Local SEO: Understand What It Is and Discover How to Adopt Your Business!
As you may know already, if you have been following Chili’s blog, SEO is a key element of digital marketing. The optimization of contents and websites in order to be easily found by users has proven to increase online presence, leads and eventually revenue. But what about local businesses? Well, today we’re going to talk about local SEO, what it is and how to use it.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a search engine optimization strategy targeting local audiences. If you have a physical business or you provide products or services to a specific geographic area, you may want people to find your brand when they look for related business near their locations.
How Does Local SEO Work?
Let’s use an example. A user at home wants to buy a toy for his cat, so he goes to Google and type “pet shop”. At the top of Google’s results page a map will appear displaying all the pet shops and related stores nearby.
Well, actually, Google won’t show all the pet shops, but the ones with a significant digital presence and especially those whose websites and contents are optimized.
What is Optimization?
Optimization is the process of creating or modifying a website, an ad or a piece of content in order to make it easy for search engines to identify it, categorize it and display it.
When a user makes a Google search, the search engine takes the words (the keywords) of that search and looks for relevant sites among its Index (all the sites that Google considers relevant to a specific search).
How does Google know if a site is relevant or not? It takes into consideration a number of factors, such as page ranking, interaction and inbound links.
What is The Difference Between SEO and Local SEO?
After many years of development and countless user searches, the Google algorithm knows when a user is interested in a product or service near his/her location. The difference, then, between SEO and local SEO is that in the second case the platform takes into account the user’s actual location.
Why is Local SEO Important?
A few years ago, back when computers were desktops and mobile phones weren’t smart, it wasn’t important for advertisers to know exactly where a consumer was at all times. We’re living now in a completely different era, at the gates of what many experts call the Internet of Things. What’s that? Is the phenomenon of the Internet expanding from its traditional devices to all sorts of daily objects.
A man walks the streets towards the nearest subway station while listening to a technology podcast. He passes next to an intelligent board and it displays an ad from a Tech company. After that, the same board shows a completely different ad, because another person just passed by. How does that board know which ads should be displayed for each person that passes next to it? The answer is inside our phones.
A main benefit of local SEO is that it prioritizes small businesses over big companies. Remember our pet shop example? There might be a bigger, fanzier and even better pet shop in town, but Google will show the nearest ones first, regardless of how powerful, great or well digitally-established the other stores may be.
If that’s not enough, take a look at this insight: more than 92% of all the world’s search engine market share was done through Google in 2020. In fact, 46% of all Google searches are local-focused.
How to Use Local SEO?
There are a few tips you must bear in mind for optimizing your business for local SEO. The first: list your business in Google My Business. It’s a tool developed by Google itself that helps brands to manage their online presence through keywords and map location.
Optimizing your website content is also recommended. Communicate your contact details, address, phone, etc. Also, make sure to include the keywords people may use to find your business.
Another thing that improves our business performance is the use of links between sites. If our website has many links directed to it, Google understands that it has authority and will tend to place it among the first results.
Users’ reviews and punctuations are also very important for Google to understand that our business is relevant, it has authority and people are talking about it.
Google’s local algorithm takes into account three main concepts:
This factor is also crucial for the “normal” SEO algorithm. If we are looking for a pet shop, Google won’t show zoos nearby. That’s due to the keywords we use to define our business (at Google My Business, in our page, in our social media) and the ones used by users to find what they want.
The concept of prominence is used in SEO to define how a business, product or service highlights among its competitors. A business with a prominent online presence will be more likely to be considered by Google as trustful and reliable.
How to increase online prominence? By creating and sharing relevant content, building links, getting mentioned and reviewed, interacting in social media, etc.
This is the SEO’s factor that actually defines its local aspect. There are three ways people can search locally:
- Geo-modified searches
“Pet shop in Miami” or just “Pet shop Miami”.
- Non-geo-modified searches
“Pet shop” or “Open pet shop” or even “Cheap pet shop”.
- “Near me” searches
“Pet shop near me” or “Pet shop nearby” or just “Pet shop near”.
Now that you know what local SEO is and how to adopt it in your business, we’d like you to tell us your experiences with SEO. Comment your opinion and let us know your thoughts! If you want to know more about how to increase your sales, leads and online presence through local SEO, contact our team of digital marketing experts by clicking here.