Search Engine Optimization
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Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization)’s definition is a part of SEO that optimizes a website, typically for business, to increase visibility in local search results. It can be done on Google and other search engines, not just google. Any business that has a physical location or serves a geographic area can benefit from a local search engine.
If you search Google for any important keywords related to your business and a map with 3 listings appears underneath it, also known as a map pack, then local SEO can help you grow your business. To understand local SEO, It is very important to know how Google works first. Let’s say you run a local restaurant, searching locally includes searches such as:
- Restaurant near me
- Restaurant in [enter city name]
If you have a local business, like a shop, restaurant, or agency, you want your web pages to rank for certain search queries performed by a local audience. It is to make sure that people can still find you online or offline, that is why you optimize a website of your local search services.
Google and other search engines use a user’s location based on IP address for desktop, and geolocation for mobile, to determine what results to show the user. So when someone performs a local search for a dentist, car wash, or locksmith, the search engine will display local businesses relevant to their location, that is what local SEO marketing is.
Why is local SEO important?
There are some statistics proving the importance of local SEO for businesses, here are some:
- 50 percent of searchers on their mobile phones conduct local searches and are looking for things like a local business address.
- 78 percent of local-based searches on a mobile device end in purchases being made offline.
- 97 percent of consumers looked online for local businesses in 2017, with 12 percent looking for a local business online every day.
- 71 percent of people who have been surveyed have said they search for the location of a business in order to confirm its existence before going there for a first-time visit.
- 60 percent of American adults conduct searches for local services or product information on tablets and smartphones.
It is also important to note that, by following local SEO practices, businesses can improve organic traffic from searches performed by customers in nearby areas. To gather information for local search, search engines rely on signals such as local content, social profile pages, links, and citations to provide the most relevant local results to the user.
Why local SEO? With local SEO, businesses can use this to position their products and services to local prospects and customers who are searching for them. There are also local SEO Specialists who will be responsible for ensuring campaigns rank up across all aspects of Local search and 3rd party listings that occur outside of the customer’s website.
Benefits of local SEO
One of the benefits of local SEO is it helps you to capture different shoppers, even those who are visiting the area from far away. When you provide extemporary services to a customer, they are most likely to come back and build a long-term business relationship.
With local SEO, your business gains more visibility in that it gets found by the right people who are interested in your product and at the right time. When your business is more visible, this means more profits, sales, and even relevance.
Most customers prefer the “near me” option when performing a search on where to buy their products. If you are high in rankings thanks to local SEO, it means that more customers can see your website and products, saving you money that you would have otherwise channeled in other modes of advertising, such as putting ads on newspapers.
If you are not utilizing local SEO, this could mean that you are competing for space in the search results with competitors and other businesses. Chances of your business getting unnoticed or passed over are high, but with local SEO, you’ll have potential customers clicking on your website to see your products.
Businesses that benefit from local SEO
There are many different benefits and beneficiaries from local search companies. Some of them are:
- Restaurants. The search engine result pages (SERF) can be used to display lots of information, one of which is local address information. Obtaining easy information like this makes it easy for people to come and for the restaurant to have many visitors. It also shows immediate customer reviews and ratings. It is not only efficient but also takes the least amount of time.
- Doctors and medical operations – People searching for doctors are usually just searching for nearby doctors for a quick visit. Visiting a nearby doctor also makes it easier for that person to visit regularly, thus, making it an efficient and important benefit. The local search result gives the doctor’s name and a quick and easy “directions” button that shows up a map on the user’s phone.
- Plumbers – Businesses that deal with emergencies like an emergency involving plumbing benefit lots from local SEO. It is a situation in which a person needs immediate service, so they usually just search for “plumber near me”. Due to Google search result’s easy “call” feature, the person can call the plumber directly, read reviews, and access local plumbers immediately if they have such an emergency.
What is the Google local algorithm?
When you do a local search or a search that Google thinks has local intentions like plumbers, you traditionally will get three results at the top with the map, and then everything below it can be referred to as organic.
This algorithm is what fuels this three-pack, also known as “Google My Business listings” or “Google Maps” listings. The three things that they talk about are proximity, prominence, and relevance. It is meant to help customers searching for specific services.
Proximity is basically defined as your location when you are searching on your phone or your computer and you type something in. It’s where Google thinks you are located. If a user doesn’t specify a location in their search, Google calculates the distance based on what they know about your location.
Meanwhile, prominence refers to how well-known a business is. Some places are more prominent in the offline world, and search results try to reflect this in local SEO ranking. For example, famous museums, landmark hotels, or well-known store brands are also likely to be prominent in local search results.
And relevance refers to how well a local Business Profile matches what someone is searching for. Add complete and detailed business information to help Google better understand your business and match your profile to relevant searches.
Are citations important?
Citations are an online reference to a business that features the business’ name, address, and phone number (NAP). Citations are one of the key factors in small business local SEO. Many new SEOs begin their careers managing citations for stakeholders.
When set up correctly, citations can be really easy to manage and can lead to improved local rankings. However, if done incorrectly, citations can be a nightmare to clean up.