Five Local Search Resolutions for 2015

With the new year upon us and local search continuing to explode, it’s a great time to build a plan for the year that makes your (and your clients’!) local search efforts more impactful. Here are five things you should resolve to do better this year.

Read Up on Google’s Pigeon Update

Pigeon is arguably the biggest, most important thing to happen to local search ever. You owe it to yourself and your clients to learn everything you possibly can about it.

An excellent place to start is Neil Patel’s review and overview of Pigeon over at Search Engine Land. There’s tons of links to supportive and corroborating evidence of Pigeon’s impact all throughout that piece, as well.

We’ve covered Pigeon here, as well. We have a comprehensive roundup of advice and observations regarding Pigeon. We also have an excellent guest post reviewing Pigeon’s impact from Fuse SEO’s Jon Clark.

Optimize On-Site Copy for SEO

A number of Yext Certified Partners manage their clients’ website and overall web presence. It’s no secret that ensuring that all copy on a website is search engine optimized is imperative, but what does that entail beyond being a bunch of buzzwords? Heather Lloyd-Martin updates her post from 2012 in the wake of Hummingbird (and Pigeon) and offers this excellent piece of advice up front:

I would argue that there’s no such thing anymore as “writing for Google.” Yes, there are certain things you should do to make the Google gods happy. However, your most important goal should be writing clear, compelling, standout copy that tells a story.

Among items on this list are tried-and-true methods and advice that anyone who’s been in the SEO game for any serious length of time can validate: know your audience and write for them, research keywords/keyphrases, edit, check reading level, and more. In addition, we can’t emphasize the importance of semantic HTML (like Schema) enough!

Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly

Mobile is not just the next frontier — it’s the current frontier. Currently, people look at their smartphones for more time than they watch TV, cumulatively. There are more smartphones than there are people with mobile internet access. As mobile devices like smartphones and tablets become increasingly ubiquitous, it’s imperative that digital presence and search marketers present information in a way that’s responsive and adaptive to limited screen real estate.

We wrote a comprehensive post about mobile trends late last year. It’s an excellent place to start for ideas on how to improve a site’s mobile compatibility.

Learn to Get the Most Out of Google Analytics

Google Analytics is not for the faint of heart, and Google Webmaster tools can seem daunting at first, even to the most savvy and experienced of web masters. However, the insights, control, and optimization that these two tools together offer are an advantage that no marketer can afford to be without. Put differently: getting better at using Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics will give you ways to quantify your ROI to your clients.

Paula Allen of Bruce Clay SEO has put together an excellent, step-by-step guide rife with screenshots, advice, and callouts. This post is my personal favorite to share with anyone getting started with Webmaster Tools or Analytics.

Diversify Your Service Offerings

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the most successful Partners bundle Yext into a larger service offering. This means making listings management part of a more robust digital presence management plan.

If you offer listings management as an add-on product, consider bundling it into a wider-reaching local search campaign — e.g. adding in AdWords, website redesign services, and/or reputation management.

Stay Sharp

The most important thing for you as the Partner is to stay on top of what’s happening in the local search and digital presence management spaces. Above all others, that should be your primary goal for 2015 — and, as always, we’ll be here to help keep you informed and empowered!