When should you be looking to invest in Search Engine Optimisation and when is it best to consider Google+ Local Optimisation?
SEO is the practice of achieving strong positions within the organic listing of the search engines, of which Google is still by far the most commonly used. Google+ Local is the view that now often appears when a search is made for a service that normally requires a face to face meeting or a geographic term is used in the search – this view includes a map and various markers to detail businesses that are based within a certain distance of the searchers IP address or the location.
So when you want your website to get more traffic and you don’t want to use sponsored listings, should you choose SEO or Google+ Local?
Does your business require a face to face meeting to enable you to convert a customer?
If you operate in a national market or you provide your services remotely then you would most likely benefit from SEO and it is less likely that Google will show their Google+ Local view to searchers. If you own a shop or any physical location where customers come to visit you then it may be worth considering Google+ Local as it is more likely that this view will be shown on a search. As more people use mobile phones to search, Google+ Local is now more common and so there will be less organic SEO places (3 maximum to fill) available, making it harder to get to page 1 through SEO.
Does Google display the Google+ Local view when you search for your services?
If Google are already displaying the view with the map and the markers then you should be looking at Google+ Local Optimisation first, particularly if less than 7 listings appear within the marked list, and then when you have achieved prominence for the 5 keywords allowed, look to branch out into more generic terms through SEO.
What is your competition doing?
Why not conduct some analysis on your competitors? You will be able to determine how well they are ranking on both SEO and Google+ Local and obtain reports on their offsite structures to try to determine what they are doing to achieve strong results within each channel – sometimes it’s better to do something better rather than something new.
For most businesses that have a customer facing location, Google+ Local should be seen as the first port of call for a modern SEO Agency to consider helping you rank on, it’s still often an untapped opportunity for businesses to take advantage of before branching out into SEO. All forms of SEO should be seen as an investment and it’s important that you utilise the methods that will deliver the quickest return on this investment.