Local SEO Explained: Definition & Examples
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s the practice of manipulating content and links to get a website higher up in the search engine results. Local SEO is search engine optimization focusing on the rankings on a neighbourhood or city level.
Simone is looking for a bakery in West Vancouver. She gets out her phone and googles “bakery west vancouver”. The map results show three bakeries closest to her. These bakeries showed up because Google knows where they are in proximity to Simone, and that they offer baked goods.
Address, type of business, reviews, links and more has given Google enough information to make the connection.
Why Local Matters
A software or app company such as Slack would only care about their website ranking on Google across a country. Their business is not dependent on the location of someone buying it.
In contrast to that, a dry cleaner would only care about ranking in their city and neighbourhood. A local business that serves people at their location must have a strong Local SEO presence in order to show up when people are near them.
How Does Local SEO Work?
In Moz’s 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors study the #1 factor of where a website shows up is the Google My Business signals. This explains that the most important element is the proximity of the user to the business.
Google My Business
Google My Business allows people to claim their business location and add information beneficial to a user such as address, phone number, and reviews.
Optimizing the listing means adding as much information as possible and keeping that info updated. At The Status Bureau we have seen a direct correlation between rankings and an actively updated listing.
Google Getting Local
For years Google has been integrating and improving their results for local.
- 2005, launches Local Business Center
- 2006, merges Local Business Center and Maps
- 2010, integrates Maps results into search pages by introducing Places
- 2012, algorithm update Venice starts prioritizing local businesses
- 2014, algorithm update Pigeon helped improve the local rankings