Local Search Ain’t What It Used To Be

Remember the good old days of local search? That crazy time from 2008 – 2012. We do.

We were doing SEO in the New York locksmith industry back then. Talk about the wild wild west of local search. Wow.

If you didn’t know, the New York locksmith industry is dominated by Israelis. If you didn’t know, an Israeli firm helped the FBI crack the iPhone of gunman Syed Farook. If you didn’t know Israeli tech is no joke.

Imagine doing local SEO against these opponents. Imagine beating the competition that should be beating you. Imagine listening to the phone ringing off the hook to the tune of $30,000 a month in cash flow directly from local search. Times were good then.

Today local search is changing. 

All you had to do back in the day was stuff your Google listing with keywords, get some citations and add reviews and voila! Top three rankings all day long.

But nooooowwww….you have to “feed” Google with structured data in the form of feeds, mind read artificial intelligence, compete with apps trying to knock off Google, understand semantics, consider voice, take into account location detection, and remember Google is beginning to monetize local through ads. Ads mean the big boys can squeeze out the small business (you) with money and analytics. There are a lot of things to consider in doing local search engine optimization now a days. Local search ain’t what it used to be.

What does a business owner have to do to get some search engine love?

With all of this uncertainty and cash flow at stake, what is a local business supposed to do to stay competitive? Here are the search engine success basics as it stands today.

  • Tell Google who you are and be clear about it.
  • Get some reviews.
  • Feed Google some structured data.
  • Build your citations.
  • Fill your website with fresh content.
  • Drive traffic to your website.

Straight up, if you focus on these things over time you will win at local search engine optimization. Because you’re a winner, you’ll see an increase in potential new business. Ask yourself this question now. Do you want to do local search engine optimization yourself or do you want to work with a firm that does this everyday and has since 2003?