We all know by now that location is a big determining factor to the success of any business or enterprise. You will have such a hard time selling a snow skating board in the arid deserts of east Africa, just the way you’ll have a hard time selling water to people who live by the sea.
Location directly affects demand and relevance, and demand and relevance are just what SEO is hinged on. Search engines want to give preference to the most demanded and relevant information in a particular area.
They achieve this by a number of methods, which, to summarize, involve crawling different areas of a website, seeking information that hints that the website is going to be relevant in certain locations.
Local SEO, which I am going to explain in detail soon, involves optimizing your site for specific locations so that search engines index it as relevant.
Intent: Local Intent
When it comes to search engines and search engine optimization, the intent is basically just the intention of the searcher.
Every person who uses search engines has an intention to do so. There are a number of search intents which include:
- Informational Intent: Here, the searcher is using the search engine because he or she wants to know about something. He is searching for information.
- Navigational Intent: Here, the searcher uses the search engine as one big map and is trying to find his way to a specific website.
- Transactional Intent: Here, the searcher uses the search engine because he wants to make a transaction.
- Commercial Investigation: Here, the searcher uses the search engine to make findings of a certain product that he or she wants to buy at the moment or in the nearest future.
Local intent is a class of intent that can span across all the types of search intents mentioned above and is vital in understanding how to make use of Local SEO.
A searcher who has a local intent is just searching for information, no matter what kind, that is relevant around his or her location.
For example, one searcher may have a transactional intent but may narrow this transactional intent, so it becomes a local transactional intent.
Instead of typing: “Where can I get myself a dog?” into a search engine, he or she goes: “Where can I get a dog in my area?”
Researchers agree that up to 46 percent of the searches made on Google are made with local intent. That is, out of every hundred people who do searches on Google, 46 of them include some phrases or words that point to a specific location.
For the approximately 8.5 Google searches that are made every day, that is sure a large number of searches and taking advantage of them is going to work so much in your favor.
This should answer the question: “Is Local SEO Important?” With that number, yes, local SEO is sure important.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is basically taking advantage of the local intent of the billions of people who use search engines. It is like moving the store where you sell snow skaters to Antarctica from the Sahara Desert.
It involves a number of methods that make your site appear more relevant on searches that are targeted at particular locations.
A site that takes local SEO into consideration is going to rank more on the search engine results page than its counterparts who do not.
With local SEO, you are going to rank in the Local Pack, in the Local Finder, the organic results, and on Google Maps.
The Local Park is an area at the top of search engine result pages. It appears for local searches and may include a number of organic results and sometimes even ads. Individual websites do not appear here; only Google business profiles do. So, if you want to be featured here, you have got to make your business known to Google.
The Local finder is like a long list of Google business profiles. It shows up when a search enlarges the local park by clicking “more places.”
Organic results are the common kind. They consist of a page’s URL, lines in blue or some purple-like color, and the metadata of the webpage written underneath. All kinds of websites can appear here, even ones that do not have a Google business profile. And they are ranked in order of relevance.
How Does Local SEO Work?
Google optimizes processes normal searches almost the same way it does normal searches. You know, the process of crawling and indexing and then ranking.
The key difference is that with local SEO, the ranking factors differ. The ranking factors are determined by:
- The location of the searcher
- Google business listing
- Social media shares
- Google maps rating
Google crawlers scan these, and it, to a large degree, tells Google which sites should appear on the search engine results page and the sites which should not.
Local SEO works by tweaking your website or business to improve Google rankings for local searches.
Local SEO Tips
The following tips are going to help you manipulate local SEO better, optimizing your site for SEO searches.
1. Create a Google My Business Listing
Your first step towards getting the best of local SEO is going to be creating a Google My Business listing. As mentioned earlier, Google My Business’s linking is a huge ranking factor. Having one is getting into Google’s good books for businesses that should be ranked.
Creating a Google business listing is nothing like rocket science. Google helps you create and complete a profile! It is quite simple to fill out.
When filling a profile, make sure you input all the relevant information required of you. Also, make sure you create relevant links.
2. Have Your Business Listed Elsewhere
In addition to having your business put up on Google listings, you should list your business on other platforms as well.
3. Correct Information Only
One of the most relevant pieces of information you can give out to search engines when performing local SEO is your name and place. NAP. The name and place of your business.
All your listings must have the correct information for Google and other search engines to trust them.
Do not fall into the trap of misspelling. A simple mistake can make your performance drop. Look, and keep looking. You are trying to convince Google that your business is genuine.
Write the name of your street out in full—Use Avenue instead of Ave. Also, your phone number should be correct. An incorrect phone number might send a signal to Google that something suspicious is going on.
4. Local Keywords
Like with regular SEO, keywords are also very important for local SEO. Use Local keywords to optimize your site or business for local SEO.
Even though local keywords can be easy to predict and apply, it is still a great idea to do a lot of research.
Just like with regular keyword research, you can approach researching SEO keywords using a number of methods. You can use software to help you and can use the method of checking the keywords your competition uses.
As you should already know by now, your competition is important in your SEO journey. You will learn a lot from studying them.
You can optimize your site with local keywords by including these keywords in:
- Headings: The headings of your page should contain a local keyword. Page headings are important for SEO, as they make crawling easy for search engines.
- Title Tags: Your title tag is the title of your page, and it is a great idea to include local keywords in the title tag. The keywords should, however, not exceed ten words.
- Meta Description: Your page’s meta description is the description that appears underneath your page’s URL on the search engine results page. This description is such an amazing area of your website to include keywords.
- The Body: Include keywords in the body of your content. Include as many as you can, but not too much, so the writing does not become forced and mechanical. Concentrate your keywords around the first paragraph and on the last paragraph of your content.
- Media Tags: You can use keywords as media tags. That is, title pictures and videos using keywords.
5. Optimize for Mobile
It is good practice for you to optimize your site for mobile, as a lot of traffic comes from mobile devices. Make your site offer a friendlier mobile interface and responsiveness.
The site has to fit into the screens of mobile phones and has to give the users a friendly experience.
6. Optimize for Voice
Voice searches have grown quite popular. A whopping amount of searches that come from local devices are voice searches. Optimize your website for voice searches.
It is going to help a lot, and being that not many people currently use voice searches, you are going to have little competition, which is healthy for your business.
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