What is local SEO?

February 03, 2022

What is Local SEO and How Does It Work?

Local SEO is a search engine optimisation (SEO) method that makes your company more visible in Google search results for those who are looking for it in your local area.

Local SEO may be beneficial to any company that has a physical presence or that services a specific geographic region. If you search Google for any essential keywords linked to your company and a map with three results underneath it (also known as the map pack) shows, local SEO may assist you in growing your business and increasing your customer base.

However, in order to understand local SEO, you must first grasp how Google works.

What was the evolution of search engines?

The early days of the internet were characterised by a small number of websites, which made browsing the web simple. When the internet began to grow in popularity, however, search engines were developed to help people discover the websites they were seeking more quickly and conveniently.

In a search engine, when you write in a phrase, that phrase is matched to web pages that contain the keywords you entered in your search term. The search engine Google employed the same technique as the other search engines at the time, but it swiftly surpassed them when it became the first search engine to use connections between websites to determine which websites were trustworthy and had authority.

Today, Google considers hundreds of indicators, both on and off your website, in order to assess whether or not your website is relevant enough to show as a search result. Factors contribute to the formation of your "digital footprint," and each element has a distinct weight or value, which the search engine takes into consideration when combining results. Your digital footprint impacts whether or not you appear as a top result in a Google search when a user puts in a search query.

How does Google function?

The search engine Google analyses the pattern of several website signals, or ranking variables, such as the relevance of your site, when you enter a search word and returns a list of websites that match your search.

The majority of people are unaware that when they put anything into the Google search field, the search engine does not do a live search of the whole internet. The search engine is essentially looking through a cached copy that contains all of the websites that Google has found. The Google Index is the name given to this copy.

Google crawls the web with the help of little program known as "spiders" in order to compile the index. Essentially, each spider operates in the same way: it begins on a single page, then follows the links on that page, looks at material on subsequent sites, and so forth.

As web material is crawled and stored in Google's servers, the index is formed, and the index is updated as new content is discovered. The spiders operate on a mind-boggling scale, crawling billions of pages per second at an extraordinarily quick rate on an ongoing basis. This guarantees that the index is as current as feasible and that new sites and links are detected as fast as possible.

How Google ranks search results

Google employs a variety of techniques to rank hundreds or thousands of websites in the blink of an eye, depending on the situation. Algorithms are the terms used to describe these processes. When you search for anything on Google, an algorithm scans the index and delivers a list of web pages that match your search in the form of organic results. Those results are selected and ordered on the basis of the relevance, significance, and popularity provided by inbound links, among other factors.

The algorithm considers a variety of on-site and off-site elements in order to identify which websites provide content that is relevant to your search query. To begin, all of the relevant websites are added to the list, which is then prioritised according to their importance. Referencing the numerous on-site and off-site parameters once again, the algorithm evaluates which sites best answer your search query, and those sites are placed at the top of the search results page.

Improving your SEO has an impact on your website's relevance, prominence, and link popularity factors, among other things. If the appropriate aspects of your site's digital footprint are optimised, your site will appear higher in more search results, resulting in more visitors.

How Local SEO Works

What about organic search results for local businesses? After studying the behaviour of users through billions of searches, Google discovered that consumers looking for certain sorts of companies want results that are within a reasonable driving distance of their location. In order to account for this, Google's local search algorithm contains a proximity factor, which is a fancy way of stating that when you search for a local phrase, Google considers your location. Interestingly, this occurs even if the searcher does not include a city name or the phrase "near me" in their search query.

If you're at work and want to order a pizza for lunch, for example, searching for "pizza delivery" in Google's local SERPS returns a list of places near your workplace.

However, if you do the same search from home, you will see a completely different set of results. This makes sense when you consider that you need a pizza to be delivered from a nearby location.

Local search has been around for a long time, but it was restricted owing to the fact that most people used their desktop computers to do their searches. Because of the recent increase in mobile internet connectivity, however, mobile search has expanded, making local SEO very crucial for the success of any firm that offers local goods or services, as well as for the success of local marketers in general.

What is important for local SEO?

For search marketers, what does this signify is unclear. While the local map pack is displayed within the standard Google organic search listings, the main Google search results for local rankings and the results for the local map pack are powered by different algorithms than the standard Google organic search listings. A local company has the unique potential to be found in both the main organic search results and the local map pack at once.

If you're new to web marketing for your company, one of the most difficult aspects will be determining where you should concentrate your efforts in order to maximise their effectiveness.

The annual Local Search Ranking Factors poll, conducted by marketing analytics software firm Moz, features the top 35 to 40 local SEO professionals from across the globe. Its findings give the most in-depth understanding of the elements that drive local search visibility.

Localised content and local link popularity are factors in Google's traditional search algorithm, so it's important to create local landing pages for each of your locations- especially if you're a multi-location business-, where you should include not only your business name but also its details such as address and phone, as well as optimise their titles tags, meta descriptions, and follow SEO best practices. If you're a multi-location business, it's especially important to create local landing pages for each of your locations- especially if This should be taken into account as well when developing your content marketing and link-building strategy.

Also taken into consideration are location-based factors such as having a business listing in Google My Business, local citations from data aggregators, and review signals - which should be published by your local customers 

- which are all taken into consideration in your local oriented SEO rankings. As a result, you should include these factors in your local SEO efforts as well.

Not to mention that there are SEO tools specifically designed for local search, which can assist you in developing local oriented SEO audits, which can include everything from conducting local audience-focused keyword research to creating and managing Google My Business listings and business profiles as well as Google posts to monitoring your inclusion in local packs.

In this algorithm, website content is important, just as it is in Google's standard search algorithm; however, location-based variables such as Google My Business, citations, and review signals are also taken into consideration.

Start using SEO to your advantage

Having gained a better knowledge of search engine optimization fundamentals and how Google ranks local search results, you can begin to focus on signals that will maximise your site's digital presence in the local oriented search environment. As a consequence, your company will appear higher on the results page, increasing the likelihood that more prospective clients will discover your company.

Several things impact your visibility in these searches, but it's important to remember that local search is a dynamic and evolving field that's always evolving. You can use Moz's yearly survey to keep track of which signals are becoming more and less important as time goes on, and to help you develop your strategy playbook. Once you begin to improve each critical signal area, you will be able to serve a greater number of people in your geographic region and thus grow more quickly.

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