Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is essential to position a business or professional on Google locally.
By now most of the searches are carried out on smartphones and this means that Local SEO becomes more and more important in order to satisfy the need of a user who uses geolocated searches.
Especially small commercial realities such as hotels or restaurants in a single city must aim at the perfect use of Local SEO to have an excellent positioning on the web and therefore to be able to be easily geolocated by their potential customers. But obviously a Local SEO strategy also benefits large and well-known businesses.
In this article we will learn about the characteristics of Local SEO, its application and its importance in making your business known to more and more potential customers and therefore increasing your turnover.
Local SEO: what is it?
To explain Local SEO it is useful to give a quick explanation of SEO, as the two concepts are linked but it must be emphasized that they also have substantial differences.
SEO (search engine optimization) is the set of techniques and strategies to improve the positioning on the SERP of a web content (site, blog etc) especially on Google but also on other search engines. SEO Company provides a set of techniques and strategies useful for improving the positioning of a web content but for so-called geolocated searches.
So as we can see both SEO and Local SEO are used to improve the positioning of a website but with a big difference, SEO aims at a general positioning while Local SEO aims at a local positioning for “a local search strategy”.
A simple example to clarify: a website that talks about pizza seeks a global positioning while a pizzeria in Rome seeks an optimal geolocalized positioning in Rome and its surroundings because it must attract potential customers who are looking for a pizzeria in that area.
An important concept of SEO and Local SEO is Google Universal Search which is the way in which Google provides search results and user questions, with this way Google displays in the results pages all the relevant information with the query (search) of the user.
For example, if the query is “pizzeria Modena” Google will tend to show the results relating to the pizzerias closest to the user’s position, everything is managed by the Google Pigeon algorithm designed for SEO optimization in a local key will serve to give visibility to local businesses following a geo-localized query.
Local SEO positioning
The Local SEO positioning of a web page/site is different from the classic positioning on Google’s Serp (Search Engine Results Page).
Local SEO aims to position oneself on Google maps and on the Google Maps mobile app; on these maps the most relevant / best positioned company is put in the foreground while to search for the other less positioned ones you have to zoom in on the map to find them.
Furthermore, the positioning must take place in the Google Knowledge Graph box which is the information and results box that appears for certain queries on the search engine.
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Local SEO positioning is based on three fundamental principles:
- Relevance that indicates how a business listing matches the search made by a customer. The more complete the card is, the more Google will be able to match this card to user searches.
- Distance, this characteristic is usually chosen by the user.
- Evidence, this feature highlights the level of knowledge of a business. Some brands or brands are very famous and usually ranked higher; for example, if you search for hamburgers in the area, the first result will almost always be McDonald’s.
How to improve your positioning through SEO Local? Obviously it is impossible to intervene in the distance, while intervening on the evidence is almost impossible. Instead, it is possible to intervene on relevance by adopting different Local SEO strategies.
Local SEO: how to do it
There are various techniques and strategies to increase the local visibility of a business on Google; these strategies fall into two broad categories:
- Local on-site SEO strategies that are done directly on the structure and content of the website you want to position (such as keywords, responsive design, quality content)
- Local SEO off-site strategies that instead make use of resources external to the web page (Google My Business, backlinks, reviews from external sites).
In this article we will give you tips on how to optimize Local SEO to make your business rank among the top places in the local ranking on Google.
Among the many existing strategies, the most important one concerns the Google My Business card (off-site strategy) which is the most important element of optimization for local businesses.
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Local SEO: The Google My Business tab
Google, through the Google My Business section, makes available for free for all commercial activities a card to describe and catalog your commercial activity and present it to the public in the local results of Google and Google Maps.
So we can say that it is an essential resource for any business that wants to manage its online presence on Google and to help potential customers discover the products and services that are offered, to contact you and to help find the location of their business.
This resource was born in 2014 and besides being totally free, it represents the present and the future of local positioning according to many experts including myself.
Local SEO: Sign up for Google My Business and create your profile.
To access the service, the first step is to register on Google My Business and immediately afterwards you can create your business profile where you can enter: name, address, website and many other information. To register, you must have a gmail email address.
When registering your business you will be asked to enter:
- business name
- business address
- business category
- mobile or landline number.
After entering this information, Google will activate a verification process to make sure that the registered subject is the owner of the business, the process is very easy and is implemented in different ways: by post card, by phone call or by email.
In this initial registration phase it is very important to be precise about entering the data that will become the business card on Google; double-check the address and telephone number that potential customers will need to use to find the business or to contact it.
Local SEO: Google My Business Configuration tab
During registration, the first general information is entered but the Google My Business card is much more complex and complete to ensure that a potential customer can find all the information on a business.
The form must be completed entirely and with extreme precision to help users looking for a business like yours; in the Google my Business card you must enter: the hours of the activity, the logo, website, further contacts and the description.
The description must be written in such a way as to explain exactly what you offer (goods and services) and in the description it is very important to insert a keyword relating to the commercial activity, since this, in addition to helping the user to understand what the activity offers, is seen very well also by the Google algorithm for positioning.
It is very important to include photographs of your business because statistically the photos attract more than a written or a description; for example, a described dessert for sale will never be as attractive as a beautiful photo of that dessert that certainly encourages more to buy. You need to post high-resolution photos to best present your business.
Local SEO: Google My Business features.
In addition to information, Google My Business offers many functions to describe the activity in detail, so much so that this service can be considered as a mini site available to the commercial activity.
The most important function is called posts which are divided into 4 categories:
In the post it is possible to insert photos and text and also the prices of the services and goods offered.
Local SEO: Customer reviews on the Google my Business listing
Each customer can leave a review on your business and related scores from 1 to 5 ( click here to learn more ). The media is visible to everyone on the business profile and above all the reviews are visible to everyone. Precisely reviews, a very important side to be evaluated with extreme care because these have great influence on potential customers.
Excellent reviews attract new customers but it is obvious that a negative review can happen, in which case it is possible to reply to the customer even if the answer will be public.
Google tends to reward timesheets with many reviews (in this case Rcweb Studio ) or above all that there are responses to both negative and positive reviews. So you should always respond to reviews, especially negative ones.
Local SEO: Quick questions about the Google My Business listing
With Google My Business, you can get users looking at business listings to contact termite message business directly.
Advantages of using Google My Business:
- a completely free service
- high chances of being ranked high in local searches on the Google engine
- responsive card, therefore already adapted for mobile devices. This property is very important as most local searches are now done with smartphones or tablets
- the completeness of the cards, where it is possible to enter all the information of a commercial activity
- statistics of user behavior on their timesheet; obviously the static are visible only by the owner of the Google My Business listing
Local SEO: off-site optimization.
Reviews of external sites and backlinks
Reviews on external sites such as Yelp, Tripadvisor, Booking have a strong influence on Google and positioning; but also reviews on social media and therefore it is a good idea to connect web pages above all with the Facebook profile of the business.
Backlinks always remain one of the most powerful tools for SEO optimization. What is a backlink? They are links from the page of one site to that of a page on another site. Let’s take an example: a tourist page on Naples recommends Pizzeria X which is located in Naples by inserting the link in its article, here is a backlink. They increase the authority of a site and consequently its positioning.
Local SEO: on-site optimization
The optimization of the company website is fundamental for local SEO and there are several aspects to take care of to increase the positioning on Google; let’s go and see the aspects that we must never neglect.
The first thing to optimize is the NAP (name, address, phone number) , that is, the NP must always be identical on the site, in social media and in the Google My Business tab and wherever the company / business is present online. Having the same NAP everywhere provides Google with a signal of the accuracy of the information provided and facilitates the task for potential customers who want to get in touch with your company because wherever they find the same contact information and no doubts arise in them.
Regarding the site, it is necessary to optimize the texts in an SEO key with regard to the locale (place where the company is present). In the texts you must enter the keyword related to the activity and the location in which you are present .
Here is an example to clarify: if the business sells washing machines in Rome, it is not necessary to write only “sale of washing machines” but “sale of washing machines in Rome”; and remember to always write the keywords in a natural way and do not force just to insert more, Google prefers clarity, and even potential customers prefer clarity and understand what a particular company offers and above all understand it immediately. The photos must also be renamed including the keyword and the city where the activity is located.
As mentioned, users want to immediately understand what the company offers, speed is the basis of web searches, there are thousands of sites (companies that offer the same thing, so to immediately understand what a company offers, the keyword and the locations must be inserted immediately in the title of a page and in the url of the website; even Google will reward this operation of clarity of its contents. Obviously then also the contents must be of quality and give answers to the questions and doubts of potential customers.