LOCAL SEO 2020: THE MAIN CRITERIA ACCORDING TO DIGITAL AGE
Local SEO: What factors will weigh the most in local SEO in 2020? The Mr. Kamran, the CEO and SEO expert of Digital Age did some research on internet and compiled the results. Here are the results.
What are the criteria that allow a place to shine in Google results? When a user enters a request with a local intention (like "restaurant in Lahore" but also "restaurant" in short) Google makes go up what specialists call a "local pack", a block surmounted by a card and comprising 3 cards previously filled in the dedicated space called Google My Business. But how to be present in this local pack and get better appearance there at the top?
This is what we wanted to know by surveying professionals registered in the directory of SEO and experienced in local SEO by conducting a study hitherto unprecedented in Pakistan. This is a study conducted by a digital marketing agency who asked many SEO experts to rate from 0 to 5 the importance of a series of positive and negative criteria. 70 of them took part in the game which helped us to develop these criteria, the ranking of which is shown below (the averages have been reduced to 100 for more readability, and details on the methodology are given at the bottom of the article).
Local SEO - The Best Practices
Local SEO - The Bad Practices
Several pillars of local SEO emerge quite clearly from this study. Confirmation of the location by the owner is the most significant positive criterion (89/100), and its importance is almost unanimous (93% of the respondents gave a score close to the final average). "It comes down to filling out a Google My Business listing, which is the basis of local SEO," comments Mr. Kamran.
Ensuring the consistency of information concerning the company (Name / First name / Address) is also a point that requires priority attention, according to the majority of respondents. This information appears on the Google My Business page, on the landing page indicated in this page, but also elsewhere on the web ( local or specialized directories, etc.). If this information is not identical from one site to another, local SEO specialists believe that this can have negative consequences on SEO. It is both a positive criterion when consistency is assured, but also a negative criterion when it is not.
Google Began To Monitor Google My Business Listings More Closely
The third lever that the study invites to activate concerns the keywords written alongside the name of the company in the Google My Business page. For example, if the Pizzeria is called "Fat Pizza", the study suggests that the company name should be "Pizzeria Fat Pizza", not just " Pizzeria". But beware: "it is better to respect the rules laid down by the engine, there are limits not to be crossed", warns Mr. Kamran. "Recently, Google began to monitor the files more closely. Even if that can be tempting, it is better to avoid abusing the keywords by writing as name 'Pizza Lust: Pizza, Pizzeria, Pizza Junction' etc.in the file ".
The Weight Of Reviews And Social Networks
Two other criteria draw attention. The first concerns notices. Even if they do not rank among the 5 most important positive criteria, they should not be overlooked. "It's not only for SEO, because having opinions is also having visibility on other sites, and it's always good to take," advises Mr. Kamran. And according to him, it is not the quality that counts but the quantity. However, not all SEOs surveyed converge on this point, since the average rating given to the quality of reviews (76/100) is higher than that of their quantity (70/100).
As for social networks, their importance also divides. Overall, this criterion is poorly rated (only 36 points). But the percentage of close responses is very low. "This is proof that the question divides," says Mr. Kamran.
The risk of this kind of survey is that it only reflects rumors. To try to avoid it as much as possible, specialists were asked to base their answers on their experiences and not on what they could read or hear. They were asked to tick an "I prefer not to answer" box when they felt that it was mainly the rumor that prompted them to respond.
Be careful, you have to take this study for what it is: these are the most important criteria in the eyes of professionals, but it may not be those which are in the eyes of Google… Furthermore, professionals could more or less agree on the importance of certain criteria. This is why the percentage of close responses is associated with the weights of each of the criteria under the heading "Confidence index".