What Basically Is Local SEO, and How Does It Work?

Local SEO is a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that helps your business be more visible in local search results on Google. Any business that has a physical location or serves a geographic area can benefit from local SEO. If you search Google for any important keywords related to your business and a map with 3 listings appears underneath it (also known as a map pack), then local SEO can help you grow your business. But to understand local SEO, you need to know how Google works first.

What factors influenced the evolution of search engines?

Because there were few websites in the early days of the internet, navigating the web was simple. However, as the internet grew in popularity, search engines were developed to help users find the sites they were looking for more easily.

When you typed a phrase into a search engine, it was matched to websites that contained the keywords in your search phrase. Google took a similar approach, but it quickly surpassed the competition when it became the first search engine to use links between websites to determine which websites were trusted and had authority.

Google now considers hundreds of factors, both on and off your website, to determine whether it is relevant enough to display as a search result. Your “digital footprint” is made up of factors, each with a different weight or value that the search engine uses to return results. Your digital footprint determines whether or not you appear as a top result in a Google search.

So, how exactly does Google work?

When you enter a search term into Google, it examines the pattern of various website signals, or ranking factors, such as how relevant your site is, to return a list of sites that match your query.

Most people are unaware that Google does not perform a live search of the entire internet every time they type something into the search bar. It’s actually looking through a cached copy of all the sites that Google has discovered. This copy is known as the Google Index.

Google crawls the web with small programs are known as “spiders” to create the index. Each spider operates in the same manner: it begins on a single page, then follows the links on that page, then looks at the content on subsequent pages, and so on.

As web content is crawled, it is stored on Google’s servers, and the index is constructed. The spiders operate on a massive scale, crawling trillions of pages at breakneck speed. This keeps the index as current as possible, and new sites and connections are discovered as quickly as possible.

Google’s search result ranking system

Google employs a variety of techniques to rank hundreds of thousands of websites in the blink of an eye. Algorithms are the name given to these processes. When you Google something, an algorithm searches the index and returns a list of websites in organic results that match your search. Those results are selected and ranked based on the relevance, prominence, and popularity provided by inbound links.

The algorithm considers a variety of on-site and off-site factors to determine which websites contain content relevant to your search. All relevant sites are added to the list, which is then ranked in order of importance. Using the various on-site and off-site factors, the algorithm determines which sites the best answer your search query, and those sites appear at the top of the search results.

Improving your SEO affects your website’s relevancy, prominence, and link popularity. When the appropriate elements of your site’s digital footprint are optimized, your site appears higher in more search results.

ocal SEO follows a distinct pattern.

What about organic local search results? Google discovered that people looking for certain types of businesses require results from their immediate area after analyzing the behavior of users during trillions of searches. As a result, Google’s local search algorithm includes a proximity factor, which is a fancy way of saying that Google considers your location when you search for a local keyword (a query with local intent). This occurs even when the searcher does not include a city name or the phrase “near me” in their query.

For example, if you’re at work and want a pizza delivered for lunch, Googling “pizza delivery” returns a list of locations near your office in its local SERPS (search engine result pages).

However, if you conduct the same search at home, you will receive a completely different set of results. This makes sense given that you require a pizza delivered from a nearby location.

Local search has been around for a long time, but it was limited because people only used desktop computers. However, with the recent increase in mobile internet access, mobile search has exploded, so local SEO has become crucial for the success of any business offering local products or services, as well as local marketers.

What is important for local SEO?

What exactly does this mean for search marketers? While the local map pack is displayed within the standard Google organic search listings, the main Google search results for local rankings and the local map pack results are powered by separate algorithms. As a local business, you have the option of appearing in both the main organic search results and the local map pack.

If you’re new to online marketing for your business, one of the most difficult challenges is determining where to focus your efforts in order to maximize their effectiveness.

Moz, a marketing analytics software company, publishes its annual Local Search Ranking Factors survey, which includes the top 35 to 40 local SEO experts from around the world. Its findings provide the most useful information about which factors influence local search visibility.

Localized content and local link popularity are factors, just as they are in Google’s traditional search algorithm, so it’s important to create local landing pages for each of your locations—especially if you have multiple locations—where you should include not only your business name but also details like address and phone, as well as optimize their titles, tags, meta descriptions, and follow SEO best practices. This should be factored into your content marketing and link-building strategy as well.

Furthermore, location-based factors such as having a business listing in Google My Business, local citations from data aggregators, and review signals – which should be published by your local customers – are taken into account in your local-oriented SEO rankings.

It’s also worth noting that there are local SEO tools that can assist you in developing locally oriented SEO audits, such as developing keyword research focused on your local audience, building citations, managing Google My Business listings, business profiles, and Google posts, and even monitoring your inclusion in local packs.

Website content is important, as it is in Google’s traditional search algorithm, but location-based factors such as Google My Business, citations, and review signals are also taken into account.

Begin utilising SEO.

Now that you have a better understanding of SEO fundamentals and how Google ranks local search results, you can focus on signals that will optimize your site’s digital footprint in the local search ecosystem. As a result, your company will appear higher on the results page, allowing more potential customers to find you.

There are numerous factors that influence your visibility in these searches, but keep in mind that local search is still evolving. Moz’s annual survey can help you form your strategy playbook by keeping track of which signals are becoming more and less important. You’ll be able to serve more people in your geographic region—and grow faster—once you start improving each important signal area.

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