Local SEO: Searcher Proximity and how it affects your local business

Local SEO: Searcher Proximity and how it affects your local business

 

We’re keeping it fresh at Creative Two to keep you updated with all sorts of awesome SEO topics and today I have a really interesting one for you. Have you noticed that when you search on google for a local service it seems to be showing businesses that have no website, no reviews nor a google+ page? No ranking whatsoever! Well that’s what we’re all calling Google’s proximity implementation that has been going on for several months in the past.

So what the heck is going on?

Google is getting more serious about providing the best results to it’s visitors when they are on their mobile devices searching for a local business. With the recent google search engine update back in September 2016 named “possum”  it seemed to have really sky rocket this proximity factor. What does this mean exactly? When you search on your mobile device google picks up your exact location and shows results based on proximity (what is near to you). This is why all these other businesses with no ranking are popping up within the local pack. Darin Shaw at Moz is saying that “For most local searches these days, proximity appears to be weighted more than links, website content, citations, and reviews in the local pack rankings.”

To be honest this is a good thing for people searching and even for local businesses but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a website, reviews and a google+ page. Why? Well because human beings still want to see your website, reviews and google+ page to make their final decision. If the other 2-3 competitors have ranking factors and you don’t, guess what? Yes, you lost a potential customer/client to your competitor. It’s just getting more competitive when it comes to Local SEO. Remember, all these things work together to create more traffic and conversions for your business.

Bet you are wondering if this might work on desktops and the answer to that is, yes! But it’s not as exact as your mobile device. Google makes “proximate guesses”. Moz wrote an awesome article and tested this all out and we suggest you go over and read that for yourself. They even set up a great slideshare with their research.

By the way do not get angry if you have an SEO service going on and you see your business not appearing in the local packs because imma say it, “Google did it!” When google implemented this local pack update it literally bumped you off to some extent because now you might not show up if the person searching is not located within your radius. Now what? Work harder at your local organic optimization, look beyond the local pack unless you want to pay google lots of money for advertisement within the “more places” local pack page. Yes, Google is selling ads in this section now….makes you wonder hu?

Have you noticed this update at all? What do you think about this update that has slowly been happening over the last months? Leave your comments below, we would love to hear from you.

 

 

Sources:

Moz | Proximity to searcher is new top local search ranking factor – http://bit.ly/2q4ezUz

Search Engine Land | Everything you need to know about googles possum algorithm update – http://selnd.com/2pa9EED

Article Author

Victoria Islas – Founder of Creative Two / Omni Online Marketer & Designer

She is inbound marketing certified, loves creating amazing projects for her clients and enjoys reading a great book on marketing or music. On other days, she is spending time with her kettlebells and playing guitar.

SEO: Why you should care about Sitemaps

SEO: Why you should care about Sitemaps

The types of sitemaps

I am going to keep the nerdy talk to a minimum and make all of this easy to understand for you. There are two sitemap types: HTML and XML. The HTML version is great for your visitors and the XML version is specifically for website crawlers like Googlebot. Can you guess which is better?  BOTH. Now let’s read on why I recommend you have both on your website.

XML Sitemaps

An XML sitemap is XML-encoded and this language is super delicious for web crawlers. If Googlebot visits your website and you happen to have an XML sitemap it looks at is as a lovely open feed invitation to index your website.

XML Sitemap CONS

Now like everything else I never said it was perfect! XML sitemaps do have cons like:

  • They only suggest links to search engines for indexing and there are no guarantees as you can read here on this google article because of their complex algorithms.  BUT if it’s not indexed it will most likely be considered and noted for another time. This is still a great improvement for SEO than to just rely on regular old links so don’t think it’s a waste of time!
  • The links within an XML sitemap do not pass link authority like an HTML link could.

 

Sitemaps-LocalSEO-YumaAZ

 

HTML Sitemaps

Like I said HTML sitemaps are still highly recommended. They are made specifically for your visitors to navigate and find what they need on your website NOT for search engine crawlers BUT they are still great to have for SEO. Think of them like a second structural menu of your website.

 

Tiny reasons why I still recommend HTML sitemaps:

  • They are a great helper if your website has UX problems or in non-nerdy terms, accessibility problems. This allows users to have another place to search your website.
  • If you see high traffic on this sitemap then it could be an indication of UX problems.
  • It makes your website links more reachable to your visitors (something google loves).
  • If you get lucky, a backlink to your HTML sitemap page can get google to crawl all your website links in one shot.
  • Lastly, a site with more indexed content will do much better overall.

 

HTML sitemap CONS

  • It’s not the most valuable of sitemaps for the crawlers. The rank factor is low BUT at the same time, they can still be indexed.
  • HTML sitemaps don’t speak to search engine crawlers like XML sitemaps do.

Overall, I see a lot of use for both sitemap types and recommend you use both for better SEO and even better UX.  They both offer search engine crawlers your content and each provides something different. I do see a lot of talk about HTML sitemaps not being very important but I do see some potential for both depending on the scenario. I hope this was helpful and I will leave you with links to websites that can help you with your sitemaps below.

 

Some great links to check out:

Article Author

Victoria Islas – Founder of Creative Two / Omni Online Marketer & Designer

She is inbound marketing certified, loves creating amazing projects for her clients and enjoys reading a great book on marketing or music. On other days, she is spending time with her kettlebells and playing guitar.