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  • May 20 2021

How does local SEO work?

How does local SEO work?

Local SEO is now a widely used strategy that helps to increase a business and its website’s visibility in local search results on Google. If your business has a physical location or serves customers in specific geographic area, you are highly likely to benefit from SEO. So how does local SEO work?

Quite simply, SEO, or search engine optimisation, refers to the process of improving your website’s visibility and its content on search engine results pages. There are many methods through which your website can be made to rank higher on search engine results pages – these may vary from ‘on-page-SEO’ to promotional approaches which can include social media marketing, link-building and so on. In this article, local SEO will refer to how high up your website will appear in search engine results pages for specific search terms.

When local SEO agencies are applying the strategy of SEO to improve their clients’ website visibility, they take advantage of the fact that the website can appear both within the organic search results and the local map pack at the same time.  This is a massive advantage to marketers as they can ensure their websites’ maximum visibility through a single strategy.

Why is local SEO important?

SEO is known for prompting people who did a local search to visit the physical store within the same day; a more obvious advantage is the fact that SEO helps to drive traffic to a website. This increases the chance of conversions and ultimately, helps to build a loyal customer base. Customers are more likely to trust businesses that come up in the ‘organic results’. When a website has a strong site architecture which allows easy navigation, it helps search engines index your site easily. Additionally, this also ensures positive user experience, which in turn may lead to repeat visits. The main benefits of local SEO, thus, is centred on how SEO can increase leads, improve user experiences and ultimately create a loyal customer base.

One of the main challenges faces by local SEO agencies is knowing how to make these marketing efforts as effective as possible. Your website’s visibility will be determined by several factors which can affect its SEO performance. Now, these local SEO factors – which are essentially all the factors that search engines are looking for- are as follows:

  1. Relevancy: as search engines try to provide the most relevant answers to a query, they will be scanning websites to determine the extent of its content’s relevancy. This is determined by algorithms, which may be determined by a searcher’s geographic location, search history and so on.
  2. Content quality: research shows that the quality of the content on your website is now a crucial factor in determining the ranking of your site on a search engine results page. Google is increasingly shifting towards content that understands a visitor’s purpose; keyword research based on popular searches also helps to identify which websites have useful, informative content.
  3. User experience: your website must be easy navigate with relevant linking and relevant content to boost its visibility on search engine results pages. These are likely to improve the user’s experience, and will encourage them to keep coming back for more.
  4. Site speed: the speed at which your website loads is increasingly an important factor for search engines.
  5. Cross device compatibility: Google has stated that ‘responsive design’ is its preferred method of mobile optimisation. This means that the website and its content needs to be equally optimised for any given screen or device.
  6. Internal linking: including links to other relevant websites within the content in your website may lead to higher trust signals for Google. It also provides the user with more reading options and can help reduce bounce rates.
  7. Meta descriptions: while meta descriptions won’t necessarily improve your website’s ranking on search engine results pages, it can, however, lead to a searcher clicking on your result after reading it.
  8. Images: this increases the accessibility, attractiveness and relevance of a website to a search term.
  9. Headlines and permalinks: having succinct, descriptive and attractive headlines improve the visibility of websites on search engine results pages. If you want to put in keywords in the headline, Google has stated that you use three to four key words.
  10. Local SEO: Google increasingly serves results to users based on their locations. This is important to businesses who are serving customers within specific geographic locations.
  11. Google My Business: location-based factors like having your business listed on Google My Business, local citations from data aggregators and reviews published by local customers are also taken into consideration when determining local SEO rankings.

 

Concentrate on signals which can optimise your website’s digital footprint in the local searh ecosystem. There are many factors which can influence your visibility. Enhance your local search engine optimisation strategy using the above tactics, but keep in mind that local search is dynamic and changes continually. Keep up with all the trends and latest research and continue to monitor performance. Once you start to improve on each factor, you’ll be able to increase your reach and grow much faster than before.

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