Local search simply involves users getting search results on service, products or whatever else they might be looking for in their specific locality. Every business owner would love to be in the know of what local SEO entails and what exactly makes Google, and other search engine algorithms, tick because a local search more often than not is a strong indication of buying intent. That said, here’s more useful information on how local SEO works.
The past of Local Search
Conventionally, there are generally two ways to scale up the SEO ranking mountain, local or otherwise, with the division generally torn between white and black hat techniques. The latter being the frowned-upon path encompassing SEO engine deception via keyword stuffing and other underhand strategies while the former involves playing by the rules and incorporating acceptable alternatives such as optimization of web pages.
While black hat SEO provided an edge to competitors in the past, internet watchdogs have moved to arrest the situation in a bid to level the playing. And that they have and continue to do so relentlessly.
At the moment, local SEO prowess is crucially dependent on what others say about you aside from primary traditional sources of credibility. Previously, Google, Yahoo, and Bing would heavily influence website success but in the present-age other third-party sites such as Yelp and Facebook are also getting a share of that cake which emphasizes the importance of social media platforms to your cause.
To substantiate this, a recent study has brought to light the fact that people are thrice as likely to discover information outside your business’ website as opposed to on it. That figure astonishingly rises to ten for those in the hospitality industry. Moreover, the numbers also evidence the pivotal importance of local search indicating that 74% of netizens carry out local searches and that 61% of those who do end up buying whatever it is they were looking up.
What matters today?
Mobile friendliness is a big thing these days and can mean the difference between popping up on the very first page of a local search or being buried amongst the double-figures of SERPs where very few people, if any, ever venture.
Besides that, prominence, relevance, and distance are also dictating how local search engines work with relevance generally referring to related services or products within the niche and distance proving a ranking factor in how local searches are displayed e.g. from the nearest to the furthest one out. Meanwhile, prominence takes into account third-party reviews like Yelp which give an account of your business’ public perception.
This trio of aspects has heavily shaped how local search works presently and consequently holds the key to unlocking local SEO success.