Remember a few years ago when Google announced a radical SEO change for local searches? The search engine promised to develop coding that would automatically detect the location from where you perform searches. Well, Google has succeeded in eliminating the need for you add geo-targeted words to searches. For example, if you live in Collinsville, IL and type “Mexican Restaurants” into Google’s search engine, you end up with a page full of Mexican restaurants that operate in or near Collinsville.

Google has not made any earth-shattering prediction for local SEO during 2017. However, we discovered four local SEO trends for 2017 and beyond that small business owners must know. Vinnie Mac stresses the importance of being on the right side of technology and lists goals to keep in mind for small businesses as they move toward the future.

Going Mobile

During 2015, consumers made more online searches using mobile devices than the searched performed on desktops. Two years later, mobile marketing rules local SEO. Google has announced the introduction of its mobile index, which allows Google search engine crawlers to examine content uploaded to mobile devices. This means two things for small business operators moving forward. First, you must upload mobile responsive web pages. Second, your local SEO content must target consumers on the go that have little or no time to make buying decisions.

Video Killed the Radio Star

The cheesy 1980s tune has some relevance in 2017 for local SEO. Instead of killing the radio star, video has zoomed past other types of digital marketing in terms of importance. This is especially true for small businesses that need to connect with customer prospects. The powers that be at Facebook have said video will surpass typed words as the primary type of online content. With that in mind, small business operators must create and upload videos to enhance local SEO. As new technologies such as Vine and Snapchat emerge, video should grow even more powerful as a local SEO content delivery strategy.

The Rise of Schema

Schema represents one of the most recent technologies that improve local SEO searches. The code created by schema markup helps search engines especially Google-return more detailed results that prompt consumers to take action. If you ever heard about or worked with rich snippets, then schema code should sound familiar. Even if you do not understand how to add schema markup to boost local SEO, a digital marketer can quickly get your business noticed by the major search engines.

Voice Search is Not Some Star Trek Fad

A recent study demonstrates that a growing number of consumers prefer to use voice search tools, instead of typing in search engine keywords. With the increase in mobile device usage, most consumers will want a voice search tool for speed and convenience. Think about the hassle of pulling off a road to type in keywords that present florist options in a town you have never visited. Rapidly advancing technologies should perfect what now is a technology in the infant stages of development.

Eventually, local searches should dominate the algorithms implemented by the three main search engine giants. Small businesses need to develop local SEO strategies that involve targeting mobile devices, uploading videos for content, and adding code that makes it easy for the search engines to notice your business online.

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