Another year is beginning, but this is always a good time to reflect on the previous 12 months we have enjoyed.
As ever in the world of online marketing and local search, there have been changes in the way that search engines such as Google and Bing rank your website.
It is important to keep on top of these changes, as they can have big effects on the way your website performs, which can impact your conversions from browsers to customers, and ultimately it affects your bottom line.
Search engines are so much smarter now than they were. There was a time when exact matches on keywords meant exactly that, but now Google takes into account close variants of certain words, which gives you greater flexibility to be creative on your website.
Marketers can also specifically target an audience demographic now on the likes of Facebook, with Google and Bing showing trends towards going down this line. This means you can dovetail your content and website to match that which you think your audience demographic will like and apply it to them directly.
The importance of mobile
Last year, one third of all searches were local, and on mobile. The importance of your website on mobile devices is becoming more critical than ever. It is also increasingly integral to make sure that your listings information is correct so that people can find you. It isn’t just a matter of you waiting for customers to come to you, you need to reach out to them online and bring them in.
The importance of keeping your existing URL also seems to be increasing, with Google now making a note of your historical Quality Score over the years. It means that brand new URLs could have an impact on your business, rather than building a new website or making changes to your existing URL.
Voice search is also likely to only increase given devices such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. This means the way that people search is changing, and the keywords that will help you get found may be different if those words are spoken, rather than typed into a desktop computer or mobile.
It has been an exciting 2017, and 2018 promises to be just as big a year of change.