How Local SEO Works: 5 Things You Should Know

Knowing how local SEO works can put your business on the map - literally! Google Maps is the first search a customer does to find a local business.
how local seo works

Digital marketing is a great equalizer in business and learning how local SEO works can extend your reach to a national or even a global market audience. But there are types of businesses where accessing a local market can be a priority. 

For example, if you have a physical store in Melbourne, Australia, having the locals know your business is a great way of bringing in local clients who can become your business’s lifeline. However, creating a name through digital marketing around where your business is based requires getting local SEO right.

What is Local SEO?

SEO is the process of fine tuning your site to rank higher in SERPs. The higher a page ranks, the more effective it will be in lead generation. A local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy involves optimizing your site to rank on searches from a specific geographical area. 

Take, for example, a Melbourne resident who needs a hairstylist. The search query will probably be ‘the best Melbourne hair stylist.’ Ranking at the top results for this search query if you run a hair salon in Melbourne will mean that you have a high chance of having them come to your salon.

Top 10 SEO Ranking Factors: How to Increase Google Ranking

How Local SEO Works

Knowing how local SEO works can improve your ranking. It is similar to any Google search, but Google considers different factors when ranking results for local searches. These factors include: 

  • The location where the search is conducted
  • The words used in the search query
  • A businesses NAP (name, address, and phone number) citations 
  • A business listing on Google My Business
  • Your Google My Business’s profile keywords usage
  • Online reviews
  • Check-ins
  • Social media shares 
  • Google maps star rating

What Every Business Should Know About Local SEO

1. Ranking in the Map Pack

If you type a local query in the search bar, for example, “fitness gym in Perth,” you will see a map with pinned business on top of your search results. These results are the Map Pack. Being on the Map Pack means you are at a good place to get leads even when you may not rank on organic results. 

Google uses different algorithms for a business to rank in their Map Pack, such as your NAP citation, listings on Google my business, and check-ins, among others. 

Also, Map Pack rankings can change from one side of town to another because Google may consider the specific location of the person doing the search.

2. Ranking in Paid Search Results

Paid search results usually follow the Map Pack. Paid search results provide a way for businesses to rank high even when they may not have made it to the first page of the organic search engine results. 

While it is a great way of attracting leads, it can be costly because you will have to pay for every click on the ad. Also, you will have to pay for every conversion. A paid ad doesn’t always guarantee results. You must ensure its content is optimized to match specific search intent.

3. Ranking in Organic Results

Organic search results come after the Map Pack and the paid ads in search engine results. However, it isn’t any less important than the two. 

Ranking on organic results for local searches requires the same strategy as any other search type but with more geographically specific keywords. Ranking in organic search results is a cheaper option than paid ads. 

Besides keywords, other ranking factors for organic results ranking for local searches include backlinks, internal links, page responsiveness, domain age, URL optimization, and user experience, among others. 

4. Engaging a Local SEO Expert Helps

Getting local SEO right can be pretty demanding. Like being an expert in your trade is important for business success, expertise in local SEO is important in succeeding at local SEO. 

Fortunately, you can get your SEO right without being an SEO expert. You just need to contract one of the best Australian SEO agencies to do the heavy lifting as you focus on other matters such as improving customer experiences. 

Some things you may want to look for in an agency before engaging a marketing agency include their experience, area of operation, expertise, and reviews and testimonials from other businesses.

5. Ranking for Local Searches Attracts the Most Qualified Leads

Search queries can tell where a consumer is in their buying journey. For example, if a consumer types “types of flooring to consider” in a search engine search bar, they may be out to learn about the types of floors that would work best for them should they intend to get one. While ranking for such search queries is important, the leads generated may not be as qualified. 

If the same person searches for “timber flooring experts in Perth, or near me,” there is a high chance they intend to engage a flooring expert. So, ranking for local searches for timber floor experts can mean you have a high chance of getting better-quality leads.

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