What is Local SEO and How Does It Work?

by Chaitanya Khanna / Sep 13, 2021 / in Local SEO

Get on the First Page of Google Today!

If you have a brick-and-mortar business, you might want to learn what local SEO is. More and more small businesses have started taking interest in improving their local SEO to reach their local target customers. If you’re new to this term, this post can help you understand local SEO and why local search is so important. So, let’s begin!

In today’s digital world, the majority of customers search online for the best products and services near them. For instance, people search for ‘pediatric doctors near me’, ‘best lawyers in Toronto’, catering services in Sydney, etc. To rank for these area-specific search queries, you need to work on your local SEO strategy. Local SEO is a branch of Search Engine Optimization that optimizes a website to be found in local search results. Local search marketing is immensely useful for local brick-and-mortar businesses. From businesses that operate at a single location or multiple areas to franchises and national enterprises, all types of physical businesses can benefit from local SEO. Now you may ask how local SEO differs from general SEO. You may also want to figure out whether your businesses need to invest in it or not. So, to clear all your doubts, let’s find out more about local SEO.

 


What is Local SEO?

Do you want your local customers to find your business online? When people search for products and services on the internet, they choose a business that appears on the first page of Google. This is where SEO comes in. The role of traditional SEO is to boost your site’s visibility on a national or global level. Local SEO, on the other hand, focuses on optimizing a website to increase traffic and leads from local searches. It helps local businesses to connect with the customers in the area of their operation. Local SEO is a part or sub-section of organic SEO that helps multi-location businesses boost their local visibility.

When anyone uses a search engine like Google, the local search results suggest relevant locations that are near users. For example, ‘restaurants near me’ or ‘renovation contractor Toronto’. A Google search for any product or service typically displays three nearby locations, known as Google’s local 3-pack (or a map pack). It involves using several tactics to target a specific geographical area and optimize your online presence for that location. In short, optimizing your site for local search helps in reaching target customers in specific towns, cities, regions, and even states.

Here are some benefits of Local SEO:

  • Improve your local online visibility
  • Helps business reach customers who are actively searching to buy your products or services
  • Create brand awareness
  • For better leads and sales, local search queries are more effective than organic search queries
  • Boost business trust and credibility through ratings
  • Cost-effective and effective as compared to paid search queries

 

How Does Local SEO Work?

To understand local SEO better and find out whether your business needs it or not, it is important to know how local SEO works. Here we have discussed the key tactics that help in boosting local search rankings. Optimizing your website for local searches means using tactics that help Google understand that your business is located in a specific area. Local search results are based on several ranking factors such as distance, relevance, and prominence. Google looks at the information that you provide about your business and see how relevant that information is with the search query. The search engines also consider the distance between your business and the user’s current location. In addition to this, positive reviews and ratings determine the prominence of your website that ultimately helps in high ranking.

How to Optimize Your Website for Local Searches?

One of the most important and easiest ways of optimizing a site for local search is adding a complete address that includes your region and city. This involves creating and optimizing your Google My Business account by adding all relevant details about your business. You should create local landing pages that will help people find your business with a store locator option. Besides writing quality content for the local audience, you need to add local business Schema markup that helps Google index and rank your local business for the area(s) you serve.

A comprehensive Local SEO strategy also includes acquiring quality local and industry-relevant links. Link building, positive reviews, citations, and local social media, all helps in boosting local SEO. Local SEO typically includes:

  • Listing business profiles for each location on Google My Business, Apple Maps, and other relevant search and map platforms.
  • Update NAP (name, address, and phone) citations
  • Relevant Keywords in Google My Business profile
  • Google Maps star rating
  • “Check-ins” at your location
  • Shares on social media
  • Reviews and citations on all relevant platforms and directories such as Yelp, Facebook, Instagram, etc
  • Localize Content
  • Local Backlinks
  • Engage in Reputation Management

 

If you’re still confused about whether your need to invest in local SEO or not, here is a simple solution. The brick-and-mortar business that operates with a physical store needs to integrate a local SEO strategy into the existing SEO strategy. As mentioned above, Local SEO is part of organic SEO. This branch of SEO primarily focuses on getting higher rankings for specific areas. Local home renovation contractors, doctors, lawyers, plumbers, restaurants, café, retail stores, and other brick-and-mortar businesses can benefit from local SEO strategy. To formulate a local SEO plan, you need to perform keyword research to find out what your target audience is searching for. It is also important to ensure “NAP” consistency so that your business information is the same and up-to-date on all platforms.

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