SEO Basics: What is Local SEO?
The term Local SEO (search engine optimization) is used to describe the process of positioning a website as far up as possible in the local search results of a search engine.
The aim is to achieve the best possible placement for relevant search terms in a specific local area and to appear on the first search result page (SERP).
Why is Local SEO important?
Improving local search results is not only important, but depending on the industry you are in, existential. Good findability/ visibility on the Internet leads to more customer inquiries, more customer inquiries leads to more orders, more orders leads to more sales and more sales leads to greater business success.
Oftentimes, potential customers use search engines to look for stores or service providers in their area. And this is becoming increasingly popular with users of all ages. This is a great opportunity, especially for new companies and stores that are a bit off the beaten track of highly frequented shopping streets. After all, the Google search for a restaurant or doctor in the vicinity is usually followed by a local visit.
What are the most important ranking factors for local SEO?
“NAP” stands for “Name, Address, Phone Number”. Make sure that all entries on the website, in various business directories, on social media channels, on various rating portals and also on Google My Business are identical and spelled the same.
Google My Business
One of the first steps to be taken to positively influence search results for local search is to create a Google My Business account. Only with this account it is possible to display the results in Google Maps.
Local citations also play an important role in local SEO. For this reason, a company should never do without entries in the business directory.
Relevant are also entries in well-known, trustworthy, but also thematically appropriate directories. If there are entries in industry-specific directories, this is an important indication for Google. Here it is to be noted again that the entered data, with those on the web page and other platforms agrees.
Usability on mobile devices
In order for users to find your website and enjoy surfing on it, you should definitely pay attention to user-friendliness on mobile devices. Keep in mind that more and more people prefer to surf on a tablet or smartphone rather than sitting at their home PC. This factor is therefore particularly important when it comes to local search.
Local SEO is no different from “normal” search engine optimization in terms of on-page optimization. However, the search queries can differ significantly from those of the supra-regional search queries. Therefore you have to explicitly analyse and select the relevant keywords and topics for the regional search.
Which keywords are frequently searched for in the respective region? Which search phrases are used? Do they also fit the service offered?
Backlinks that point to your own page can also significantly improve the ranking in the local search. This includes, for example, links that are placed on your website from yellow pages or rating portals.
Are there social media channels associated with the company? Then it is important to ensure that these are active and interact with fans and followers. This sends positive signals to the search engine (e.g. brand awareness) and has a positive effect on the ranking.
Reviews / Ratings
For most consumers today, authentic and personal evaluations are crucial in making a purchase decision. Who has never read the reviews at Amazon or other online providers before making a purchase decision? Probably the fewest. This is especially true for larger purchases.
Good ratings or reviews have a positive influence on local SEO. Here the saying “the more the merrier” applies.