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Google Continues Their Increased Focus on Mobile Users with Newly Updated Local SEO Ranking Factors

Posted by Brandon Martinez on Jan 18, 2017 5:43:19 PM
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It's a mobile world and Google is leading the way in catering to their mobile users. Similar to the way businesses continue to focus on improving customer experience, Google has committed to enhancing its users experience. Constantly working to make their search tools even more powerful and user friendly-specifically for mobile devices-has been a core goal behind many of Google’s recent updates. As google continues to prioritize mobile friendly sites, it is important to be aware of just how crucial having a responsive website is, and how these mobile-friendly updates will affect your local search rankings. The only way to know where your locations rank is using a reliable and accurate Local SEO Rank Tracker.

Google Improves Local Search Experience: 

Lately, Google has been putting a huge focus on business ratings and reviews. One of their latest updates has been a test with a new format for their local search results. Whether you are searching for a business category or a specific business, the new format anticipates user needs and generates results based off of user intent.

After opening a specific result from your local search, all you need to do is scroll past the business information (address, hours, phone number) and beneath the store ratings and reviews you can now find Google’s recommended carousels containing search results from similar queries.

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After searching for and selecting Jiffy Lube, Google returned Carousel Results with local competitors for Oil Change Services & Auto Repair Shops

This recent update is giving businesses the opportunity to appear in all of their local competitors search results. The only catch is that in order to appear in the carousels, your business needs to be one of the highest rated and reviewed businesses in the category. (Quick Tip: Want to increase your ratings and get more positive reviews? We can make that happen with Review Builder, check it out here)

Google knows how important ratings and reviews are to users when making a decision on which product or service to purchase, 90% of consumers will read online reviews before visiting a business. This new format for their local search results is making the comparison war even more competitive. Allowing consumers to compare ratings and reviews side by side places a big emphasis on higher rated businesses.                                

Faster Mobile Pages Increases Rankings:

In April, 2015 Google released a major mobile-friendly update to their ranking algorithm-referred to as Mobilegeddon-that sent the internet into a frenzy. This was the start of Google’s shift to becoming more mobile focused, making it easier for users to get relevant, high quality search results optimized for their devices.

Now, Google is taking their stance towards mobile-friendly sites one step further. Google's Gary Illyes has confirmed that mobile page speed will now be taken into consideration when ranking search results. Having a mobile-friendly site with an appealing content placement and site design is no longer enough. This new update will force businesses to ensure that their site is highly responsive and performs well across all verticals. Including page speed into their ranking algorithm, means Google will be taking a serious step towards improving customer experience by rewarding businesses for having the fastest and most user friendly sites.

Google has been very transparent about their mobile-friendly updates and has even given businesses the tools to test their mobile-friendliness and page speeds for mobile devices. These tools further explain exact recommendations for increasing page speed and making your web page more mobile-friendly.

Mobile-Friendly Test: 

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Page Speed Insights: 

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Summary:

As the majority of local searches are now occurring from mobile enabled devices, it is no surprise that Google has taken notice to user needs. With all of the changes and updates related to higher search rankings for mobile optimized sites, Mobilegeddon has truly come to fruition.

There is no doubt that ratings and reviews are becoming a focus for Google’s local search results and we can only expect this trend to continue. Google is doing everything it can to get higher rated businesses in front of its users. You better believe your competitors will be doing everything they can to make sure they have the best ratings. Having the right tools in place is a great way to help you stay ahead of your competition and stay top of mind with your consumers.

With the constant updates and changes happening around the internet, it can be tough to keep up with the ever changing world of Local SEO. Do you have the best Local SEO strategy? Is your website optimized for mobile devices? Curious to see where you can improve? Talk to a specialist for free at Chatmeter today!

Topics: Google, Local SEO, Mobile

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