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By constantly adapting to better serve consumer needs, search engines introduce new hurdles that businesses must overcome to optimize their websites for local search. Though it’s impossible to predict exactly how SEO will evolve in the coming years, we can expect new trends to continue to emerge and impact the world of local search.

Emerging Local SEO Trends

Emerging Local SEO Trends

There are a number of local search trends that will progress over the next few years. Here are some of the most important developments we’re witnessing in local SEO.

Search engines are becoming more human-like, especially now that Google’s RankBrain is active.

Local search results will become more competitive. The importance of local results will place more pressure on businesses fighting for the top spot.

Local search is getting more targeted. Search results are increasingly influenced by geolocation and a consumer’s proximity to local businesses.

Mobile optimization. Consumers want websites that are easy to navigate on any device.

Google’s mobile index will become the primary index for search results.

Voice search is gaining prominence. As voice search becomes more accurate and smartwatches become ubiquitous, businesses will need to adjust their strategy to account for how speech patterns differ from typed searches. This includes taking into consideration longer titles for blog posts, as well as the use of semantic keywords. It is also important for businesses to realize that voice search will yield only the best result, which means if they don’t rank on the first position for voice search, the business will have a very hard time getting found online.

Micro-moments and content. As Google Marketing VP Lisa Gevelber puts it: “Being there is the first half of the equation—equally important is being useful.” Search engine algorithms detect the quality of content, so avoid filler. To capitalize on micro-moments, publish regularly and keep the site updated.

Neural algorithm and artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence is changing the way SEO works. Search engines are getting smarter thanks to the neural algorithm, which is constantly learning from user interactions. Now, more than ever, content needs to be accurate to the business’ brand because Google will be able to tell otherwise.




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About the Contributors

Bernadette Coleman

Bernadette Coleman

Chief Executive Officer

Known as the Queen of Local SEO, you can find her speaking nationally on local SEO and search strategies.

Lissa Dutty

Lissa Duty

Branding & Digital Marketing Strategist

Owner of Rocks Digital, a digital marketing agency, she is passionate about all things digital, especially websites and local SEO campaigns.

Bill Hartzer

Bill Hartzer

SEO Consultant

Known worldwide for his research on search engine optimization and the new gTLD domain names.

Justin Liles

Justin Liles

Chief Product Officer

Manages a team of 100+ and has overseen the submission of more than 4 million business listings.