How Does Local SEO Work?

Having a website for your business won’t mean much if you are struggling with visibility. Mastering the intricacies of search engine optimization is a constantly evolving art. In order to keep your site adequately ranked, you will need to stay a step ahead of the engine’s ranking algorithm. How does local SEO work, and what can you do to get the most out of local search results? Let’s take a deeper dive into local optimization to find out.

Tapping into the local customer base

Depending on the type of business you run, a certain percentage of your customers will be from the local area. When local customers search for something related to your line of business or company – you need to make sure they can find you. Customer retention is a fundamental pillar of any business, and having a strong presence in the local community is a great way of achieving it. Local SEO can help you tap into the customer base that is closest to your physical location. Corona lockdown measures have shown us the importance of developing a local customer network. It’s time to nurture it, and in turn, use the community to grow your business.

SEO is a way to achieve growth

Google has made tremendous improvements to the search algorithms it uses. Most people have an easy time finding something that they need, and as a direct consequence – users rarely venture past the first page of results. Having your site ranked among the first few results is the easiest way to achieve growth in your online presence. It’s a great way to reach beyond your current base of customers and expand towards new users.

Don’t spread yourself thin

Any form of effort or resource you put into your business should yield some return. You mustn’t consider SEO to be a magic wand that will solve every problem for your business. There are expenses of having a strong online presence and coordinated marketing campaign. When appropriately used, optimization for search engines can give excellent results. Knowing where to focus your efforts will mean the time and resources you put into your online presence are well spent.

How local SEO is different

Local SEO Google map

We mentioned that Google is constantly adapting its search algorithms. Before understanding how local SEO works, let’s first debunk what Google is trying to achieve with these changes. It’s not trying to be antagonistic towards business owners. On the contrary, Google is trying to help customers find what they are looking for. And guess what – most people are looking for results in their local area. Recently the location of the person doing the search has become an important parameter of online searches. Even when the user hasn’t specified a local search, Google can use mobile location data or an IP address to determine which results to serve up on the first page. A growing number of customers are using mobile devices for their searches, which has only highlighted the importance of local SEO.

Local map pack

When users search for something that Google determines matches up with local businesses, a separate map pack will precede regular search results. That map pack will list three local businesses that match the searched terms and are close to the user. Since there are three highlighted results, it’s also known as the “Google 3 pack”. In order to reach the largest number of potential customers, your business needs to rank high in both the map pack and the organic results that are regularly offered.

The way local SEO works

Search engines use a variety of factors to determine which results get pushed to the top. Improving local SEO will be easy if you know what search engines are looking for. Here is what you need to focus on to get the best local SEO results:

  • Localized content. Create and host online content that caters to the local community. Have social media accounts on multiple platforms that post location-tagged images. Offer quality content that your users will seed for you.
  • Google my business. Claim your Google business listing (if you haven’t already) and optimize it by adding complete and up-to-date information.
  • Make local keywords. When constructing keywords for your pages, always include SiL (Service in Location). Clearly state what you offer and where you are located. If your business has multiple places of operation, remember to mention each. After all, we are trying to make the most out of local searches.
  • Don’t neglect Google’s competitors. Remember to include listings on Apple Maps and Bing Places. Some businesses have specific listings and specialized maps. Make your presence known on all of them.
  • Manage NAP citations. Your Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) need to be thoroughly embedded everywhere. Have both current and previous information on your site. Be sure to update out-of-date citations.

Improving your local search ranking

Besides paying attention to the factors mentioned above relevant for local optimization, traditional SEO techniques also need to be employed. You will need a local SEO audit, improved internal link structuring, a mobile-friendly website, and a host of other features. If you feel swamped, you might need the help of digital marketing experts like Movers Development to optimize and structure your content. Of course, the key is to have quality content on your website related to the local community.

It’s not just about having a good website and offering your business services and products. Those things are necessary to run a business. Going a step further and optimizing your online presence and search ranking requires dedication. You will also need a constant output of quality content and a community that will recognize and share that content for you.

Understanding how local SEO works isn’t complicated. Putting the technical mumbo-jumbo aside for a moment, you don’t need to be a proficient website designer to connect with your local community. Much like any other SEO technique, it comes down to offering quality content that users will find helpful. Search engines will pick up on it and reward you with a high search result ranking. In short: think of it as pleasing the user, not the search engine.

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