Local Search is Competitive

Some years ago google used to show local businesses on first page with 5 to 7 results. Today local shops only have three spots and the first two are paid which makes harder to improve local rankings on google organic results. On the other side, there are several startups that have launched sites to address this problem and help SMBs to increase there online presence. Sites like Yelp have better reputation than Google to provide accurate local information and updated reviews.

 

Local : Pay to Stay

The price for local search advertisement goes higher as the amount of available places gets reduced. Although Google has  establish alliances with organizations to promote SMBs, at the end of the day Google is a business and needs to increase profits. It might be easier for local businesses to be online but they have to pay the price if they want to stay relevant on local search results.

 

Location is King

Google knows where you are and it will show results close to your area. In recent updates , the algorithm has been modified to provide narrower results and reach neighborhood level. This makes a search more helpful when trying to find a product or service close to an area. Neighborhoods close to big cities have been benefited from this update as now they are able to appear when people search on those near cities.

 

Mobile First

When doing a search on a mobile device the location is even more important. You might be at the door of the business  you are looking for and that is critical for google to provide good results. Additionally, more searches are coming from mobiles than desktops and this trend will continue. The GPS on mobile devices helps to provide a better experience when looking for a local business.

 

Reputation is Critical

Although online reviews have lost their previous reputation with an avalanche of fake reviews and paid comments, they  still have influence. Reputation matters offline and online, period. Businesses  should always keep an eye on their online reviews and act quickly if there is something that needs to be addressed.