Local search is changing in 2022. Signaled by changes like Google Business Profile’s rollout, local search needs to be optimized a little differently than in the past.

Amid the changing landscape of local search, what’s a business owner to do? Read on to discover how local search is changing in 2022 and what kind of content and keywords you need to move up in search engine rankings.

Diversifying your directories

It’s nice to be on Google, but that’s not the only place your clients are looking for you. Besides the big three search engines, Google, Bing, and Yahoo, there are dozens of other listings your business should be on. Small businesses thrive on having numerous listings, going beyond building links to your site.

In 2022, multiple directories are about gaining traffic and garnering trust, especially for small businesses. According to a Moz survey, the number one boost for local search was a Google My Business (now Google Business Profile) listing, but behind that was having a presence in multiple local search listings. Sites like Yelp, Nextdoor, and even the Yellow Pages’ website can help boost your reach just by having a listing with them!

However, that’s not the half of it. These listings need to look professional and credible to help your business stand out. Each one of your listings should be complete. Also, you should ensure you’re only placing your listing on reputable sites.

Inbound links

According to the Whitespark 2021 report, the most important thing you could do for your organic local search reach, by far, is to include quality inbound links to your domain. This factor outstripped every other factor greatly, including volume of quality content, internal links, and keyword relevance.

By placing your website on multiple local listings, you can do just that. Since your local search page listings will have your website on them, it kills two birds with one stone to have several listings operational and updated.

There’s one caveat though: these listings have to be reputable. If not, they can actually hurt your ranking on major search engines like Google or Bing. Another thing hurting your score? If you don’t update all of your listings when making a change, like if you move, remodel and need updated pictures, or change your domain name. If your listings are different, search engines will read your listings as unreliable and move them down. This is local search 101, but it will be even more critical as search engines rely more on engagement rather than information alone.

Beyond different listings

While your listings should contain keywords and links back to your site like any other piece of content crafted for optimization, it’s a little different because you want to target your content to your local area, keeping in mind what customers you’re trying to attract are looking for.

This is where specialist pages can come in. If you’re a plumber, there are special directories for plumbers. Same with lawyers, doctors, dentists, and more! Plus, if your customer base Googles, for example, “eye care, Royal Oak,” these pages will come up on Google’s listing, creating more avenues to reach customers and bring more business in.

Plus, by putting listings on relevant pages to your industry, you’re matching apples to apples, our industry with a relevant industry listing. Search engines like Google love these pages because they can quickly pinpoint searchers to your listing on a relevant site when a searcher enters “doctors near me,” “dentists near me,” or whatever your industry is “near me.”

Good news? If you master local listings, you could save a bunch of money on ad spend and let your local listings do the work for you. Better news? We can help! If you need to change up your local search, try our free local search scan and see if you need a change. Do you? Give us a call at (248) 684-0500 or contact us today to boost your local search presence!