Companies and websites across the Internet experienced upheaval in their traffic stats with Google’s latest update, Pigeon. Thankfully, not all local SEO efforts need to be changed.
How To Find Out What Google Thinks of You
Improve Your Local Ranking in Four Easy Steps
- Google your business
- See what Google considers your “local” area
- Determine what search term you’re already ranking for
- Work on rising up in those areas: locality and specific search term
If you haven’t already set up a Google My Business account, do it. (https://www.google.com/business/) This will help increase your local SEO strategy. I would recommend you claim all your local business listings. Citations are an important aspect of your local SEO strategy.
Google’s Pigeon update returns narrower search results, both in terms of location and services for users. While you may prefer to rank for a broader term, specializing in a niche is the best way to grow a consistent customer base in real life, so it makes sense that it’ll work better on the web as well. Create a niche for your business in online search, and you’ll do well!
While Pigeon’s primary developmental power is its ability to significantly reduce spammy websites from achieving higher rankings, the algorithm isn’t perfect. If your strategy revolves primarily around overusing keywords and tags, well, stop! Not sure if it’s spam?
Spammy Websites Characteristics
- Very little content and a heavy keyword ratio
- Hard to navigate and ad-heavy
- Not really a business in your local area, even though they are returned in search results
Personally browse your site and check all of your pages and posts for signs of spam. That, or ask your grandma to do it. If your grandma can’t find her way around your site, or can’t find the information you want her to be able to find, then your website and SEO strategy probably needs a revamp.
There are many ways to report a spammy business or website. On Google Maps, you can click on a business and click on a “report” link. If you’re on Google+, you can find the site’s Google Plus Page and write a report. Finally, you can always report sites on the Google and Your Business forums.
Trust Organic Growth with Local SEO
If you really want to succeed in local SEO, there are really only two things to do: produce useful content and ask your neighbors to check it out. It’s slow, it’s messy, but it’s what Pigeon is geared towards.
Pigeon Checks Your Website For These Characteristics
- Keyword heavy content
- Thick or thin website content
- Under or Overuse of links to your website
- Active and engaged viewers on the website
Don’t pour all of your energy into perfecting your local SEO strategy, but definitely pay attention to it. Your primary focus needs to be on being a business that exceeds in meeting your customer’s expectations. In the end, a website is just another way to prove your value to your customers.