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What is local SEO, and why is it important in 2023?

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03 October 2022
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What is local SEO, and why is it important in 2023?


If you're a blogger or a business owner with a digital presence, you're probably aware of search engine optimization (SEO) and its significance to your online success. If you do not use local SEO, you have few options for getting found by prospective clients on the net.

Are you familiar with local SEO and how it might help you appear higher in Google search results? Continue reading to learn more about local SEO and how it may help your business. But first, you should understand how Google operates and how it ranks its search results.


How Does Google Function?


When you search for something on Google, it uses a number of website signals, commonly known as ranking criteria, to provide a list of pages that best match your search.

Contrary to popular belief, Google does not search the entire internet for each search you conduct. Instead, it scans the Google Index, which is a cached copy of all the sites it has found.

Google uses programs known as "spiders" to crawl the web and examine the content on each page of a website in order to generate this index.

When site content is crawled, it is saved on Google's servers, which then build the index. The spiders are always at work, crawling billions, if not trillions, of pages online at breakneck speed. In this manner, Google can assure that its index is always current and up to date.


How Does Google Rank Search Results?


Algorithms are methods that allow Google to rank thousands of websites in a matter of seconds. When you search for something on Google, the algorithm searches the index to generate a list of sites that contain the information you want.

These websites are then ranked according to their significance, relevance, and popularity.

The system uses a number of on-site and off-site characteristics to decide whether a site fits what you're looking for. The list it generates is then ranked by prominence depending on a variety of on-site and off-site characteristics.

The sites that the algorithm deems to be the greatest match for your query appear at the top of the search results.

SEO tactics such as SEO keywords, backlinks, and more can help you appear at the top of search results. If your site does not appear on the first page of Google searches for relevant keywords, you may need to optimize your page.

Local SEO is an important consideration while working on optimization.


What Is Local SEO?


Local SEO is the process of optimizing a website to increase traffic and brand awareness from local searches. Finding local keywords, enhancing a company's Google My Business profile, and creating "NAP" citations are all important aspects of local SEO.

As an example of local SEO, imagine you are at work and looking for a restaurant that can bring food to your office.
You may look for "Chinese food delivery" on Google.


Rather than providing a list of all Chinese food delivery services on the internet, Google returns a list that is relevant to you. That is, it will display Chinese food delivery providers in your area in its local search engine results pages (SERPs).

If you search for the same term at home, Google will provide a different set of results based on your location. This is due to the fact that you will want to choose a delivery service near you.


What Is the Importance of Local SEO?


When Google constructed its search engine, it studied user behavior and discovered that customers looking for specific sorts of businesses (such as restaurants) prefer results that are close to them.

This spurred Google to modify its algorithm to include a proximity component, which means that Google considers your location when you search for a local phrase. To get local results, you don't even need to specify your nation, city, or location, or phrases like "near me."

Local searches were still limited when individuals largely used desktop computers. Because the majority of Google searches are now conducted on mobile devices, local SEO is more vital than ever, playing a critical part in the success of any business that provides products or services to a local market.

In fact, you might be shocked to hear that local searches account for 46% of all Google searches. Furthermore, 76% of people who use their mobile phones to find something local end up visiting that store the same day.

This means that local searches play an important role in SEO.
So, by optimizing your business listing online, you may improve foot traffic, sales, and reviews, which will help your search engine rating and lead to more customers.


What Is the Process of Local SEO?


SEO for a local Google search works in the same way that SEO for a standard Google search does. When a user searches for something, Google searches its index to get the results that best match the user's query.
However, when it comes to local SEO, Google employs a distinct set of ranking criteria, which include:

  • From where a person is seeking
  • The company's Google Maps star rating
  • Whether or not the business has a Google My Business listing
  • Keywords used in the company's Google My Business profile
  • Overall assessment of online reviews
  • Keywords found in online reviews
  • The number of "check-ins" at the establishment
  • The number of shares on social media
  • Citations from the NAP

What Exactly Are NAP Citations?

NAP is an abbreviation for Name, Address, and Phone Number. NAP citations are all the places where your contact information is listed (name, address, phone). They are extremely important since Google uses them to confirm and ensure the accuracy of your business information.

That is, the more NAP citations Google sees for your business, the more they can corroborate your business address and phone number.
In other words, NAP citations boost Google's trust in your company.


One strategy is to obtain as many consistent NAP citations as feasible on reliable websites. Positive online reviews, not just on Google, but also on third-party sites, are very significant.

People rely on user reviews to make purchasing decisions.

Remember that offering incentives to customers in return for positive reviews may result in a Google penalty.

Your best bet for obtaining good feedback is to deliver an excellent customer experience and to send a review request link to the customer within 24 hours. To increase your local SEO, always respond to all reviews, whether positive or bad.

Traditional ranking parameters, in addition to local SEO ranking signals, still apply. Important factors in enhancing your local SEO position include valuable content, optimized websites, SEO keywords, and backlinks.

Conduct a NAP Citation Audit


NAP citations are similar to backlinks in that they are both valuable and difficult to obtain. Before you begin, conduct a NAP Audit to confirm that your information is 100% consistent across all sites.
Examine all of the websites that list your company, including:

  • Your website
  • Your Google My Business profile
  • Business Directories
  • Websites that provide local listings

If you're not sure which sites have your information, try digital citation tools like Loganix or WhiteSpark. Once you've compiled a list of all the locations, double-check that your NAP information is up to date and correct.

Fix and Repair Incorrect NAP

After you have compiled a list of NAP citations and checked them all, you must repair any errors. It's not uncommon for older businesses to discover a slew of erroneous NAP information online that has to be corrected.

You'll need to either edit NAP citations with incorrect information yourself or hire someone to do it for you. If you only have a few things to mend, you can accomplish them one at a time.

You can utilize a site like Bright Local or Yext to get a big list of citations that need to be fixed.

For those citations that can only be rectified by someone else, send an email to each of them and ask them to please amend the wrong information.

Examine Your Competitors' NAPs Using Reverse Engineering

Did you realize you can snoop on your competitors using the same tools you use for your own NAP audits? Simply obtain their NAP information and utilize a citation tool to search all of the websites that reference them online.

Results are frequently displayed even when there is no link to your competitor's website.

Last Thoughts

The modern consumer primarily conducts Google searches on their mobile phone, which gives local results based on the searcher's proximity. Use local SEO keywords, optimize your Google My Business profile, and establish NAP citations exactly as suggested in this tutorial to rank high in Google's local searches.

As a result, you should expect an increase in foot traffic, as well as sales and profit.


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