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By Itamar GeroSeptember 30, 2016In Small Business Marketing

Possum Update: What This Means to Your SMB Marketing

Just this September, another Google algorithm update happened, sending SEO practitioners and website owners back to the drawing boards. The search marketing community are calling the latest update “Possum”.

As a small business owner, how does this new update affect your SMB marketing? The Possum update seems to have a major effect on local search. Google local listings, Map listings, and the 3-pack are among those that show the biggest effects.

Pre-Possum, local businesses physically located within a particular city could hardly rank in the search 3-pack, including that city itself. Now, your website is more likely to rank on the list of businesses serving your city and its environs. This is good news for your small business marketing strategies.

Here is a list of other noticeable effects following the Possum roll-out:

  1. In your small business marketing efforts, it doesn’t matter how many listings your business has online. As long as it’s the same address that appears on those listings, it will be filtered down to one listing.
  2. It doesn’t matter either if you have two names for your business, or two addresses and phone numbers. As long as they appear to be in the same industry, and under one owner, they will be filtered down to a single listing.
  3. The location of the user doing the search now has more weight on the results. As many users are now using mobile, their location while searching may change frequently. Results will list the businesses nearest to the user at the time of the search, and will adjust as the user moves from one location to the next.
  4. possum-effect-on-local-search-results

    Source: Search Engine Land


    How marketing for your small business should adjust

    Now that Possum is in effect, these marketing tips for small business owners will help you make the necessary adjustments to take full advantage of this update.

    1. Rely on your SEO team. Updates like Possum happen often, and it is highly unlikely that you can manage both the business and online marketing. This is the time to hand over the reins to your SEO team. For a company with approximately 30 employees, managing your SEO yourself is too challenging, but if you have 5 to 10 employees on your SEO team, you should do fine.
    2. Partner up with an SEO agency. This is a necessary expense. You need an SEO agency to apply the elbow grease and help your internal team keep up with these updates. If you are already working with an SEO agency, the Possum update is an opportunity to see whether you should continue working with them. How they react to the update and adjust your SEO to keep up with it will determine whether they’re doing a good job.
    3. Do not rely on tricks. As with any other update, trickery will get you nowhere with Possum. Focus on organic results instead. Nothing happens overnight when it comes to SEO. For now, the focus is to make sure your listings are up to date, and your website’s mobile capabilities are topnotch.
    4. Observe your leads and revenues. While adjusting your SEO to Possum, observe how the new update and the work of your SEO agency are affecting lead generation and profit. A weakening in these aspects suggests there is something not right.
    5. There is no need to panic just yet. Google seems to still be testing the new algorithm update. Using ranking trackers like Algoroo is likely to show you a lot of fluctuation in rankings as of the moment.

    If you’re unsure as to whether this is affecting your business at all, it pays to find answers.

    What matters largely in your small business online marketing is how you react — calmly and honestly — to this new algorithm update. If you’re unsure as to whether this is affecting your business at all, it pays to find answers. Now is the time to keep calm and call your partner SEO agency.

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