Founder of Ace Web Experts, Digital Marketing Analyst, Entrepreneur, Driven By New Technologies, 10 + years of experience in SEO Project Man
A website allows you to reach out to the whole (online) world. Local SEO, on the other hand, is focused on improving your ranks in your local surroundings. It is particularly essential now, during the COVID-19 outbreak when people are trying to contact you online more than they are offline. Being found online by your local audience increases your company's chances of survival in these tough economic times. In this section, we'll define local SEO and put you in the direction of additional in-depth readings to help you make your website more discoverable in your local area.
How Did Search Engines Evolve?
It is unavoidable that the advent of the smartphone, which has enabled on-demand access to information and opened Pandora's box full of anything our hearts want, has profoundly and irreversibly changed the world. In this climate, it is tough for marketers to come up with new ways to connect with their target customers. This was a watershed event in the development of the services provided by search engines.
Archie, an FTP site that maintained a directory index, is credited with starting the search engine revolution in 1990. For the foreseeable future, search engines remained basic directory listings until they moved to crawl and indexing websites, and eventually developed algorithms to enhance relevance and accuracy.
Google's Search Engine Has a Proven Track Record
Google has established itself as one of the world's most prominent search engines because of its unique and continuously improving algorithm. Google utilizes a number of criteria to assess relevance, including social networking, inbound connections, fresh content, and other factors. Other search engines have struggled to compete with Google's relevance algorithm.
Google initially appeared on the search engine scene in 1996. Google's search results were notable for ranking sites based on citation notation, in which a reference to one website on another website was seen as a vote in favour of that site.
It has also started ranking websites based on their authority. The number of other websites that connected to it, as well as the dependability of the other websites that linked to it, were used to determine a website's authority or trustworthiness.
Fundamentals of How Google Search Works?
Inclusion in Google's search results is completely free and straightforward; you aren't even required to submit your website to the search engine.
Google is a fully automated search engine that makes use of software known as "web crawlers" to scan the internet on a daily basis in order to discover new sites to include in our index. In reality, the overwhelming majority of the websites included in our results are not manually submitted for inclusion; rather, they are discovered and added automatically as our web crawlers scan the internet.
Google Search operates in three phases, which are as follows:
- Crawling: The process of crawling the web is carried out by Google using automated programs known as crawlers, which seek for sites that have been added or modified. Google saves such page addresses (or page URLs) in a large list so that they may be reviewed later. We discover pages via a variety of means, the most common of which is through following links from sites that we are already familiar with.
- Indexing: It is the process through which Google visits the sites that it has learned about via crawling and attempts to determine what each page is about. Google examines the text, pictures, and video files on the website in an attempt to determine what the page is about, according to Google. This information is kept in the Google index, which is a massive database that is spread over a large number of computers.
Providing search results: When a user does a Google search, Google attempts to identify which results are of the best quality. Numerous variables influence which results are the "best," including the user's location, language, device (desktop or phone), and prior searches, among other considerations. As an example, a search for "bicycle repair shops" might provide different results for a user in Paris than it would for a person in Hong Kong, depending on their location. Google does not accept payments in exchange for better rankings, and all ranking decisions are made algorithmically.
How Google Ranks Search Results?
Google ranks your website using two criteria: authority and relevance. A website's ranking will be determined using search engine "spiders" and algorithm results. These websites are listed in the order in which they appear on search results pages. The fact that you are at the top of the page indicates that you are relevant to the search query. This is due to the fact that search engines are constantly changing their algorithms in order to improve results.
The algorithm was created by Google, however, the outcomes are determined by the algorithm, not by anybody. Unfortunately, none of us have the ability to manually alter the algorithm's rankings for specific websites.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a search engine optimization strategy that helps your business appear in Google's local search results. This covers any business with a physical presence or that provides services in a certain area. When you search Google for relevant terms related to your business, a map with three results (also known as a map pack) appears.
To comprehend local SEO, you must first comprehend Google.
Why Is Local SEO Important For Small Businesses?
Local search optimization is important for both brick-and-mortar businesses that service specific towns, cities, regions, and even whole states, as well as online businesses. When done properly, local SEO allows customers to learn more about your business quickly and easily, taking them one step closer to completing a transaction with you.
SEO can be confusing as well as challenging for small business owners. On one hand they need to compete with the large brands and their competitive share and on the other, they need to recognize their local preferences. As they are small in terms of business size, paid search is something that may not work in their favor. This is where local SEO does the work for them.
With a local SEO strategy, they can target their audience locally and can streamline their marketing campaigns. As their audience is local, they can refine their business tactics and work accordingly. What local SEO does to small business owners is to provide them with geo-modified keyword targeting. Such keywords generally have a low searched base and seem to have high conversion rates. In this way, small entrepreneurs or businesses can start working on increasing their market value and in turn, seem to have a route for revenue generation.
Methods To Improve The Local SEO
1. Fill up your Google My Business profile.
When you think about SEO for your business, you usually think of getting your website to rank in Google's results by using various content and keyword strategies. With local SEO and Google My Business, there's a twist.
When you search for "ice cream near me," a huge map will appear at the top of your screen, along with information on each business's name, location, website, phone number, and reviews.
2. Get Rid of Duplicate Google Profiles
You may not remember creating a Google My Business page in the past, but many people are unaware that they or someone else did.
The problem is that Google dislikes duplicate content in search results. The fact that a user sees the same information twice is a waste of Google's resources. Duplicate listings violate Google's policies and may damage your rating.
3. Add categories and pictures to your listing.
Adding relevant categories to your profile may help you rank better in search results. Categories are analogous to Yellow Pages sections. Prospects are more likely to notice your business information if you are in more sections.
4. Obtain Google Reviews
Reviews may assist your business in standing out from the pack. Aim for more reviews, higher average ratings, and more reviews on a regular basis. To accomplish so, you must seek input on a regular basis.
Most businesses struggle to get online reviews. Because posting a review requires effort on the part of your customers. Reviews are also essential for improving your online reputation and, as a consequence, your local Google rankings.
5. Updating Your Google My Business Profile on a Regular Basis
Our recommendation is to constantly update your Google My Business page using the "Posts" function. Posting to Google My Business on a regular basis has been proven to boost local rankings.
Suggestions for updates include:
Updates to the blog
Notifications regarding new services, job openings, and so forth.
Start Utilizing Local SEO.
Understanding the basics of SEO and how Google ranks local search results will allow you to concentrate on signals that will enhance your site's digital presence in the local search ecosystem. This will help your business rank higher in search results, enabling more potential customers to find it.
Many factors influence your visibility in these searches, but keep in mind that local search is changing. Moz's annual research may assist you in keeping track of which signals are growing more significant. By enhancing each important signal area, you may begin serving more people in your region and expanding faster right now.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.