The Ultimate Guide From Semalt On Local SEO
If you're finding customers for your local business through organic search, local SEO can be your best ally in the process. At Semalt, we explain how to appear in the first results of the search engine in order to reach more potential customers close to you.
Additionally, to significantly differentiate yourself from your top-ranked competitors; we use an SEO tool called the Dedicated SEO Dashboard. It helps us to gauge your site from top to bottom and to know the most relevant actions to take immediately to make you known to your customers in record time.
Before making you understand the importance of local SEO for your business, let's first find out what it actually means.
What is Local SEO?
When we talk about local SEO, we refer to the techniques or strategies for optimizing a website in Internet search engines in a specific geographical area where the user is searching; that is, when a person searches from a geographic area, local businesses that are related to the search will appear on the search results page.
The main objective of the local SEO strategy is to connect users with local or physical businesses that are nearby, although this does not mean losing the visibility or positioning of the website for other geographical areas.
With a local SEO strategy, you can improve the positioning of a brand or business when a user searches for a solution in a specific location or wants to find the closest and most relevant options.
How does local SEO work?
Local SEO differs from normal SEO in that, in local results, Google displays two types of search results. The first result is the map pack and the second type of result is the "blue links". Keep in mind that a company can position itself in both.
Map pack results: The map pack or local pack is a feature of the Google results page that displays the list of the main local businesses on a map. It usually appears at the top, before all Google search results for local searches.
Organic Search Results: These are organic search results, the "ten blue links" of organic results. They usually appear under the map pack results.
Local positioning: Why is SEO important to improve it?
Local SEO is especially important for users who search in the same geographic area, for those who arrive in a city, and also for businesses that appear in local results.
When a user performs a search, thanks to the fact that the search engine can interpret his / her intention, and even if the location plugin is not activated, the search engine will be able to return results from places close to his / her location according to their research intent.
In medium and large cities, there is more and more competition, thus, the factor of proximity to the user and the implementation of a good local SEO strategy, designed and structured by SEO agency experts, will promote your brand or business.
What is search intent?
It is what the user expects to discover or find when performing a search. The more specific the user's query, the better the results for the user.
Indeed, it is possible to highlight local intent where, unlike normal searches, user searches with local intent are intended to find quick and localized answers that help in making a decision. Intent means that users want to make a purchase near where they are.
Positioning factors in local SEO
The first thing you need to know is how Google search results are displayed in case of local intent. An ad or promotion link may be displayed, and then a list of businesses and their location, which is determined by the Google Business Profile or Google Maps, appears. And finally, the ten organic links associated with the search appear.
Remember that local SEO has two areas because there are two ways to rank. The first is the map pack, and the second is the organic results pack. Some businesses appear well positioned in Local Pack (maps) but may not appear in the first positions of organic results, so it is necessary to do a complete optimization, both on your site and in your Google Business Profile, to achieve a good position in both sections.
Ranking factors can vary in relevance depending on which of these two areas you want to rank for. However, some are important for both:
Google Business Profile
The Google Business Profile is a local listing containing information about your business. It's free and allows your business to appear in the map pack and on Google Maps. Remember that to be able to position yourself in the card pack, you must necessarily have created your company profile, a complete and optimized company profile is essential if you want to attract more business.
It's about the quantity and quality of reviews your Google Business Profile receives and the reviews from everywhere else on the internet. These have grown in perceived importance for ranking in the map pack over the past few years and are not only important for ranking but also for building trust with Google and with customers.
They act like votes for your site from other websites. In 2016, Google reported that links were one of its top three ranking factors. Additionally, many studies have found a strong correlation between links and organic traffic, and the perceived importance of links also increases in the local ranking of organic results. However, its perceived importance to the map pack remains stable over time.
On-page SEO occurs when changes are made to the content of a page so that it ranks higher in organic search results. The perceived importance of on-page signals for local SEO has increased, as shown by BrightLocal survey results from previous years, where it is evident that 34% of SEOs believe that on-page signals are the most important factor; more important for normal organic search. And 16% believe this is the most important factor for ranking in the card pack.
Implement the use of tags, meta descriptions on each page of the site, and tags related to geographical location, which must be of good quality to have weight in the search engine.
Other factors that influence local SEO rankings are the production of relevant content, loading speed, site security, site architecture, and domain authority.
Benefits of Local SEO
For companies that do not offer a service or product that can be distributed in a large number of countries or on a massive scale, the techniques used to geolocate search results are a fundamental aspect of health and commercial development.
Thanks to the geographical component and the proximity of the user who performs the search, the company will be favored to compete for its place with the other search results due, among other things, to the fact that in case of having a physical point, it will become a more visible business. Some specific benefits of implementing local SEO are the fact that it:
Increases the visibility of a company or brand in an area or region
This is considered a general benefit of SEO, however, the implementation of this strategy locally also increases the visibility of a business against other competitors who are located in a certain area.
The company acquires local authority: By improving its position within the search engine, in addition to increasing commercial conversions, authority is acquired in the eyes of users, eventually becoming a reference in the sector.
Users who find an answer to their local search are usually directed to the business within 24 hours.
Attracts new types of audiences
Local search is a way to discover new places in a city. A local person who hasn't heard of your business will now be able to find it by doing the right search, this way, you can reach potential customers.
How to do local SEO?
Local SEO plays out in two fields, as Google displays two types of search results for local search. These are the results of the "map pack" and the organic results of the "blue links". You can position yourself in both.
In order to get a better website ranking in search results, it is important to develop a good strategy for your local business. It is necessary to take into account certain details that are used by the search engine to identify this characteristic of the geographical location.
A key tool to start planning is the Dedicated SEO Dashboard, where the required SEO plan information for each company or brand can be found easily. Here are some tips to better implement local SEO:
- Encourage customer reviews.
- Manage your business with Google My Business.
- Get backlinks and endorsements from other brands.
- Set up a responsive website.
- Perform content marketing execution focused on a specific region or area.
Are you having trouble figuring it all out? Contact us, and let's start positioning your website locally!
At Semalt, we design, develop and optimize websites that result in increased sales and revenue. We provide you with all useful SEO services, whether it's your positioning strategy or the technical optimization of your site and its content, through the improvement of the user experience (UX). Contact us, and our team of professionals and experts will meet all your needs in a timely manner.