What is Local SEO all about?
Local SEO is another element of SEO. The crooks of it are mostly the same but with different nuances to be aware of.
Google Local SEO is the biggest topic within the Google/Search/SEO sphere today, and is having a massive impact on visibility for all types of local businesses.
Ahrefs probably has the most comprehensive Local SEO guide if you want to read in more detail.
The lingo: Often referred to as Local Search, the Local Pack or the 3 Pack.
So how does the Google Algorithm work for Local SEO?
Google uses this simple concept to rank businesses in Local search; Relevance, Distance, and Prominence.
Google’s goal is to provide the most accurate search results to the user in the fastest time possible, and this means giving you the best, most relevant search results which are going to solve your problem.
What exactly are you talking about here?
Local SEO.. we’re talking about the small map on the search results when you search using your mobile device or laptop.
What businesses should care about Local SEO?
Local SEO is extremely important for local businesses. If a user searches for ‘plumber’ or ‘locksmith’, the results they will see on the map are local companies who are in close proximity. So if you work for one of these companies, you want to be optimising for Local SEO.
Some other examples of local businesses: restaurants, painters, plumbers, pest control, counsellors, mechanics etc.
Why does local matter?
Local SEO gives small business a chance to rank.
FACT: For a new company starting out within a competitive industry, its hard to rank on page #1. It can take between 6-12 months to see results.
Larger players with big budgets dominate page 1. They occupy all the top organic spots making it really hard for smaller businesses to get in ear shot. They have bigger budgets and dedicated marketing teams to drive performance.
And we all know, if you’re not on page1 for your desired search term (and really within the top 4), you’re not getting much action.
When you’re a small business without the dedicated focus on SEO, it becomes hard to achieve organic page 1. Then you resort to paid search ads. And depending on how competitive an industry you are in, this can be expensive as hell.
‘personal injury lawyer’, $111 for 1 click…. pretty crazy right!
So, optimizing to appear on the Local Search Map is now the name of the game. This way local businesses gain better visibility, more traffic, and can compete.
Optimizing for local search gives smaller local companies a chance.
Enter, the importance of Google My Business. If you’re not set up with GMB, then you’re missing out BIG! As, you won’t appear on the local search map.
Google My Business
A wise man once said.. if Google owns the ecosystem, (Google.com, GoogleMyBusiness, Google Ads), do everything you can to make them happy. If they provide tools within Google My Business, take advantage of them, and they will reward you.
Google is steaming ahead with tons of tools and updates for the Google My Business platform. Upload photos, publish blog posts, add your company URLs and appointment booking URLs, manage your reviews, and message customers.
Once your inside and setup, then you can start optimsing your Google My Business page.
One thing you can do right now is start posting photos.
A Synup study found, “Listings with photos are 2x as likely to be considered reputable and get 35% more clicks.”