What distinguishes local SEO from standard organic search results, and what does this mean for your marketing plan?
Any SEO plan aimed at clients in a particular area, city, or neighbourhood must include local search.
In order to increase your rankings and visibility in local search results, such as Google’s Map Pack/Local Pack, you should concentrate on local SEO.
Increasing webpage rankings in organic search are done through organic SEO. Your website’s position in those organic results can have a beneficial impact on how well it performs in the Local Pack.
When Google believes that a search query has local intent, organic results are another fantastic opportunity for your local business to show up in front of eager searchers.
Therefore, despite the fact that local and organic SEO are connected in these ways, each calls for a distinct strategy that uses various optimization techniques.
Let’s start at the beginning and ask what local SEO is and why it matters.
Local SEO: What Is It?
Search engine optimization for local search results is known as local SEO.
This entails assisting Google in making your company’s listing in the Local Pack/Map Pack rank higher and show up more frequently in response to a higher volume of pertinent queries.
Consider the last time you went out into the world in pursuit of something. Perhaps [men’s shoes], [daycare centers], or [coworking spaces] were involved.
The goal of Google is to provide users with the most relevant results for every search.
And those Map Pack results will be prominently shown on the first page of the search results when its algorithms determine that your purpose is local — that you are seeking something in the vicinity of you.
Additionally, organic search results for establishments and services in your neighbourhood may supplement them.
Local results may show up as the default view above all organic material when you search for something like [Mexican restaurants open now]. Google has identified your demand as being urgent and local.
A plain blue link is less likely to satisfy that demand than the information provided in local search results, which includes company name, address, phone number, website, images and videos, customer reviews, and star ratings, among other things.
Best practices for SEO generally include following Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and focusing on the user experience on your website.
If you want your website to appear in organic search results where Google has concluded that the query has a local intent, doing this is crucial.
However, as MapPack results are heavily influenced by your Google Business Profile (GBP) listing, you can appear in the Map Pack even if you don’t have a website. They might incorporate data that Google has gathered from other websites as well as user ideas.
The most significant of these is Google’s “Guidelines for displaying your business on Google,” which also has a distinct set of rules specifically for local SEO.
These rules are crucial for increasing your visibility in the Map Pack and preventing the suspension of your listing.
Please keep in mind the distinctions between local organic and the Map Pack as you read through our Local SEO Guide.
On-page optimization of your webpages, technical SEO for your website, and other topics may occasionally come up. These subjects deal with your chances to show up in local organic results and use your website to enhance Map Pack rankings.
You are learning about local SEO as it relates to the local results you get on Google Maps as you read about local reviews and star ratings, Google Posts, and other components of your GBP.
The Importance of Local Search
Here are some figures showing the continued value of local search for businesses:
- Google reports that about 25% of local smartphone searches result in a purchase, and about 75% of those searches lead to a visit to a business.
- Google estimates that geography is a factor in about 30% of the searches it processes.
- In a recent poll on local search, about 60% of customers stated that they conduct daily local searches.
- According to a recent local SEO survey, about 80% of customers who are conducting a local search read online reviews of businesses and take close to 14 minutes to do so.
- Google Maps is used by about 85% of people to locate businesses.
- 90% of the time, Yelp is among the first five search results for SMB searches.
- Around the world, 74% of in-store customers who conducted their search prior to entering the store claimed to have looked for information such as “closest store nearby,” “locations,” “in stock nearby,” and other kinds of hyperlocal data.
- For their local searches, more than half of all Internet users globally utilise a mobile device.
- To find out more about nearby businesses, 83% of searchers use Google Search; 55% use Google Maps, 44% use Apple Maps, 39% use Yahoo, and 31% use Bing.
Google’s Local Ranking Algorithm Determination
Google is far more transparent about what it takes to rank in local results but jealously guards its organic search ranking algorithms.
Google lists these as the top three local ranking criteria in each category:
“Relevance is the degree to which a local business profile corresponds to a user’s search criteria.
To help Google better understand your business and match your profile to relevant searches, add complete and detailed business information, according to Google’s help guide on how to raise your local rating.
Distance, according to Google, is the distance between each potential search result and the location keyword entered during the search. We’ll determine distance based on a user’s location if they don’t indicate a location in their search.
Furthermore, prominence in this instance refers to the level of notoriety that the company has in Google’s eyes. As search algorithms attempt to take offline significance into account, this is likely the most complicated category of local ranking factors.
Increasing Local Search Visibility
As you can see, local search is a crucial channel for companies of all sizes that cater to their local community, including franchises, retail chains, so-called Mom & Pop shops, financial services companies, service providers, enterprise companies, and SMBs.