created every year. With more businesses saturating the online marketplace, competition for visibility is only going to increase. Along with the established big name brands, the addition of the Knowledge Graph to the SERP (search engine results page) only has caused more competition. All of this competition will require small business owners to narrow their focus and target a more niche market. One of the most efficient and cost effective ways to achieve this is -you guessed right!- to optimize your site locally.

Speak with your internet marketing professional or Cazbah IMC today to make sure your site is optimized locally.

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