Even some of those businesses that might once have been doing very well with their rankings are now struggling if they did not educate themselves as to the reasons of their success and how to stay ahead of the pack. Is that you? If so, you need to take an interest in SEO and learn the basics.
The biggest game changer of all with SEO is when Google updated their algorithm to rank sitesand provide information that is local to the searcher. A person doing a search in London for a 'plumber' will therefore see regional plumbers - whereas before a search might have brought back simply the largest plumbing firms in the UK - even if they were based in Manchester.
King of the local SEO tools is the Google Places search. This simple graphic is the go-to for many people looking for a regional service or entertainment. The Google Places listing sits at the top of the old organic search area, which means if you used to rank highly on page 1 you might find yourself suddenly at the bottom of the page because you have been bumped down by Google Places.
If you are a service provider like a plumber, locksmith, painter, etc then you most certainly need to be sorting out your local Google Places listings. For restaurant, bar and shop owners, you also desperately need to be showing up in a listing.
Within the organic listings, people have found a way to maximise their income with the new 'local algorithm' by using landing pages. A landing page is basically a one or two-page version of your site, which is made to look like it is relevant to a specific keyword or area. For instance, a locksmith in London could have 200 landing pages, each for a different area of London like, 'Locksmith Balham', 'Locksmith Kentish Town' and the landing page will make him look like the local locksmith for that area.
Landing pages allow you to target a keyword like 'Locksmith in Chelsea' and you will turn up in a search listing just for the Chelsea area. Your landing page will rank very well - if not number 1 - for a locksmith in Chelsea in the organic listing.
Local maps and landing pages are two of the biggest ways that SEO has changes, along with mobile searches and how people combine Google Places with their Smartphones. The two huge updates “Google Penguin” and “Google Panda” have also changed this market significantly over the past couple of years.