Find out more about local consumer behavior, the latest tools, and features for searching and industry research that will affect the 2022 plan you have in place.
It’s been an extremely fast-paced year that saw several innovations in digital marketing. And SEO for local businesses SEO was no different. As the demands of consumers for information have grown and regional markets have increased competition and more competitive, search engines have evolved to meet the needs of consumers.
Local businesses Local SEO professionals and their agencies now have new tools, more information, and access to them both.
Consumers? They’re getting more information they’re interested in by a more rich interactive, seamless, and engaging user experience for local searches.
Google And Changing Customer Buying Habits Disrupted Local Search
In the past year, a majority of our most popular local search updates originate coming from Google. However, it shouldn’t come as a shock.
Google quickly adapted to the changing consumer purchasing habits in the wake of the pandemic and is still the leading player in the marketplace.
- Google is currently enjoying a 92.4 percent market share of the global search engine market.
- Eighty-three percent of consumers in the local area use Google Search to find information on local businesses. Ninety percent will purchase within a week after their initial Google search.
- Google has facilitated the creation of 2 billion connections like reservations and reviews between US retailers and businesses every month through 2020.
- Searches for [available near me] have increased 100 percent in 2021. near me] searches increase by 200 percent in 2021. [all along my route] searches rose by 1000 percent in 2020.
With such numbers, businesses can’t neglect local SEO. Even capturing a small portion of these search results can be a game-changer for any company and can mean the comparision between life / death for struggling people.
That’s why you should be aware of the changes that will affect local Search through 2021 and alter your regional SEO strategy for 2022 in line with the changes. What do you have to know about 2021’s many modifications and updates?
1. Google Business Profile Made Local SEO More Convenient For Businesses
When Google changed its name to Google My Business under the name Google Business Profile Google Business Profile, its new name was accompanied by enhancements and new features.
The most significant aspect was that business owners don’t need to search through platforms or apps to correct or update their listings. You can edit or add contact information, including opening hours, contact information, images, and more on Google Search and Google Maps.
You can finish the verification process, and deal with problems like suspensions from Search and more, making it normal than ever to have an impressive presence in local results.
2. Google Made It Easier To Find And Catch Up On The Latest Local News
Based on the truth that the number of searches for “news near me”[news near me] grew by a third over five years around the world, Google added features to the local SERPs to help make local news easier to locate to create.
Google has launched two initiatives to assist journalists in enriching their stories by incorporating local data and details:
Census Mapper Project
Collect, analyze and visualize data gathered and handled through The Associated Press about a local region.
Common Knowledge Project
Explore charts, geographical comparisons, and visualizations to analyze state, county, and national data.
The search engine made local news easier to locate on the SERPs thanks to these updates:
- Local News Carousel Local news stories related to the user’s search query are now in the upper part of SERPs. This makes them easier to find while providing local publications and journalists more exposure.
- Carousel of Top Stories Local news from trusted sources is displayed alongside significant media, who once dominated this segment of the SERPs.
- Additional News In Search: Google has improved its ability to link news stories to broad topics.
- Local Twitters Local publications and journalists can be seen in local news via tweets rather than published stories. 3. Bing Added More Visual Elements And Rich Results
On March 20, 2021, Microsoft Bing rolled out five updates designed to provide local users with a better experience by enhancing the interaction of images to its results based on text.
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- Carousels that can be expanded allow users to access more information when hovering over a particular result.
- Information graphics results are now appealing to users using broad queries to dig into a subject.
- Highlights with intuitive features draw information such as ingredient lists, calorie counts, and nutritional information from a web page without visiting the website.
- Visual Search integration lets users visually look for similar items by using the button for visual Search combined.
Why are these issues important to local SEO experts? Bing included these same ideas in their local results.
Instead of an ordinary image carousel or text-based information, Microsoft Bing delivers a visually rich SERP optimized for local searches composed of relevant data collected by Bing Maps, top images review of visitors, other sources.
The changes led to a shift in the focus of locally-focused SEO effort on Bing more appealing. Innovative businesses can take over the local search market when they’re imaginative with the numerous local search options.
If you haven’t done so, enrich your site and listings with various media and contents, including user-generated content.
Don’t forget to utilize schema.
4. Everyone Gets New Attributes
It seems that Google continuously introduces new features and features, and it’s with the right reason.
Attributes can provide proactive solutions to searchers’ questions about a specific type of business and are prominently displayed in Google Business Profiles.
Why? Google is always trying to check the ways to make companies stand out and answer a query.
The women-owned or black-owned business attributes, For instance, can aid those looking to help businesses that have common value to make these connections.
In February 2021, Google introduced health-related, security, and pandemic-related attributes to Google business Profiles.
By incorporating these advantages, local businesses will be able to provide information on safety procedures and advertise new or changed services like curbside pickup or delivery that is not in contact with the customer and dining-in services.
Google added attributes for online appointments, estimates online classes, as well as digital health.
Messaging, call logging, and access to the latest information and insights from Google Search and Maps help keep customers engaged, allowing companies to track customer calls and answer missed calls.
All of them could be significant for a company. If you’ve not yet looked into the numerous new features made accessible in 2021, it ought to be one of the primary local SEO projects you tackle in the coming year.
5. Local Ecommerce Got A Boost With Pointy
By June 20, 50percent of US consumers said they would like to go online to find out whether an item was available before purchasing their Christmas gifts. But before that, searches that included the words “in stock” increased by 800%.
This implies adding your items to Your Google Business Profile and keeping your inventory current is highly beneficial. But, it’s an expensive feature that companies aren’t always able to afford because sales are increasing.
To make it simpler, Google announced Pointy integration.
This new feature is now available that is now available, those who are eligible US retailers can now have their stock of merchandise in their stores automatically uploaded to Google.
It’s updated each time you make a sale, ensuring that the inventory is currently on the internet, so people are always aware of what’s available.
6. The Mobile-First Indexing Rollout Is Still Rolling Out
Indexing mobile-first has been in the making since Google first declared it at the close of 2017.
Since then, there’s been a variety of extensions, stops, and starts, such as the delay of September 2020, in which Google announced it would delay indexing mobile-first until March 2021.
The cause of the problem? Google has listed several issues, such as robots’ meta tags lazy-loading, blocked resources primary information, images from mobile devices, and videos.
It’s wise not to fall by surprise. If you’re not providing an intuitive mobile experience, You must work up to speed.
Google’s statistics on Search inform us that 76 percent of users use their phones to search for nearby things in the day. Twenty-eight percent of them lead to the sale.
How can you be prepared?
The best recommendation for local business owners and marketers looking to get attention from local searchers on the go, according to Google, the best advice is to focus on making sure that mobile users have a pleasant experience.
7. New Free Local SEO Tools And Insights
SEO professionals and local businesses trying to stay on top of all the changes also got access to new, free tools.
A tool that was designed through the Local SEO Guide is the Local-Pack-O-Meter. It is a tool that SEO or business specialists can monitor data for ten different kinds of Google search options, such as local packs and knowledge panels, jobs, shopping, and advertisements, to mention just a few.
The software is based on data from approximately 60 million US queries that are provided through Traject Data. This means that it has a more notable number of samples and is more accurate than most US queries.
As far back as May 2020, those who use it can search through the data to discover fascinating trends and patterns that can guide their plans for the future.
Another fantastic resource published this year was a study paper by Milestone Inc, which analyzed 500 businesses located in different locations and their sessions and page views to determine better which channels brought in the most profits and the highest ROI.