RevBuilders wants online brands to know that Google local pack tests only make local SEO more important.
Search Engine Land and other SEO media outlets are reporting what appears to be a limited test by Google to add information to the local pack results that come up when mobile and other users search for companies. The additional element lets the user know whether the keyword they entered is, in fact, on the business’s page.
Local search results in Google display on both mobile devices and desktops, and they can be very accurate if users have enabled location-based tracking. The goal of the local results is to present users with businesses that are nearby; if a mobile user types “shoe repair shops,” they’ll get general Google results for that key phrase, but they’ll also be served a list of local businesses. The listings typically include the business name, the customer rating, the location and an image.
The limited test from Google is adding a line that says, “Their website mentions (a version of the keyword).” In the case of the shoe repair shop example, the listing would tell users whether a site mentioned “shoe repair.”
Google hasn’t said much about this new development, and users in most areas won’t see the results of this test. The test does, however, let brands know that Google is aware of whether or not keywords are on business pages and that the search engine knows this information might be of some value to users.
If the test launches at a larger scale or if Google eventually makes this change permanent across all search listings, it could have some major consequences for brands. Users may begin to factor that information in when deciding on which site to visit or what local company to call — having the search phrase on a site makes it more likely that the business is what the person is looking for.
What does this mean for SEO? According to the digital marketing company RevBuilders, it’s just another factor that points to the continued need for strong keyword research and placement. It’s true that keywords aren’t the kings they were 10 years ago, but until users convert to a non-language form of finding and ingesting information, key phrases are likely to play a role in search results and reader decisions. By working with SEO professionals to conduct comprehensive keyword research and site analytics, brands can continue to increase the chances of being found online by local users.
Name: Scot Small
Organization: RevBuilders Marketing
Address: 170 W. Shirley Ave, Suite 203, Warrenton VA 20186