How Google’s Latest Updates Will Impact Local SEO
by Mark Thomas
This is a clear indication from Google on the importance of properly marking up your website. Both Google and Bing have been defending markup for years, and it’s a trusted way to safeguard search engines see all of your noticeable content in ways that allow it to be used in rich results.
Enhance Your Appearance on Google with Structured Data Markup
The value of being able to appear in these rich results is understandable, but there’s even more. The newest calculation of value comes in the form of having your content transformed into an action for use in voice search scenarios.
According to Google “By structuring your content rendering to the guide, your content may be automatically twisted into an action on the Google Assistant. You can learn more about Content on the Actions on Google Docs.” Working with structured data to mark up your content has always been an opportunity, and now we’re seeing those chances expand.
Google Releases a Rich Results Test
Google has released a Rich Results Test and is now formally calling results “Rich Results,” when they are marked up and served alongside, or in place of, regular organic results. Similar to the Google Structured Data Testing Tool, the Rich Results Test, tests to see if your content is properly marked up for Google’s Rich Results. As of this writing, the test only works for the next content categories: Job Posting, Recipe, Course, and Movie. While this is an incomplete subset, you can expect growth across other verticals to follow, and it is yet another example of proof that proper Schema markup is extremely important to Google.
Store Locator Pages are Necessary
For multi-location businesses, Google has noted that in order to bulk approving locations (greater than 10) in Google My Business, a precise store locator page is essential. Separate Postcard Verification for each location can be a sore, time-consuming implementation, though is still possible. If you have 10+ locations, are not bulk verified, and do not have a precise store locator page, we have solutions that can help — Pages and Store Locator. These are not the only answers, but what’s important is that you take benefit of services that can streamline your workflow and minimalize errors.
Page Speed is a Ranking Factor
While not a surprise to anyone following search in the last few years, Google has formally announced that page speed is/will be a ranking factor, and feedback collected from consumers explains why this is such an important area of focus for the engines:
Another report of customer data found that roughly 50% of mobile users state that page load speed affects their loyalty to a site.
Google is Storing Your Data for Longer
In terms of data distribution, Google is updating Google Search Console (GSC) to upsurge the time data is stored from 90 days to 16 months. This has been the main issue and a big appeal from the search marketing community. It’s very difficult to view tendencies unless you have a year or more of data. Before, you were left on your own to collect data and create your own reports if you wanted a long-term sight.
While you should still create dedicated views of data that matter to your commerce, this makes it a lot easier for day-to-day efforts. This is a very big investment for Google, as the volume of data it has to maintain now adds a considerable cost to a program that is not a revenue-producing product. In addition to the extended time range for data, the new GSC now includes reporting on Search Performance, Index Coverage, AMP status, and Job Posting data.
To succeed nowadays, you need speed, accuracy, and trusted data that’s marked up — and a laser focus on customer engagement. Progressively, that engagement is via mobile devices, and Google’s own move to a mobile-first index underlines the needs to align. It appears we are progressively living in a mark-up-or-get-out world.
October 10, 2018
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September 10, 2018