Local search engine optimization isn’t just about local mom-and-pop shops anymore. Any business that isn’t taking advantage of local SEO’s benefits is moving itself behind the 8-ball of local business.
Since Google’s Gary Illyes-named “Fred” update in March 2017, the importance of local inbound marketing and SEO has grown. These moves are savvy, because local SEO has risen YOY in importance, but the ride isn’t over yet. Over the next few years, I anticipate that local SEO and moreover L2L linking will become even more impactful and more useful for local businesses, particularly in the tourism industry.
Let me tell you why…
Google loves local businesses.
Over the years, Google has shown slight favoritism toward newer, smaller, more agile companies. While most of its ranking biases have to do with a brand’s history and authority, Google also wants to give the people what they want — and that often means showcasing local, more popular brands.
It also has to do with enabling small-business owners and local destination sites, who have limited access to resources, more potential in breaking new ground.
Google has a long history of providing free tools — such as Analytics, Webmaster Tools and so on — to local business owners for the sole purpose of helping them increase their online visibility. Because Google cares about (dare I say “loves”) local businesses, you can expect Fred to be only the beginning of its locally-focused updates.