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LOCAL SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION

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Local SEO is a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that helps your business be more visible in local search results on Google.

Any business with a physical location or offers a service in a specific region can benefit from Local SEO.

If you search Google for important keywords related to your business and a card with 3 listings appears below it, then Local SEO can help you get your business among those suggestions. For a complete local SEO guide, check out the video below:

 

How does Google work, and how has the search engine developed?

To understand local SEO, you must first understand how Google works. In the early days of the Internet, websites were relatively few, making navigating the web easy. However, as the Internet began to spread to the general public, search engines were developed to allow users to find the information they needed more quickly.

When you enter a specific word or phrase into a search engine, that phrase is matched to websites that contain the keywords in your search term. Google is no different, but it quickly dominated the other search engines because Google’s algorithm, in addition to keyword matching, also used the links between websites to indicate which pages are trustworthy and have authority.

Today, Google looks at hundreds of factors on and off your website to decide if it’s relevant and will appear as a search result. The factors make up your website’s “digital footprint”, and each factor has a different weight or value that the search engine combines to provide results. Your digital footprint determines whether or not you are a top result for a search query.

When you enter a search term into Google, the search engine examines various website signals, or ranking factors, to provide the best result for your search.

Google uses various processes to rank hundreds of thousands of pages in no time. These processes are called algorithms. When you google something, an algorithm checks the index and returns a list of websites that match your search in the organic results. These results are selected and ranked based on relevance, prominence and popularity.

Local SEO for location-based businesses

What about local organic search results? After Google analyzed the behaviour of users during trillions of search queries, it came to the conclusion that people looking for products often need suggestions from their immediate vicinity, for example, because they want to shop there.

That’s why Google’s local search algorithm takes your location into account and asks you specifically for some searches. This happens even if the searcher doesn’t include a city name or “near me” in their search.

That’s why Google’s local search algorithm takes your location into account and asks you specifically for some searches. This happens even if the searcher doesn’t include a city name or “near me” in their search.

For example, if you’re at work and want a pizza delivered for lunch, searching “pizza delivery” on Google will show you a list of locations near your office in the local SERPs (search results pages).

But if you run the exact search at home, you’ll get a very different list of results. That makes sense, considering you need a pizza delivered from somewhere nearby.

Local search has been around for years, but it was hardly relevant as most people only used their desktop computers. However, mobile internet access has exploded local search, making local SEO hugely crucial to the success of any business offering local products or services.

The relevant factors for Local SEO

What does this mean for your company? Like a blog or any other website, local rankings and the results on the map in organic search results are driven by different algorithms.

As a local business, you have the opportunity to appear both in the organic search results and on the local map, which can usually be found at the top or under the first organic search result.

When you’re new to online marketing, one of the biggest challenges is knowing where to focus on making your efforts as effective.

The experts say about local SEO

Marketing analytics firm Moz releases an annual Local Search Ranking Factors survey that surveys the top 35 to 40 local SEO experts globally. The results provide excellent insights into the factors affecting local search visibility.

Localized content and local link popularity are the most relevant factors, just like Google’s traditional search algorithm. Therefore, it’s important to create local landing pages for each of your locations – especially if your business has multiple locations – where you include your business name and details such as address and phone number, title tags, and meta descriptions should optimize. This should also be factored into your content marketing and link building strategy.

Additionally, location-related factors such as a listing on Google My Business, listings in local directories, and reviews published by your clients are also factored into your locally-focused SEO rankings. They should play a role in your local SEO strategy as well.

Of course, there are also SEO tools that focus on local search and can help you develop locally-focused SEO audits, from doing keyword research focused on your local audience to managing Google My Business listings, business profiles and Google posts to tracking your success in local searches.

Finally, benefit from Local SEO!

Now that you understand SEO basics and how Google ranks local search results, you can start working on a strategy that optimizes your site’s digital footprint at a local level. This allows your business to show up higher on a results page, which immediately leads to more potential customers coming to your store.

Many factors affect your visibility in these searches, but keep in mind that local search continues to grow and change. To stay up to date on which signals are gaining importance and falling, you can consult Moz’s annual survey or seek professional advice from an SEO expert. Once you start improving every relevant ranking factor, you’ll reach more people in your area, and your business can grow faster.

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