Local SEO Basics for Business 2022: What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO

What is Local SEO?

The term local SEO refers to the process of optimizing your site for a particular location. You do this by making sure that your content and metadata are optimized for the area where you want to rank. For example, if you own a restaurant in Craigieburn, you would optimize your site for the suburb Craigieburn. The goal here is to make sure that people searching for restaurants in Craigieburn find your page at the top of their search results.

How Does Local SEO Work?

local-seoWhen someone searches for something like “restaurant near me,” they type it into the search bar. When they click on the first result, they go to that website. If that website has been optimized for the location, then it will be ranked higher than other websites that haven’t been optimized for the same location. In order to get your website to show up in these search results, you need to have some kind of presence there.

This can mean having an actual physical business or having a virtual presence through social media. It doesn’t matter what you choose as long as you have a presence in the area.

 

 

 

Why Should I Care About Local SEO?

There are many reasons why you should care about local SEO. Here are just a few:

  1. Your customers are more likely to find you when they search for something specific.
  2. People who live nearby are more likely to trust you.
  3. More people are going online every day so you need to make sure that you are visible to them.
  4. Google rewards businesses with high-quality content.
  5. Google wants to help you build relationships with your customers.
  6. You might not even know how much traffic you are getting from local searches.
  7. You can use local SEO to boost your sales.
  8. You can use local keywords to attract new clients.
  9. You can use local citations to improve your reputation.
  10. You can use local listings to increase your visibility.
  11. You can use local reviews to improve your customer service.
  12. You can use local maps to drive traffic to your store.
  13. You can use local events to promote your brand.
  14. You can use local directories to increase your exposure.
  15. You can use local videos to create awareness.

 

Coming back to our main topic, Local Search Results types on Google

A local search result combines two main parts:

  1. Organic search results.
  2. Google My Business Or Bing Places.

Let’s take a look at each one separately.

Organic search results

These are the results that come directly from Google. They are based on the information that you enter into Google. These include things like your name, address, phone number, email address, etc.

Google also looks at the quality of your website, the amount of time you have spent on your website, and whether or not you have any negative reviews. This means that if you don’t have a website yet, then you won’t appear in organic search results.

Google My Business Or Bing Places

A place on Google or Bing, that you can add information about yourself to Google Maps or Microsoft Points. This includes things like your address, phone number, hours of operation, photos, menus, etc.

You can see how this works in action below. Let’s say we wanted to open a coffee shop called Coffee Beanz. We could submit all of the information that we listed above.

Also, you can list your business in places like Yelp, Yellow Pages, Zagat, etc. They list all the businesses within a certain radius. They are usually free but sometimes you pay a small fee to add your business to the listing.

You can see that both types of search results are very important because they are used together. Let’s say that you own a pizza shop in Craigieburn. You could have a website, but no one knows about it. What’s the point of having the website then? Right!

The answer is that you would want to be found by someone searching for “pizza” in Craigieburn. So, you would want to rank highly for those terms.

 

Local Search Results

This can be broken down into three sections

Map results

Google Map with the markers related to your search. When they click on the marker, they will get a page with more details about the business.

Local Pack

Listings of businesses around you that when people type in “coffee shops near me”, they will get a map with the markers showing where there are coffee shops nearby. The same thing happens when people type in ‘pizza shops near me”.

Organic Listing

When someone searches for “coffee shops”, they will see a list of all the websites right after the local pack results that are available. If they click on they will go to their website.

A good local strategy for a business should include multiple ways the get the maximum visibility to your business the more you are seen the better you will get more customers.

The three
Paid Ads (Top & bottom of the page, Google or Bing Ads)
GMB | Bing Places (Local Business listing on the search engines)
Organic Ranking (10 positions on a page right after the local pack results)

As a local SEO expert, I would always promote doing organic SEO right but I’m telling you if you have the budget go for both. Meaning, SEO as well as Google Ads as this would mean if you got all optimized well, at the start of the page your Ad then Map Listing then you rank organically as well you have 3 times to talk to your ideal customer, Yes the higher the visibility, the higher the chance of getting a conversion.

higher the visibility, the higher the chance
Yes the higher the visibility, the higher the chance!

Back to the topic,

Google My Business
How do I get my business listed in Google?

Google My Business allows businesses to create a profile for their company online so they appear when people perform local searches. As part of its efforts to help small business owners grow their online presence, Google has introduced several new features for local searches. These include the ability to add photos, videos, reviews, hours of operation, contact info, and even menus.

  1. Making an appointment
  2. Requesting quotes from multiple
  3. Message directly

If you don’t have a Google My Business listing for your business, you might be missing out on some potential leads from local searches.

If you want people to find out where you’re located, then having a Google My Business listing for your store is an absolute necessity.

Google My Business Ranking Factors

Relevancy means how closely something matches what people want.” Add complete and detailed business information to improve Google’s understanding of your business and match your listings to relevant customer queries.

Distance: “Distance” refers to how close your business is to the customer who does the Google search. In addition, when people don’t include any specific locations in their queries, Google uses its knowledge of where they live to determine which results might be relevant.

Prominence refers to how well-known a company is. Local rankings can be influenced by factors such as how popular a business is local. For instance, famous museums, landmarks, shops, and hotel chains that are familiar to many will appear prominently in local searches.

Prominence is also based on how well-known a company’s brand name is within its industry.” “Google review count and score are factors used by search engines when determining where businesses appear within their results pages. More reviews and positive ratings can help boost a business’ visibility locally.”

FAQ’s

  • What if Google returns a local business to my query?

There are some exceptions to Google returning a local business to a local query; in these instances, Google tries to determine the intent of the user rather than the user’s location.

  • What is Google’s algorithm for hotel search results?

Location-based results for hotels switched to intent in July 2018.

  • What happened to local businesses?

All local businesses were removed from the search results in favour of booking providers.

  • What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is the process of optimizing a business, product, or service for a search query that is location-specific.

  • What is a local search strategy?

A local search strategy can include multiple aspects to increase business visibility.

  • What is the difference between organic and paid ads?

This can include: Paid Ads – Above the Local Pack GMB – The Local Pack Organic – Below the Local Pack As a local SEO practitioner, I concentrate on providing organic visibility (non-paid).

  • What is the best time to run ads?

However, there is always a time and place for using paid ads; this would be when you are starting on your local SEO journey and are not appearing within the local pack or organic search result.

  • What is a local search result?

A local search result combines two main parts (or opportunities) for a local business: Organic Search Results – The website Local Pack – Google My Business (GMB) Users can also search for results in a different location by adding in a local area qualifier, like “Hotels in Melbourne”.

  • What are the benefits of Local SEO?

The practice of Local SEO includes optimizing the business’s website for local search queries, as well as optimizing the business’s Google My Business page.

Relevance Tips

  1. You can choose the best suitable category for your business.
  2. Include an accurate business description for your Google My Business listing. Try and include your primary keywords and location within it.
  3. Ensure that your name, address, contact details in Google My Business match the ones on your site plus any local citations that you may have.

Distance Tips

  1. It’s not always easy to predict which keyword phrases people might use when searching for something online.
  2. You can’t be where you aren’t. So if you aren’t in the actual location then target the location you are currently located in.
  3. Make sure the location is within the web pages throughout the site also can include a few landmarks when you trying to explain the direction.

Prominence Tips

  1. For citations, stick to local authorities such as Google News and major aggregation websites like Digg and Reddit.
  2. Look for local directories they may be available where you live.
  3. If you cannot find any relevant business groups within your city, then register with local chambers of commerce and trade bodies
  4. You can donate locally by going through local organizations like churches, schools, etc.
  5. Local media will be more likely to cover your story if it has some sort of charitable aspect to it.
  6. You can provide customer awareness articles to press and trade publications.
  7. Reviews on Google My Business, Facebook, and trade sites. Ask customers for their feedback by giving them an option to leave a review after they buy from you. Customers shouldn’t be forced to write long reviews if they don’t want to. They should just click
  8. If you’re working together, mention each other on your sites whenever it makes sense for both parties’ customers.
  9. It’s important to note that building thousands of directory listings isn’t necessarily effective for increasing traffic. Avoid submitting mass directories at all costs! These low-quality submissions are usually never seen again so there’s no point even trying them out.
  10. If you’re not sure which ones are best for you, choose the ones that seem like they’ll be the most useful.

 

Optimizing Your Google My Business Page

Google My Business lets users add information about themselves or their businesses. This information appears in search results and maps. It helps users discover what others know about your business.

Your GMB profile must contain your business name, address, phone number, hours of operation, photos, services offered, special offers, coupons, and payment methods. You can also upload a map of your store.

Here are some tips to help you optimize your GMB profile:

  • Business Type – Choose this category based on how your business operates. For example, if you sell clothes, select Apparel & Accessories; if you run a restaurant, select Food & Drink; and if you own a gym, select Fitness.
  • Location – Select the correct location for your business. If you operate across multiple locations, select the closest one.
  • Hours of Operation – Include the times you open and close.
  • Special Offers – Add special offers and promotions here.
  • Photos – Upload photos of your storefront or office.
  • Services Offered – List the services you offer.
  • Coupons – Offer discounts to your customers.
  • Payment Methods – Provide options for your customers to pay online.
  • Map – Show your physical location on a map.

Local SEO Tips: A Recap

  • If you want to improve your local SEO, then this beginners’ guide will help you understand how it works and give you some tips for improvement.
  • Here are some quick hints for remembering:
  • You should review your competitors’ websites in local search results. What can they be doing better than you? How can you improve upon their efforts?
  • Fill out all the Google MyBusiness sections, and remember these key points when doing so.
  • Use Google posts for maximum exposure.
  • Answer the questions asked by others on Google My Business.
  • You may want to consider paying for some of your posts if they aren’t reaching their target audience organically.
  • You must optimize each page of your site for its geographic location. You can use basic SEO techniques when writing content for any type of web page.
  • Remember, don’t forget about the power of citations, links, and localizat­ed content when it comes to reaching your SEO goals!

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