Local SEO is important for any businesses which is online. Even, if the business is working in offline mode, it is always recommended to bring your businesses presence online and at least get the basic SEO done which will ultimately help in getting more footfalls to your brick and mortar stores. The number of customers will get increased exponentially if you have someone with expertise in Local SEO like Australian Monk.
What is Local SEO and How is it done?
According to Wikipedia:
Local search engine optimization (local SEO) is similar to (national) SEO in that it is also a process affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results (SERP- search engine results page) often referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results.
Local SEO, however, differs in that it is focused on optimizing a business’s online presence so that its web pages will be displayed by search engines when users enter local searches for its products or services.Wikipedia
In sort, Local SEO is a way to optimize a webpage or a website in such a way, it appears on top of Search Results whenever people are searching for the relevant services and products in their area. For e.g. If someone searches for “Plumber near me” or “Saloon in Melbourne”, the businesses which have optimized their pages for these queries (“keywords” in terms of SEO) will appear on top of Search results pages specifically on maps and their is a high chance that the user will take the action like visiting their website, calling them, or book an appointment online, etc. This will increase their chance of getting good leads and ultimately help them in expanding their business.
Local SEO can be done in many ways and the recommended one is to hire an agency like Australian Monk in Australia or Apptians in India for your Local SEO needs. These companies takes appropriate action on your behalf and helps you to optimize your website properly so you have higher visibility than your competitors. Another way of doing basic Local SEO is to create a free Business page on Google Business Profile or “Bing Places”. Make sure that you complete your profile on these like you have taken care of the “NAP”(Name, Address & Place). These websites also allow you to post on a regular basis and allows you to book an appointment online.
Local ranking according to Google
According to Google, Local ranking has 3 criteria mainly Relevance , Prominence, and Distance.
Relevance means how much your business is relevant to the user queries. If your services and products are relevant and matched to the queries by the user then your website/webpage has a higher chance to rank on searches and maps.
Prominence means how much a business or place is good and have reputation. Google and Bing looks for multiple factors for the prominence like number of reviews and ratings, questions & answers related to that places, number of people visiting the places, mentioning of that particular business/place in other articles/blogs/links.
Location means the distance between the business and the user who is enquiring. if you business/place is near to the user and have good reputation online then you will have a higher chance to come on top of results. Businesses who are far still has a chance if they are really good and have a higher end-of-search of the user. If the last place of the user is unknown then the search engine tries to find the relevant business/places as per the last location available of the user.
Near Me Queries on Google & Bing
As per many surveys, most of the people are now searching for near me keywords like “Barber near me”, “SEO Service Provider Near Me” and similar to these. Keywords/user queries with “near me” has been rose exponentially in recent times due to the popularity of Google Maps. Their are many options which have been automatically provided to the users while they use the maps like “Travel”, “Hotels”, etc. and so businesses which are in these categories can get easily benefit from these.
Google’s Algorithm related to Local SEO
Google has rolled out many update to enhance the user experience and results. These algorithmic updates has made the life of the user much easier and have provided them with awesome experience. Some of the updates which needs to be known are:
This update was rolled out on 1st September 2016. To summarize, this update was mainly beneficial for those businesses which were outside the city limits as they were also being shown on the results page. Another significant thing in this update was, it was showing more and distinct options to users by filtering contact number and addresses. If two businesses were having same address or phone numbers, Google will show only one of them and will provide user with a different options.
This update came on 22 August 2017 and this update was mainly related to the previous update by Google. As per previous update, any businesses having same address or contact number will not be shown to the user but this time, Google has applied a rule of “50 feet” in which it will not show the business within the same building, premises or 50 feet but if they are far apart and relevant, Google will show it to the user.
Local SEO is an important part of marketing and every business should include it in their marketing strategy. Local SEO can play an important role in bringing organic traffic and improve your online visibility and it is advise to hire a Local SEO Expert or an agency like Australian Monk which will help you to boost your presence.