What is Local SEO?

For a local business to appear in the local search and map results, means more potential customers visiting the business location, more calls and online orders. So, when we talk about local SEO we refer to the specific types of web search people do on Google search or Google Maps which display results based on their geographic location. Let’s say you run a photography business and you want your business name to show up on a local web search or map search results when people near your studio search using queries like ‘portrait studio near me’. For your business name to come up in local web search results there are a number of ranking signals Google considers important for and they should not be neglected. Let’s not forget that people search in various ways using mobile, desktop or voice, with about one-third of mobile searches related to locations.

Studies show that over 85% of people who search for a local business on their mobile device actually complete an offline purchase.

With Google continuously evolving the algorithm and more businesses fighting for a spot in the local search results, the expertise of a local SEO consultant can provide the guidance you need to optimize your website and online local presence.

  • Boost online local visibility by optimizing your GMB profile, and driving traffic that converts
  • Get more positive and in-depth reviews on your Google My Business listing
  • Build your brand authority in your local community
Google map pack
Local map pack

Get listed on the Local 3 Map Pack

The number of people who search for local businesses and services in their community has jumped significantly in the last 12 years. When you search the web for a local business, Google displays a block of 3 local listings which show above the organic search results. This is called the local map pack. Google uses very specific algorithm which changes based on the proximity of a business to user’s location, to lists the local pack results. Appearing in the local pack results has its benefits for local businesses, because customers can get directions right away jumping directly from your business name that appears in the search results, to the local map listings from the convenience of their mobile phone.

Claim Your Google My Business (GMB) listing

Google My Business listing is free and relatively quick to set up. When you register and are verified by Google, the information you add to your profile, appears in the knowledge panel, a rectangular box that appears when customers search using your company name as a search query on desktop. It is very important to choose the correct business category when completing the GMB listing. It is also recommended to further enhance your GMB listing by posting photos of your products, physical location, your employees at work. Photos create that warm and welcome feeling and give more life to your knowledge panel, as customers love knowing who they are dealing with and what to expect.

GMB listing
Google My Business Listings
Local citations

Local Citation Signals

Also referred to as online directories, local citation listings is an important factor for local businesses for a few reasons.

  • Many people still use local directories to search for businesses and services in their area.
  • Have relevant links directed to your website
  • A study by Moz claims that citation signals account for 10-13% of the ranking factors.

Maintaining a consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) across all major search engines and other local websites and directories makes it easier for customers to find you online. A full citation audit is one of the first steps to make sure all citations are consistent. I wrote a blog post a while ago on the importance of local citation audit. You can read it here

Local Social Media Citations

Creating professional and on brand social media profiles is an equally important signal as GMB is for any local business looking to gain exposure in the local community. When setting up your social media pages it is important to speak to customers as a human while maintaining your branding guidelines and consistency. You also want to make it easier for people to contact you, by using online chat marketing systems, adding your phone number, or other contact information details.

social media citations
Social signals are important for local seo

There certainly are quite a few other factors that are important to help for your business or brand to be discovered locally. Such factors like the topic depth of your content, domain authority, structured data markup (schema), keyword optimization and link building, on-page seo elements like titles and meta descriptions to name a few, are part of what a professional SEO consultant looks into to further boost your online presence and increase businesses’ credibility in your community.