Within the world of SEO there are several different subsets. Local SEO is one of them. Due to the way that everyone now searches for information, local SEO has become a much more important factor in recent years. Google is the new phone book. As a basic example, if you’re looking for a pizza you don’t grab a phone book, you’ll go to a browser app on your phone, open up Yelp or Google and type “pizza” with your ZIP code… or pizza with the name of the town that you want to order pizza in. Local SEO optimizes you for these types of “localized” searches.
More than anything the key is to make sure that you feed into searches that benefit you. If you sell pizza in “Beverly Hills 90210” being visible in search results for “pizza 90210” is good for business. So let’s examine the ranking factors for a local search result.
The factors that contribute to a local search result break out roughly as follows:
Making sure you are aligned with these factors is the best way to optimize your business for local searches.
The first thing any smart business should do right away is claim their “Google my business” page. Google is the place you need to be found and this is one of your best starting points. Once you do that make sure you include a good description and choose the right categories. Another thing that helps is to get as many photos in there as possible. Make sure you have a working phone number listed and that your address and locations are clear. Consistency on the name and all that kind of stuff is very key for local SEO. The more that’s repeated throughout the web on different sites the better your chances of ranking high in local searches.
Local reviews and just reviews in general are a big important ranking factor in SEO. This shows that you are a real live person who serves real live clients. The more that your business is positively reviewed the better you look to new prospects. In addition to this, there are local on-page factors that can be a big boost.
You will also want to make sure that your site is technically sound. Doing whatever you can to help make crawls easier or to present your site’s data in a more palatable way for these search engines is helpful. This type of technical optimization can also give you the edge you need over competition in your field.