For example, you are sitting in your office and you would like to order pizza. You would type in Google, the words “pizza delivery” and you get a list of places for pizza in your neighborhood. Later, during the same week, you want pizza again. You type the same words in Google, “pizza delivery” and yet you get different search results. You might wonder why this is. The reason is the Google algorithm. Google has a separate algorithm for local results. The search engine gets trillions of queries to analyze and has found out that, for specific types of searches, users need nearby results, even if you do not include a geo-modifier in the query.
Because of this, local SEO is different from regular SEO. With local SEO, you are optimizing a site so that you can show up searches within a certain geographic area. Local SEO is vital for businesses that have physical store fronts. If the SERP or search engine results page displays a map pack, your businesses will have to integrate effective local SEO strategies to get one of the top positions.
Sure, there is plenty of overlap between traditional SEO and local SEO, but if you are working on a site which pulls local SERPs, you are going to get better results if you optimize your website for local SEO strategies. Because Google is trying to show the best possible results in a certain area, local signals will become key. You still need to concentrate on your content as well as link-building efforts, but local SEO is about doing all of it while you maintain an emphasis on your target location. There are several ways you can do that.
Local SEO is all about where you provide services. Among the most important ranking signals for local results is having your Name, Address and Phone number or NAP, correctly syndicated through local directories by using a service such as Moz Local or Yext. This way, Google as well as other directories are going to know where your business is located and help you show up in areas that you are servicing. One of the best ways to guarantee that search engines locate you is to claim your location and make sure your information is correct in Google My Business.
For example, Ohio-based lawn care company WeedPro began catering to the Cleveland area but then opened locations across the state, speeding up the need to integrate local SEO for all of their locations. The company optimized webpages, blog posts as well as demand generation ads to make sure the right people in the right neighborhoods were locating content which was relevant to them. Just like regular SEO, backlinks are the most weighted relevancy signal, but you need to change your focus on the kinds of links that you are targeting.
Usually in local SEO, you are working on a much smaller scale. You do not need thousands or even hundreds of links. A lot of local businesses have fewer than 20 sites that are linking to them. Adding a handful of links could make a huge difference. With local SEO, your focus has to be on building links from other local businesses. Relationships are a simple source of local links, forming relationships with other businesses as well as individuals in the local community helps cement its place in the neighborhood and, in turn, the local search results.
For example, local sponsorships as well as charity work are a great source of local links, basically, if you are involved in the local community. It is very easy to build local links. If you run a local company, topical relevance is still your most important goal for your website, but you also need to worry about locational relevancy. Your content needs to be actually localized. It needs to be about your targeted phrase and accompanied by a geo-modifier related to the local area. Small as well as mid-sized businesses actually have an advantage in the area – it is much easier for them to write localized content down to the neighborhood level. Proximity is among the most weighted factors of relevance in local searches. Google wants to show results close to the searcher.