The Rise of Local SEO
Nearly 50% of Google searches of all searches in Google have local intent. Your company must show up for those searches in your local area. When users search, they want things near them for various reasons. “Near me” searches are exploding in growth, 150% faster than traditional local-based searches.
Google reports that once users look for something local on their phone, 74% then visit a store on that day.
Local searches are a huge factor for business SEO if you have a physical location or provide a service in a specific area. Local search has consumers searching for products or services your business offers. Those search results are displayed organically through an online search.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the strategy of optimizing a website for a business’s goals. These goals are to increase traffic, have higher rankings, increase visibility in search engines and increase revenue. Local SEO involves boosting your business listings for potential customers in your area. Local SEO includes findings research of ranking local keywords, optimizing the Google My Business profile, Google Maps, and building NAP citations. I also include optimizing for Apple Maps for iPhone users.
The goal of local SEO is to optimize for unique ranking factors specific to local search results.
Targeting Local Keywords
It always starts with targeting local keywords. Local keywords are needed to build a strategy. Then we know how people find your business. Getting results is much easier if we know the keywords that users are using. Improving Local SEO focuses on your location and phrases related to your service or products. Once the ranking is achieved, for core phrases, I can help rank for related phrases.
Content is king, and well-written content revolves around researching then picking the right keywords. Having the right keywords with compelling content is needed to rank.
Google My Business
The biggest name in the game holds the searches. Whether from a phone or computer, millions of people search on Google for businesses like yours every day. Having an optimized Google My Business profile helps turn those searchers into customers for your business.
Google Maps and Local Ranking
People love getting driving directions or seeing what is nearby. As part of Google My Business listing, Google allows being listed and rank on Google Maps. To rank or show on Google Maps, a listing must be relevant and optimized.
Being listed in the Map Pack improves the chance for your business to be found for local searches.
The Google Local 3-Pack
When completing a local online search for a service or product in your area the first thing shown is the 3-Pack. The Local 3-Pack in Google’s search engine results is a listing that Google considers most relevant. The Big G thinks these are the best results (most optimized) for intent, and near the searcher’s location.
How Google Determines Local Ranking
It is really complicated. Google users algorithms to find business that match the searches intent (relevance), that is close in proximity (distance). Google is also looking for a quality consistent web presence.
What is NAP?
A NAP citation is the business Name, Address, and Phone Number. A NAP citation is when your NAP data is on an online reference directory site. Citations collectively mean a group of individual business listings on multiple websites. Some common examples would be directory listings on Angie’s List or YellowPages.com. NAP is a critical factor in local SEO. Accurate and consistent NAP information is needed for businesses to rank in local organic search results. Across the internet, consistency is needed for all web properties, business listings, directories, and social media profiles.
Google and other search engines are looking for signals and validation for the business location and legitimacy.
Why Are Citations an Important Local Ranking Factor?
Google and other search engines use data points for businesses to determine their rankings. Search engines compile a business’s NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) along with the website URL and other information is listed. Local rankings are determined (in part) if Google finds your business information if it is consistent, and if that information matches your website.
Proper citations can lead to improved local rankings. Poorly implemented or properly managed citations can be a nightmare to fix and require fixing.
When getting help for a local business that serves customers, I take full advantage of local SEO to engage your customers and increase rankings.
It is important to note that while building citations include having links on directory sites, it is not link building. The intent is different. A backlink provides a site linking giving a vote of confidence and is a signal to search engines that the site is reputable, this increasing ranking. A citation lists your business in a directory, and may not include a hyperlink.
Additional SEO Services
I am a freelance SEO that helps businesses with more than just local SEO. I offer the other following services:
Ready for Local SEO Results?
I am a Search Engine Optimization Consultant in Albany, New York, with a publicly posted code of conduct and ethics.
I strive to create a local SEO campaign for your business as part of a SEO strategy. Get a local SEO campaign that delivers clear-cut results.
Contact me to get a strategy that aligns with your goals to get started on improving your local results.