What is local SEO and how is it different from normal website SEO?
In this article I am going to try to help you determine if local SEO is a good option for your business and how to move in the right direction to improve your ranking.
Local search results
Okay, but first, we need to clear up a few things.
In recent years, Google has revised its search results page to offer local businesses a prime spot on their first page.
The reason is simple: Google users like you and I want to see local businesses for certain search phrases.
Here’s a quick example …
If I’m walking around Vadodara and I need to find a nearby web design company, I turn to Google. A search for “web design in Vadodara ” on my mobile device will show nearby businesses and local SEO agencies (ohh, surprise, Corbax shows up!), Along with helpful information like their phone numbers, hours, addresses, and reviews.
Not only does this work great for finding a wonderful web design and SEO company in Vadodara, but it is also my preferred method of finding other businesses such as restaurants, hotels, doctors, and even bars and gambling dens open at impossible hours.
Of course, I’m not the only one searching for local businesses on Google.
According to Google, »approximately 1 in 3 of the queries that people simply type in a standard Google search bar are about places, it is about finding information about locations…»
You’ve most likely done this too, using Google My Business business listings, which means you’re at least somewhat familiar with local search engine optimization (aka local SEO). Now that we’re focused on what we’re talking about, let’s dive into the frequently asked questions …
1. What is local SEO and how is it different from normal website SEO?
You may not know how it works, but I’m sure you are familiar with search engine optimization (SEO). That’s the process of getting your website to rank high in Google for relevant search phrases. What is local SEO and how is it different from normal website SEO?
With local SEO, there is a little twist. Instead of focusing exclusively on your website, it will also focus on your Google My Business profile page. This is because Google displays business pages (along with a map highlighting where businesses are located) for many locally focused search phrases.
For example, search for “dentist near me” and you’ll see what I’m talking about. There will be a map in the upper right corner and the names, addresses, phone numbers and reviews of the dentists will be at the top of the first page of Google. That information comes from each company’s Google My Business page.
So the key difference between local SEO and normal website SEO is that we need to optimize both your website and your Google My Business profile page to compete in local SEO.
2. Can Google be induced to show business results?
One of the most frustrating aspects of local SEO is the fact that Google doesn’t always show business profile pages in search results. So another frequently asked question is how to force Google to show map results instead of just listing web pages in results?
Not only does this work great for finding a wonderful web design and SEO company in Rajkot, but it is also my preferred method of finding other businesses such as restaurants, hotels, doctors, and even bars and gambling dens open at impossible hours.
Unfortunately, the answer is that you can’t …
If you search for a relevant keyword and Google doesn’t include the map with business profile pages, there is no way to force Google to display your business page. Instead, you will need to optimize a page on your website using common SEO tactics.
For this reason, it is important to always check the relevant search phrases on the Google results page before launching a local SEO campaign. If Google doesn’t rank Google My Business profile pages, local SEO isn’t the best approach.
3. What types of companies can use local SEO?
To include your company, it must comply with the guidelines for advertising companies on Google. It should be pretty obvious that local SEO is not appropriate for 100% online businesses. That’s because there is no physical location for customers to visit the store.
Think how annoying it would be to see ecommerce businesses listed when looking for a nearby coffee shop. You want a place to have a cup of coffee, not an online store to receive coffee beans.
The basic rule of thumb is that local SEO is a good opportunity for any business that interacts in person with customers, users, or patients. If you never meet in person, then it is not a good option.
4. How do I compete in cities and towns outside of my physical location?
With local SEO, the location of your office or store is an important factor in the ranking algorithm. Again, think about this from the perspective of the person you are seeking.
If I’m looking for coffee, it doesn’t help to see businesses that are really far away. Google knows this and that is why the location of the person searching versus the actual location of the business is an important factor in local SEO.
That means you’ll have a better ranking and advantage on Google when your potential customers are searching near your business location. The further the potential customer is looking, the less likely you are to rank on the first page.
It’s not impossible to rank for cities outside of your physical location (for example, you can create pages on your website for a target location), but you must realize that you are fighting an uphill battle with local SEO. If all else is equal, the business closest to the person doing the search is likely to have the upper hand.
If you liked it (or not), have any questions or want to contribute something on this topic, use the comments below.