What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a subcategory of SEO.
The goal is to target users who google your products and services near them.
In other words, it is the activity of increasing your visibility in local searches.
Any business with a physical location or serving a local geographic area can benefit from local SEO.
Although local SEO and SEO are similar with several principles in common, there are still some nuances in their strategy.
Either way, by following optimization best practices, you can increase the quantity and quality of visitors to your site.
Local SEO: 7 Important Factors
Several factors contribute to the ranking of local search results. Here are the 7 most important:
1. Personalization of Google users
This factor is the one over which we have the least control.
Each Google search is personalized to the user, especially for local searches.
The 2 main personalization factors influencing the results are:
- Location during search
- Search history
We emphasize this factor because it is impossible to guarantee the first position in the search results.
As we have just seen, certain factors are beyond our control.
Here are some factors over which we have control and which we can optimize.
2. Your Google My Business listing
Your Google My Business listing is the most important element to stand out in the first results of Google Map.
It is also one of the factors over which you have the most control.
Here are 2 of the most important elements in your listing settings:
- Your main category
- Your secondary categories
To go further, we have created a step-by-step guide to optimizing your Google My Business listing. We cover everything from setting up your account, to ongoing optimization.
3. Google Reviews
Google reviews have a big impact on your local search rankings, especially in Google Map.
It’s the quality, not the quantity of reviews that matters. Good testimonials, accompanied by photos, is even better!
Google rates your reviews based on their:
This is a topic covered in detail in our step-by-step guide to optimizing your Google My Business listing.
You can also check out our go-to method for getting Google reviews.
4. Backlinks to your site
A “backlink” is a link from one site redirecting to another.
For Google, it’s a bit like a vote of confidence. The more sites linking to yours, the better Google will consider your site. The effect is greater when these sites are reputable.
The quantity and quality of “backlinks” is one of the most important elements of SEO, both local and web SEO.
5. Activity on your site
Following the same principle of “vote of confidence”, the more visits your site has and the longer they stay there, the more Google will consider your site positively.
Citations are mentions of your business name, address, and phone number (commonly referred to as NAP) on a website that is not owned by you.
Local citations may appear in web directories, social media or any other websites.
The important thing with local citations is that they all have the same information.
It is not necessary, for example, that on a site, one displays your current address and that on another, it is your old address.
7. The content of your site
The content of a site is the basis of web referencing. Search engines scan and analyze your site and then rank and list it accordingly.
If you want your site to come out on Google searches, your site must contain content that speaks to the topic of those searches.
In local SEO, your site must also contain mentions related to your geographical location and the territory you serve.
Optimize your local SEO in 5 steps.
While there are more, focusing on these 7 factors will dramatically increase your local search rankings.
1. Create locally specific content
For search engines to properly understand and rank your site, they must have content to rely on.
By creating content (example: blog post) on your site with relevant keywords about your services, products and geographic area, you will increase your visibility in local searches.
2. Claim and optimize your Google My Business listing
If you haven’t already, claim and verify your Google My Business listing. It’s simple and free.
Optimize your listing by adding as much detail as possible in the requested fields.
If you want a hand, we’ve created a step-by-step guide.
3. Optimize your site for mobile
No one likes a site that isn’t mobile friendly. Nobody! This includes Google and your users.
You can even take it a step further by taking a “mobile-first” approach.
4. List in online directories
As mentioned above, the important thing with local citations is that they all have the same information.
At the same time to validate the information, create your accounts with the largest directory sites. (Example: Google My Business, Bing, Yelp, Yellow Pages, TripAdvisor, etc.)
Do the same with sites specific to your industry.
5. Get more positive Google reviews
Although there are more advanced methods, local SEO is not rocket science. However, it is no less crucial for any local business.
Now that you have a better understanding of the subject, it will be easier to take action with the 5 steps mentioned above.
If we had time to do just one?
We are well aware of the lack of time that comes with running a business.
So if we only had time to do one of these steps, it would be without hesitation, the creation and optimization of your Google My Business listing.