What is Local SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a practice that affects how your site is found all over the search engine results pages (SERPS) of search engines like Google and Bing. But the internet is a big place, and what is the most relevant result in one location, may not be in another.
Like regular SEO, Local SEO is determined by a ranking system. How well your site is optimised will determine how well it ranks. Local SEO focuses on certain types of SERPS that are more specific to one area. Local SEO wouldn’t be very useful for a general search query like: ‘How to train dogs’. Whereas, the factors and parameters that Local SEO employs would be well suited for a more specific query such as: ‘Dog training centre nearby’.
Today, around 88% of search queries are performed by people on the go using either a mobile phone or another portable device. Unsurprisingly, a large number of these queries are regarding subjects of local intent, such as food and drink services, store hours, and directions to destinations. Local SEO practices will ensure that people see your page or website when they do their search.
How to make your site Local SEO friendly
The first step to making your website work well with Local SEO is to make it mobile-friendly.
Regardless of whether it is regular SEO or Local SEO, one way to make your site go higher in the rankings is to improve its usability. The best way to acquire a good amount of visitors is simple: make it an enjoyable experience. Think about it; if a store is well presented, clean, and easy to find things in, you are more likely to do your shopping there. A well-designed website is the same. However, just being well designed isn’t enough when it comes to Local SEO. When developing for a mobile page, you must consider the other restrictions created by the format. A store will include features like ramps or lifts for wheelchair bound people, for example. You must think about mobile users in the same way, as they are restricted by the various factors of their device. For a site to be mobile-friendly, it must accommodate certain concessions such as touch interfaces and less screen real-estate, as well as include mobile-only features like calling and scanning.
The other factor taken into account in SEO algorithms is content. Search engine algorithms are always aiming to push the highest quality content to the top of their rankings. Aforementioned is mostly determined by relevancy, narrowing down the data into what is most useful to the user’s query. Local SEO narrows this down even further, focusing only on content that is most relevant to the user’s location when they do their search. Content creators need to be more specific with their content. Using techniques like local language, and region specific words can produce a better result in the Local SEO rankings.
The other most important factor in achieving a good SEO ranking is information, more specifically, relevant information. For the kinds of things that Local SEO is concerned with, that information is NAP.
NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone number. These details are no different to the basic information that you would be given to find and get in contact with any business. These are the key details that you must include on your website, and must be present for your site to appear anywhere visible in the rankings. All information must be 100% correct for search engine crawlers to find you.
Google Local Maps
NAP is also vital for appearing on map listings. Maps, whether it be Google or Bing, are essential to helping users find the physical location of your business. When filtered through Local SEO, websites will only show up on maps if they include their NAP.