What Is Local SEO?
What Is Local SEO?
Local search engine optimization (or local SEO) refers to the optimization of a business website or page to rank well in local search results, such as Google Maps and Yelp. To boost your chances of getting your business noticed in local search results, you should learn about the most important factors that affect local SEO rankings—local citations, NAP consistency, and accurate local metadata—as well as strategies to improve them all on your website. Don’t know what any of that means? Don’t worry; we break it down further in this guide on what is local SEO!
The Importance of Local SEO
As people turn to mobile search to find their next meal, movie or massage, local searches are exploding. And while they’re often aimed at specific businesses in particular neighborhoods, these queries are less likely to contain brand keywords that can easily be found by bigger brands with more budget and resources. The answer: local SEO, which focuses on natural search engine optimization strategies such as on-page optimization and link building that can help your small business rank for a variety of popular location-based queries. In other words, it helps you get found when customers are looking specifically for what you have to offer. Here’s how it works: Google is always trying to provide its users with relevant results. When someone types best pizza Boston into Google, Google wants to show them an actual list of best pizza places in Boston—not just any pizza place that has a website. That means local SEO is about optimizing your website so Google knows where you are located and what you do.
Ranking in Google Maps
If you want to rank in a local search, you’ll need a Google account and to add a Google My Business listing. Once you’ve added your business to Google Maps, use local keyword research tools like Keyword Tool and KWFinder to learn about local searches your area is looking for. Then create content that answers those questions and make sure to include local keywords in your on-page optimization. For example, if you run a bakery that serves cupcakes near Cincinnati, Ohio, it would be smart to include words like Cincinnati or Ohio on your website—even if they don’t directly relate to what you do. When potential customers search for local businesses using these terms, you want them to find your page first.
How to Optimize a Business Website
If you don’t have a website, then you might as well not exist. If people can’t find your business online, then it doesn’t matter how many clients you acquire. You will remain irrelevant and invisible to search engines and potential customers. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure that you appear at or near the top of local searches for keywords related to your industry. This is called local SEO or optimizing your site for local search results. There are several steps you can take to improve your local SEO. Here’s what they are: 1. Keyword Research – The first step in creating an optimized website is doing keyword research. Look up common keywords associated with your business (e.g., dentist Houston) and see where you rank on Google, Bing, Yahoo! and other search engines. 2. Optimize Your Website – Once you know which keywords are most important to target, optimize your website so that it ranks highly for those terms. 3. Social Media Optimization – Create social media accounts and optimize them so that they show up high in search engine rankings when users type relevant terms into their social media searches. 4. Reputation Management – Make sure all mentions of your company across social media platforms are accurate and up-to-date.
Getting Around Search Engines
When you type a search term into Google, it’s very likely that you’re looking for something in your local area. So if your business isn’t appearing in local search results, you might be missing out on potential clients. Local Search Engine Optimization (or Local SEO) helps ensure that users searching within a defined geographic location find your website when they perform a search query related to your products or services. The process of optimizing your site for these queries is known as Local Map Search Optimization and involves identifying and correcting any issues with your website that could prevent it from showing up in local searches. The first step is conducting an audit of your site to identify any weaknesses that could be preventing you from ranking well in local searches. This will help you prioritize how much time and effort should go into improving each issue. It’s also important to understand what factors are most important for local SEO so you can set realistic goals. For example, does being listed at number one matter more than being listed at all? If so, what would it take to achieve that goal? If not, what would it take to simply be included in the results? These are questions every business owner needs answers to before starting a Local SEO campaign.
Building Authority Through Industry Associations
It’s easy to become recognized as an authority in your industry. All you have to do is become a member of local and national organizations related to your field. For example, if you’re in retail, you can join such organizations as the National Retail Federation and the International Council of Shopping Centers. Joining these types of groups will help establish your credibility within both online and brick-and-mortar markets. You should also consider joining a chamber of commerce or other business association that allows members to post information about their businesses on its website. If you don’t find one that fits your needs, start one! A few simple steps can get you up and running with your own business association in no time. You may even be able to partner with existing associations for extra exposure.
Understanding How People Use Search Engines
If you have a business, then you need to focus on local SEO. If you haven’t heard of it before, local SEO refers to optimizing your business listing so that people can find your services near them or when they are in a specific geographic area. In other words, people search for things using location-based keywords. For example, if someone is looking for a plumber and their home is located in San Francisco, they will likely type San Francisco plumber into Google. This is why local SEO focuses on making sure your business shows up first when someone searches for something nearby. The good news is that there are simple steps you can take to make sure your business gets found online by people who live in your community. The bad news is that some of these steps take time and knowledge about how search engines work. Luckily, we’re here to help!
The Basics of On-Page Optimization
When you do a search on Google, there are two parts of your search that determine how relevant your results are. First, there’s what you’re searching for (or key phrase). Second, there’s where you live. These two factors determine which local listings show up in your results. The first is determined by Google and Bing’s algorithms. The second is determined by an actual person: the searcher. This means that if you want to appear in local search results, then you need to optimize both on-page and off-page elements of your website so it can be found when people in your area are looking for services like yours. On-page optimization includes things like making sure all of your business information is listed correctly, including name, address, phone number, etc., so that it appears correctly in local searches. Off-page optimization involves getting links from other websites that are related to your industry or niche, which helps Google know that you’re an authority on your topic. It also helps build credibility with potential customers who might see those links and click through to learn more about you or your business.
Creating A Site Map
So how do you create a site map? The best way to create a site map is to use an XML Sitemap Generator. Here are some of our favorites: XML Sitemap Generator – This free tool allows you to generate an XML sitemap for your website and submit it to Google, Yahoo and Bing. Google XML Sitemap Generator – This is another free tool that allows you to submit your sitemap directly to Google. Yahoo Site Explorer – Using Yahoo’s Site Explorer you can create a sitemap and submit it to their search engine indexing system. Bing Webmaster Tools – Like Yahoo, Microsoft also has its own webmaster tools where you can create and submit a sitemap for your website. How Do I Create A Site Map? There are many different ways in which you can create a site map but if your budget is limited then we recommend using one of these three tools mentioned above because they are completely free!