During the first day of the Google I/O conference this year, there was a piece of extremely juicy news for those of us with our hearts in search optimization and local SEO. It’s going to have a significant impact on our little (big?) search bubble.
Google announced their voice-based search assistant ‘Google Now’, slated to be the next contender going up against Siri from Apple. The Google Now search assistant will be bundled into the new Android OS 4.1 update (Jelly Bean) and is available on both androids and tablets.
Awesome news for tech junkies – but what’s the impact for local SEO?
The Google Now platform will use voice search to pull local results from branded Google+ local pages. It’s a smart move for Google, as the G+ local pages provide more information with a friendlier UI that can be properly optimized.
The downside is that if you’re a business owner without a G+ presence for your business, you’re going to have to devote a lot more resources to spread yourself over into another social network.
With the update, Google Now should reach about 53 million people, as the Android holds about 50% of the mobile market share. That’s a lot of potential customers for your business if some of them start utilizing the voice-search function. It’s time to start thinking about your SEO and marketing strategies.
Making Changes in Local SEO Strategies
Those who were trying to optimize for Siri found themselves fumbling through gray areas because iPhone was pulling its data from a variety of sources including Yelp, Citysearch, Foursquare, Facebook, YellowPages, and more. Given the lack of knowledge about Siri’s algorithm, most organizations and businesses simply pushed Siri to the bottom of their SEO “to do” list. Instead focusing on proven strategies that brought about consistent organic returns.
With Google Now, we know exactly where Google will be pulling their results. We know the information they are going to display, and we can control it easily. This means that millions of users across the web could potentially decrease their use of traditional Google and rely more heavily on the simple to use Google Now voice search.
Ultimately, this narrows the number of social networks that marketers and business owners need to sweat about trying to build out local SEO strategies. By focusing on Google+ for business pages, you can spend a lot more time employing SEO best practices without feeling stretched over multiple networks.
By no means is that a free pass to stop using other social networks for marketing – it’s still important to manage your presence (and market it). Those social networks still show in search results.
With Google Now, whether you run a retail store, restaurant, bar, hotel, personal service, lemonade stand, physician’s office – you absolutely should be managing your Google+ presence to get the best visibility with your local SEO strategy.
Need help getting local visibility for your business? Contact us at Tulsa Internet Marketing Services today to let us show you how paid search marketing can help you boost profit and visibility on the web.