Local SEO is the process of optimizing a business’s website and online listings to rank higher in local search results on search engines like Google. It includes a combination of on-page optimization, keyword research, and listing management.
In addition to optimizing a business’s site, local SEO also involves managing its online listings and boosting its social media presence. This helps search engines find and validate a business’s information, which in turn boosts its ranking. The local search algorithm is different from the organic algorithm in that it takes into account factors such as proximity, reviews, and citations, as well as other signals that are unique to a location.
The best way to ensure your business is showing up in the local pack is by claiming, updating and verifying your Google My Business profile. This allows you to add a photo, correct contact details and manage customer reviews. The platform is free to use and will help you stand out from competitors.
Creating quality content is another essential component of local SEO. Developing informative and relevant blog posts, video blogs, podcasts and other content will not only drive traffic to your site but also provide inbound links that improve your overall online visibility. It is important to target keywords that are relevant to your audience and industry as this will help you attract qualified leads.
In terms of generating inbound links, the best way to do this is by promoting your content on social media, building relationships with influencers in your industry and submitting your content to niche publications. This will help you to build a strong link portfolio and improve your chances of ranking in the local pack.
While the algorithm that dictates organic search ranking is a closely guarded secret, local SEO is much more open about what factors determine a company’s ranking. Prominence and relevance are the most important, but proximity is also considered when deciding which businesses to show in the local pack. Prominence is based on the prominence of your Business Profile, the number and quality of incoming links and how well your business’s website is optimized for local searches. Relevance is based on how well your Business Profile matches search terms that people in your area are likely to enter, such as “bridal boutique” or “Italian restaurant.”
It is worth mentioning that some less scrupulous businesses may try to game the system by using spammy tactics. This might include keyword stuffing in their business name, listing inaccurate locations or even creating fake profiles. While fighting this type of activity is time consuming, it is worth doing as it can help to keep the local results clean and trustworthy.
While every business can benefit from local SEO, there are some industries that will see greater returns on investment than others. For example, local SEO is particularly effective for retail stores, restaurants, hotels and other businesses that cater to local customers. This is because people who search for these types of products and services tend to be more likely to make a purchase or book an appointment.