Here are the local marketing trends for 2018

One key method of attracting customers that has long been overlooked will increase in popularity and power over the next year.  Local marketing is going to be positively affected by changes to search engines, a rise of local focus in social media and even voice recognition technology. These changes, alongside the tried and true techniques of customer reviews and responsive web design, will see local marketing change for the better in 2018.

Here are some of our predictions for local search marketing over the next year.

Advancing SEO

Local-focused SEO will become even more advanced in 2018. Thanks to Google and other local sites becoming more sophisticated in their capabilities these modifications will have a valuable impact on local search directories.

These will include link building, UX, AI and machine learning modifications and feature snippets in Google.

Other changes that Google has been testing is ways to auto-verity local directories with API. This could simplify the verification work for companies.

Thus, you’ll want to keep your Google My Business listing up to date and get it verified. You will want to do the same for other search engines like Bing and Yahoo!

If you are wondering if your listing is up to par, ensure it is engaging and rich in content. Also check that your NAP (name, address, phone number) remains consistent on each listing.

Customer reviews prove priceless

While tracking the direct influence of customer reviews is not yet a streamline process, changes Google is anticipated to make may make it easier.

Aside from the SEO impact of reviews, study after study demonstrates that customers are influenced by what they hear from others.

To have success at local search marketing, you can’t overlook the need for a Yelp profile. You also need to monitor your customer reviews so you can be sure you have a good online reputation. A quick and respectful answer to a bad review can actually turn the tables and improve your standing.

There are also other other sites to consider including AngiesList, Houzz, Manta, and local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau sites.

Don’t be afraid to ask your customers to boost your rating by leaving a review for you on one of these sites. The effectiveness of reviews will not wan in 2018.

Social media

Niche-influencer marketing just started to take off in 2017 and will grow even more next year.

Thanks to social media it has never been easier to get celebrities to promote your products. The growing social media sphere has made it even more possible for businesses to reach out to influencers to help promote them.

This can be of particular interest to local search marketing efforts as adverting in niche sites draws in those interested in specific goods or services.

Don’t overlook the power of social media influencers.

Google vs Facebook

Facebook has been giving Google a run for is money this year as it ramps up its local capabilities.

However, Google still dominates. Based on the statistics, Google sees 3.5 billion searches while Facebook sees over 2 billion.

This new year it would be a clever idea to take advantage of the Post feature on Google. This allows you to have an image, title, start and end date as well as up to 300 words text related to your business. You can use this to announce daily specials, promotions, events, you best selling products, etc.

Look into the Facebook Places feature, which allows company’s pages to turn up when users search for local places in well-known cities and countries. The social media giant also has a nearby search options that users can query to find local businesses and retailers. This feature is available on both a desktop and mobile device.

Voice Search

While voice recognition is a technology that has yet to grow, enabling your website to be ready for when that happens will put you ahead of the game.

Thanks to Siri, Cortana and Google, more and more people are searching for local sites using voice commands. If your site has the right metadata it can easily be recognized by search engines equipped with voice capabilities helping you rise to the top of the local search list.

Conclusion for Local Marketing Trends

Companies and business that have not given much thought to their local search efforts will want to reconsider in 2018.

There are many changes on the horizon, from Google’s changing SEO requirements to customer reviews, niche marketing with social media influencers to AI and voice recognition technology that will make local search one to watch in the new year.

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