What is Local SEO, and How Does It Work?
Local SEO is an approach to search engine optimization (SEO) that makes your company appear more prominently in Google’s local search results.
Local SEO is beneficial for any company that has a physical location or serves a specific region. Local SEO can help you expand your business if, when searching Google for any relevant keywords for your company, a map with three listings appears beneath it (a situation known as a “map pack”).
But first, you must understand how Google functions in order to comprehend local SEO.
How did search engines change over time?
Because there were so few websites at the beginning of the internet, using it was simple. However, as the internet grew, search engines were developed to help users more quickly find the websites they were looking for.
A search engine would match a phrase you typed to websites that contained the keywords in your search phrase. Google adopted a similar strategy, but it quickly overtook the competition when it was the first to use links between websites to determine which ones were reliable and authoritative.
To determine whether a website is relevant to display as a search result, Google now takes into account hundreds of factors, both on and off your website. Your “digital footprint” is made up of various factors, each of which has a unique weight or value that the search engine combines to produce results. Whether or not you appear in Google’s top search results depends on your digital footprint.
How, then, does Google operate?
In order to return a list of websites that match your search, Google analyses the pattern of different website signals, or ranking factors, like how relevant your site is, when you enter a search term.
Most people are unaware that when they type something into Google’s search bar, it doesn’t immediately perform a live search of the entire internet. Actually, it’s searching for a cached copy of every site that Google has found. The Google Index is the name of this replica.
Google uses “spiders,” which are tiny programs that crawl the web, to create the index. Every spider operates in the same manner: it begins on a single page, follows the links on that page, then scans the content on subsequent pages, and so forth.
As web content is crawled, Google’s servers store it, and an index is created. The scale of the spiders’ work is astounding; they continuously crawl trillions of pages at an incredibly quick rate. By doing this, the index is kept as current as possible, and new websites and connections are found quickly.
How Google ranks search results
Google ranks hundreds or thousands of websites instantly using a variety of techniques. These operations are referred to as algorithms. When a user searches for something on Google, an algorithm scans the index and displays a list of websites that are relevant to their search in organic results. Based on the relevance, prominence, and popularity provided by inbound links, those results are selected and ranked.
The algorithm examines a number of both on-site and off-site variables to determine which websites contain content pertinent to your search. The list is expanded to include all pertinent websites, and it is then ordered by prominence. The algorithm chooses which websites best respond to your search query, once again referring to the various on-site and off-site factors, and those websites are listed at the top of the search results.
Enhancing your SEO affects your website’s relevance, prominence, and link popularity. If the appropriate digital footprint components are optimized, your site will appear higher in search results.
Local SEO follows a unique pattern
How about the outcomes of local organic searches? Google discovered that people looking for certain types of businesses need local results after examining user behavior during trillions of searches. The proximity factor, which is a fancy way of saying that Google considers your location when you search for a local keyword, is part of Google’s local search algorithm as a result of a query with local intent. Even when the searcher excludes a city name or “near me,” this still occurs.
For instance, when you search for “pizza delivery” while at work, a list of restaurants close to your office is displayed in the local SERPS (search engine result pages).
But if you conduct the same search at home, the outcomes will be completely different. Given that you require local pizza delivery, this makes sense.
Local search has been available for some time, but its use has been restricted because most people only use desktop computers. Local SEO has become crucial for the success of any company offering local products or services, as well as local marketers, due to the recent explosion in mobile internet access.
Things to consider for Local SEO
For search marketers, what does this mean? Despite the fact that the local map pack is visible within the standard Google organic search listings, the main Google search results for local rankings and the local map pack results use different algorithms. As a local company, you have the chance to simultaneously show up in the local map pack and the primary organic search results.
Knowing what to concentrate on to make your efforts as effective as possible can be difficult if you’re new to marketing your business online.
The top 35 to 40 international authorities in local SEO take part in Moz’s annual Local Search Ranking Factors survey. The best information about the variables that affect local search visibility can be found in its results.
It’s crucial to create local landing pages for each of your locations—especially if you run a multi-location business—where you should include not only your business name but also its details like address and phone number, optimize their title tags and meta descriptions, and adhere to SEO best practices. Localized content and local link popularity are factors, just like they are in Google’s traditional search algorithm. This needs to be taken into account in your content marketing and link-building strategies as well.
Additionally, location-based elements like having a Google My Business listing for your company, local citations from data aggregators, and review signals—which should be published by your local customers—are also taken into account in your local SEO rankings, so you should also take them into account in your local SEO efforts.
It’s also crucial to keep in mind that there are SEO tools designed specifically for local search that can assist you in creating localized SEO audits. These tools range from developing keyword research targeted at your local audience to building citations, managing Google My Business listings, business profiles, and Google posts, and even monitoring your inclusion in local packs.
Like in Google’s traditional search algorithm, website content plays a significant role, but location-based elements like Google My Business, citations, and review signals are also taken into account.
Begin utilizing SEO
You can start focusing on signals that will improve your site’s digital footprint in the local-oriented search ecosystem now that you have a better understanding of SEO fundamentals and how Google ranks local search results. By doing this, your company will appear higher on the results page, increasing the likelihood that more potential customers will find it.
There are many factors that affect your visibility in these searches, but local search is a developing industry. You’ll be able to serve more customers in your local area and expand more quickly once you start to improve each key signal area.