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What is Local SEO and How Can it Improve My Business?

What is typical SEO?

Suppose you think of the internet as a gigantic resource or store of information. If you’re looking for information about a subject matter, how should you know the most valuable places to visit (websites) to use as resources? In that case, Search Engine Optimization is the tool/guide used by the search engine (in many cases, Google) to create a website value system. Google filters through and indexes the expanse of the internet, utilizing a sophisticated algorithm to establish a ranking system that quantifies the quality and relevance of a website based on (relation to a search query.

An individual or user asks a question or suggests a topic (keyword) as a search query, and Google replies with a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). 

How do you rank well? 

In short, much like an in-person expert, a website needs to demonstrate a valued understanding of a given area or niche via content. The website and related content should be unique (original) and organized (easy to navigate). The website also benefits from internal links (connected thoughts) and external links (posts on other sites that link back to your site). External links can increase visibility while demonstrating expertise. Like professional fields, where experts should continue education, staying up to date as their fields evolve, consistently creating fresh, original content exhibits ongoing activity via an online expert’s website.

What is Local SEO compared to Typical (Organic) SEO?

Local SEO introduces geographical location as a primary criterion within a search query. Rather than looking for quality information and expertise, users narrow the field to nearby businesses. Local SEO is essential for businesses that feature/ utilize a brick & mortar location. Time is often of the essence for potential customers as they seek to act quickly and conveniently to fill a void or solve a problem. 

Stand Out (Above) the Competition

Map Pack

When applying a local search or query, you’ll recognize/notice a trio of segmented results referred to as the map pack. The map pack, aka local pack, displays pertinent information, including business name, address, phone number, operating hours, star review, etc., highlighting well-known and regarded establishments above the organic results.

While organic ranking remains significant, 

Shrinking the scope of a user’s search means that the quality of the leads generated and, therefore, the importance of the Local SEO ranking increases.

What are the Main Criteria for Local SEO? 

Relevance

If you’re looking for a particular service or product, finding a business that specializes in or offers that service is a top priority. Managing a termite problem in your home requires contacting a nearby exterminator rather than a carpenter, even though they’re both wood relevant. 

Distance

Whether your customers are traveling to your establishment or you’ll meet them at their home, how close are they (proximity)? Before traveling, customers may contact a business to double-check that it is open and if the desired items are available or in stock.

Reputation

The reviews displayed on the search engine results page (SERP) may be potential customers’ first impressions of your business. Potential customers want to establish your business’s accountability, credibility, and trustworthiness. 

How Can Your Business Separate Itself from the Competition?

Optimizing the Google Business Profile, otherwise called Google My Business, will strengthen your local SEO by touching on the criteria listed above.

Relevance

Your business profile should properly list the services that best apply and pertain to customer inquiries.

Distance

The name, address, and phone number displayed on your website, business profile, and other external links should be accurate and consistent. This location information will also help customers search for directions (Google Maps) to your store.

Reputation

Reviews and testimonials serve as examples of customers’ experiences. Are they satisfied? Would they come back or recommend the business/service to others? How does the business address customer issues? Are there real-life examples (Images, Photographs) of their work from actual customers?

When someone is seeking a service or product, they ideally want someone nearby that they can trust to do a quality job. Local SEO aims to create a hierarchy of businesses helping your business stand out as one your potential customers can trust. The team at Milk Street Marketing understands and utilizes the best practices that will make you rise and rank above the competition.

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