Local SEO is a dynamic field, and with Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE), further changes are on the horizon. As Google introduces new features, marketers must adapt, recognizing that the importance of local SEO remains constant.
How is the Local SERP Changing With New Features Like SGE?
Google frequently introduces new elements into search results to enhance user engagement. These include established features like Google Business Profiles (GBPs) and newer additions like SGE. Each new feature presents a challenge for marketers to optimize. Fortunately, with the introduction of SGE, the core search results haven’t changed significantly – yet.
So, what do local search results look like with SGE at the forefront? Currently, local queries in generative AI yield results closely resembling the map pack. In fact, if your business ranks within the top three positions in the map pack, you’re likely to occupy a similar position in SGE. For instance, if you search for “real estate offices near me,” you’ll notice that the content in the standard search results and SGE appears very similar.
Apart from map pack rankings, Google highlights local citation sites, such as Yelp’s “Top 10” articles, which mirror standard search results. Although these citation sites are presented in a carousel format within SGE, the content remains consistent. While new challenges may arise, initially, marketers should focus on optimizing local features that Google continues to emphasize in both standard search results and SGE.
How to Optimize for Local SEO in an SGE World
As mentioned earlier, SGE doesn’t significantly alter the content of search results; instead, it presents results in a new format. This implies that established local SEO best practices remain relevant, but they are now more crucial than ever.
Make Google Business Your Best Asset
Google Business Profiles appear prominently in standard search results and SGE. Therefore, optimizing your company profile according to Google’s guidelines is essential for your local SEO strategy in 2024. This involves tasks like regularly posting on your profile and promptly responding to reviews. In the competitive landscape created by SGE, having an outstanding Google Business Profile is vital for success.
Utilize Local Citations
Local citation sites like Yelp continue to play a significant role in SGE results. Creating and optimizing your company profile on these sites enhances your chances of appearing in “Top 10” lists generated by these platforms. Focus on accumulating positive reviews, sharing photos, and updating your service offerings. Beyond Yelp, explore other prominent local citation sites relevant to your industry.
Be Ready to Adapt Your Strategy
Staying updated on SGE and its impact on local search results is crucial in 2024. Google Business Profiles are here to stay, but strategies for utilizing them can evolve rapidly as Google introduces new features. Consider partnering with a local SEO agency to help your business stay current with the latest optimizations.
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