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Google’s Pigeon Local Search Update: Local SEO Tools

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As part of winning in the Business Listings category of the Ad to Action Awards, Rio SEO‘s Bill Connard, VP of local search solutions, will provide monthly insight into the world of search engine optimization (SEO).

We recently contributed to a blog about Google’s new “Pigeon” algorithm update, a major local algorithm change rolled out July 24 affecting Google Maps and local Google search results. Now that the dust has settled, local SEO practitioners can focus on the strategy and tools to prepare for the next inevitable algorithm shake-up.

Google’s algorithms are constantly in a state of flux even outside of the occasional mass-impact update, which is precisely why we advocate for adherence to local SEO best practices. Today we’re going to introduce you to the key local SEO performance indicators you should be tracking, as well as the tools you’ll need to Pigeon-proof your web presence.

How Do You Know If Your Site Was Affected by Google Pigeon?

Local search marketers should be tracking their rankings on an ongoing basis to determine the impact of any algorithm update. Checking your rankings and reviews through automation enables you to track your own standings, as well as your competitors with greater accuracy.

Smart marketers, including many of our clients, measure monthly and therefore have the ability to pinpoint ranking fluctuations and react quickly. Just as importantly, you need to be able to then measure the effects of any actions you take to see if you’re moving in the right direction.

Be sure to track your rankings across “The Big 3″ (Google, Bing, Yahoo). According to comScore, the three major engines together account for over 96 percent of search queries. Google itself processes 65 percent of that activity. However, if you’re only tracking your rankings on Google, you’re missing out on a substantial portion of potential web traffic.

Local SEO KPIs to Track and Measure The Effects of Algorithm Updates

Beyond measuring your rankings, how can you Pigeon-proof your website? Pay attention to these important local SEO key performance indicators:

  1. Rankings on Local Search
  2. Citation Consistency across the Ecosystem
  3. Traffic from Local Sites
  4. Link Activity Analytics
  5. Local Reviews per Location

What Do These Local SEO KPIs Tell You?

In addition to helping you diagnose issues and pinpoint opportunities, tracking and measuring local SEO KPIs alongside rankings across search engines and local sites gives you a great idea of how your SEO efforts are performing as a whole.

  • If you see an increase in rankings, then you’re excelling in SEO (great reviews, citations, content).
  • If you’re retaining rankings, then you are on-par with best practices.
  • If you see a decline in rankings, then the local efforts and activity that you are focusing on are not on-par with best practices.

Tracking and measuring on an ongoing basis gives you the ability to identify when your site has been affected by an algorithm change. You have historical data. Plus, if you’ve automated the process, it’s quite easy to see exactly when and where your site has been affected.

While it’s ideal to have diverse sources of traffic, the reality is that many businesses rely heavily on search engines to send prospects to their website. You can’t afford to suffer a rankings drop along with the subsequent traffic loss and only then go in search of a solution.

Rio SEO has integrated local ranking analytics, which take the legwork out of ranking reports and enable marketers to react quickly to remedy ranking and traffic declines caused by algorithm updates.

In our next blog, we’ll share insights from some of the nation’s leading retailers on the impact Google’s Pigeon algorithm has had on their rankings. Stay tuned! If you’d like to see Rio SEO’s software in action schedule a free demo with a local SEO specialist at www.rioseo.com.

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