Search engine optimization basics: What is local SEO?

What is local SEO?

Local SEO involves optimizing your website for a specific local area. You might want your web pages to rank for certain search queries performed by local customers if you run a local business, such as a shop, restaurant, or agency. Optimizing your local business website is about making sure people can find you online and offline. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have visitors coming into your building right now. You are still targeting a local audience. You should optimize your online presence accordingly. On your own website, you can do some of that, but there are a lot more things you can do.

What is local SEO and how does it work?

When you optimize for local searches, you let Google know – through all kinds of signals – that your business is located in a particular area and wants to be found by customers in that area. Today, it is by far the easiest to optimize a website if you have a proper address in a city or region. You can create a local landing page and use a store locator on your website to help people find your shop.

Having the right LocalBusiness Schema markup on your website is one of the most important things you can do to make it clear to Google that you are a local business and what area(s) you serve. Despite the fact that this sounds quite technical, our Local SEO plugin can handle all of this quickly and easily. The plugin will only require you to provide some details about your business, and it will output it in the proper Schema markup. In addition to technically optimizing your website for local searches, writing specifically for a local audience is also a good idea.

Ranking for local searches requires more than just optimizing your website. Creating a Google My Business account and including all relevant information is one of the first things you should do. Additionally, putting some effort into getting industry-relevant and local links is useful. Like a local social media strategy, citations and even word-of-mouth and print brochures contribute to local SEO. If you want to dive into these topics, we highly recommend reading our series on local SEO by David Mihm. A great starting point is his Introduction to ranking your local business.

What is the distinction between SEO in general?

Local SEO could be considered a sub-discipline of SEO. Local SEO aims for higher rankings in specific areas, such as towns or regions, as opposed to SEO, which focuses on getting higher rankings for your website’s pages for searches that do not include a local component. These searches are frequently conducted by a local audience. Google can tell whether a searcher is looking for a local “solution” to his problem based solely on the query. These search queries are especially interesting for small businesses because they typically offer services or products to a local audience. If you want to rank for these local searches, you should invest in a local SEO strategy that is more focused on local ranking factors.

How can I learn local SEO?

So, how do you go about learning local SEO? Of course, there is a wealth of information available online, such as on our Local SEO tag page. There are numerous topics to read about, such as Google My Business, Schema, social media, reviews, citations, and so on. However, if you want more detailed instructions, videos, readings, and quizzes to test your knowledge, our Local SEO training course might be a good fit. It’s comprehensive, but it’s also practical and simple to understand, even if your website isn’t your main business, as it is for most small business owners.

Want to rank locally with your WordPress website?

Do you have a (small) business with local customers? And are you sick of seeing your competitors rank higher? Yoast also has a Local SEO for WordPress plugin available. Without breaking a sweat, this plugin will help you rank higher locally and in Google Maps!

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