Search engine optimization isn’t just for high-flying tech companies or corporate behemoths. Local businesses need SEO. In fact, SEO may be even more important for local businesses because the public is less likely to recognize their names. When most people try to find a particular type of local business, such as a plumber, restaurant or dentist, they usually turn to the Internet. Few are willing to scroll past the first page of search results, and with mobile devices, the tendency to look at just the top few is even greater. Ranking high on that first page can be the difference between sitting idle and being too busy to take another call. Getting there is all about local SEO.
What is local SEO and Why is it Important?
Local SEO improves your search results ranking on localized searches. These searches target a certain area based on keyword choice or device location. For example, a localized search could be created with the keywords plumbers in Grand Rapids Michigan or as a result of a search for plumbers that utilizes the device’s location to rank Grand Rapids plumbers.
In this article, we will explore the ways local businesses can achieve high search engine results using local SEO techniques.
Search queries that local SEO influences
Local SEO influences organic searches. Organic searches are typical searches where keywords are entered into a browser, which returns a ranked list. Search engines, such as Google, are trending towards including more ads at the top of organic search results, pushing the results further down the page. Many of these ads may be from competitors of companies listed in the search results, making a high ranking all the more important.
Local SEO also impacts the “map pack” (local pack). Google has taken to including this between the ads and organic results. It consists of a map that indicates three locations and provides the businesses addresses and pone numbers. The map pack was designed to help people locate certain types of business in certain geographic areas. This convenience is a double-edged sword for businesses. If you rank high in local SEO, it can mean lots of additional phone calls or foot traffic. However, if your business doesn’t make the map pack, this device can divert vital traffic to competitors.
What influences the local map results?
Google uses a multi-faceted algorithm to determine which businesses go into the map pack. Although no one knows exactly what is included in their algorithm, we know with a high degree of certainty, the following is included:
• Business signals, proximity and keywords.
• Link signals, anchor text, and domain authority.
• On-page SEO signals.
• NAP listings and citation signals.
• Online Review signals.
• Click-through rate.
• Social signals/engagement.
Bolstering organic search engine results
Organic search engine results remain very important. Many web users prefer to skip the adds and local packs. They want to view more options than what Google suggests to them, and many of the companies featured in ads are shown in organic searches anyway. Google uses the same criteria for organic ranking as it does for the map/local pack but ranks and weights them differently.
As with the map pack local SEO, scoring high in organic searches is heavily weighted toward a few top factors. Links are exceptionally important, as are on-page signals and behavioral signals. Optimizing your site with quality links and on-page signals increases behavioral signals as they attract visitors and create more clicks.
Local SEO has become a vital tool for local businesses, especially retail and service businesses. Increasing local SEO requires time and effort focused on all of the categories that go into the algorithm. By starting with an optimized website, soliciting reviews and posting them and engaging on social media, your business’s online presence grows, resulting in more traffic, which can only boost your rankings. Optimizing all these categories is a detailed process requiring extensive SEO knowledge that goes beyond the scope of this article. Achieving superior local SEO can result from studying local SEO concepts or hiring a firm that specializes in local SEO optimization.
A bit about us – Web Fox Marketing is a web company in Livonia, Michigan SEO and digital advertising specialists. We service our surrounding communities near Livonia, Novi, West Bloomfield, Farmington Hills, Northville and beyond. In addition to offering digital advertising solutions, we’re also knowledgeable in search-engine advantages , Google ads marketing (PPC), SEO solutions, social media marketing, and more!
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