Although the landscape of search engine optimisation changes drastically from year to year, the question of whether SEO is necessary for local businesses remains constant. The tactics and strategies may change and adapt to Google's new features, but local businesses still need to focus on SEO if they want to attract new customers on the Internet. This isn't an overnight change or a one-and-done shift in digital marketing strategy, but rather a constantly adapting strategy that can remain relevant despite new features and algorithms made by search engines.

A recent Search Engine Watch article explains why SEO strategies in 2014 must be a combination of the old core SEO tactics along with new ways to adapt to Google's changing local search. The article explains that it's important to first solidify the basic elements of SEO, such as keywords, content, and link building, and then focus on elements that Google now puts more weight on, such as user reviews:

“My point is that we need to watch the converging of our old silos into the new SERP display. SEO has taken on a converging role with other mediums which impact SERP display. For example, you've created optimised local listings for your local business, but know that the display weighs even more heavily on reviews, have you done your job at local-social integration.”

SEO strategies from three years ago aren't going away, but are now serving as the foundation of new SEO campaigns. In order to have a modern SEO strategy, companies must build upon their core strategy by focusing more on Google's new favourite SEO factors.

To start, companies must improve their user reviews in order to land a good spot on Google's Carousel search. Simple but effective strategies may include encouraging loyal customers to leave positive, but genuine reviews and possibly responding to negative reviews in an open-minded way. Location is also important in Google's new local search, so be sure to include an embedded map so potential customers can locate your business.

Searching online I found the following Infographic from Owen Prescott to helps explain SEO for 2014 & how you need to change your Strategy.

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