If you didn’t know this local SEO algorithm update started to impact websites at the beginning of November. Reports suggested that the impact to local SEO was quite big. Google reported that this update was the biggest change to local listings since the last possum update in 2016.
After reviewing this algorithm update appears to be targeting the same as its predecessor which prompted many SEO professionals to name it Possum 2.0!
What exactly is Possum 2.0?
In simple terms the user’s location appears as a stronger signal following the update.
The easy way to understand this is that you are less likely to show in the local search pack if you appear to be outside the location area of user when they are searching for your types of products.
The initial impact has been big with many businesses reporting that they saw their entire local presence disappear outside their own postcodes.
However not is negative. There are reports that some businesses have seen positive results and an increase in visibility across multiple postcodes.
Google carried out a correction in the days following the update which resulted in businesses recovering.
The data is being given more preference in Googles local algorithm. One key thing to note is there’s still a number of factors going to be the key ranking factor every time someone carries out a search.
This update didn’t pick on particular industry types either. Many businesses enjoyed lots of traffic, leads from customers searching outside their local area and found themselves being most affected and some found that they hadn’t been affected at all. It all points back towards other factors like competition, relevance and quality content.
We have put together a quick tip list of some things you can do to put in place as to help you:
1. Review your KPIs. Have you seen an impact on calls and sales? Also, worth noting if those searchers are buying from you?
2. Another tactic is to increase your paid search activity. PPC is a great way and the quickest to get this type of traffic back. This should then allow enough time to assess if how you may have been affected by the Possum 2.0 update and put measures in place to optimise your local presence. We will be checking our clients accounts as part of our review process and if we feel some adjustments are required to your strategy, we will of course make these.
Tips – If you are running Google Ads these allow you to target users with a strong commercial purchasing intent which is the type of customer you need to fill the gap on some of those local losses. We can experiment with ad extensions to help increase your visibility and click through rate. Additionally, you could increase your use of call extensions to make sure you continue to get the same level of calls via google maps.
3. Optimise and review your Google My Business listing. Ensure your GMB listing is 100% complete. Ensure all the content is relevant and accurate. Double check there are no double listings or duplicated listings. Please get in touch if you would like us to carry out a review of your Google My Business listing.
4. Carry out a spam check – local search spam can be a problem so report any spam you see in the local search engine results. Each time spam appears in the local listing it causes another loss for local business who play by the rules.