Local SEO for your business: what is it and how does it work?

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Do you want to get more out of your organic search results and improve the findability of your website? Then it’s time to delve into local SEO. In this blog we explain what it is, how it works and which factors are important.

What is local SEO?

First, let’s take a look at what exactly local SEO is and how the difference from “regular” SEO practices. Local SEO (also called local SEO) is used to increase your online visibility within local searches. These searches can take place via many different search engines, but in this case we focus on Google’s search results.

There are two ways you can show up in local searches:

Map – The map view is a Google SERP feature that shows a map of the top local businesses. Just search for “florist” or “hairdresser” and you will immediately see where the nearest location can be found.
Organic links – These are the standard organic search results that you already know. They are displayed below the map view and can also contain local results, if they match the user’s search query.

Why is local SEO important?

We all know the importance of regular SEO to improve the findability of your website. But did you know that a lot of people also use the search engine to find local businesses? In 2016, Google published a study on the importance of local searches:

  • 30% of all mobile searches are related to a location
  • 76% of users who do a local search visit a business within a day
  • 28% of these searches for something nearby lead to a purchase

So you can see that using a local SEO strategy for your company can stimulate an increase in the number of visitors and even customers.

Important factors for local SEO in Google

As indicated, there are two ways you can show up in Google’s local searches. The success of your visibility in this depends on a number of ranking factors. We list them one by one below.

Optimize Google Business profile (Google My Business)

The first and perhaps most important step to make your entry into the local searches is to create a Google Business profile. Formerly called Google My Business, this is a free feature to display a local listing with information about your business in map view and Google Maps.

Creating such a profile is the only way to rank in the map view. According to Google, this also brings some advantages, especially when you complete your Business profile. Customers would visit and purchase from a company with a complete Business Profile on Google up to 70% faster up to 70%.

Local SEO: Reviews matter

Not only a complete company profile will help you attract more local visitors. Reviews are another important factor in convincing visitors to visit your business or to do business with you. By collecting reviews on your Google Business profile, you can inspire more trust with both Google and potential customers.But how does this affect your ranking in search results? The ranking in search results is partly based on Google’s E-A-T guidelines, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness.

  • Expertise: A website with a high level of knowledge in a particular field
  • Authoritativeness: A website with a good online reputation
  • Trustworthiness: A website that is seen as trustworthy

Google reviews play a significant role for the latest guideline; Trustworthiness. Positive reviews from real, local customers send a signal to Google that your business is trustworthy and therefore a good result to show. And not only that. The reviews also give other potential customers who view your profile a familiar feeling, which will convince them to visit your location.

For example, Google itself states the following: “More reviews and positive ratings can improve your business’ local ranking. Your position in web results is also a factor, so search engine optimization (SEO) best practices apply.” Read more here.

Reliable backlinks

Backlinks are, just like with regular SEO, an important part of your local SEO strategy and findability of your website. You can see it as follows: a link to your website counts as a kind of “voice”. The more websites link to your website, the more value Google will attach to your website. This also contributes to the assessment that your website meets the E-A-T guidelines.

Is your company active locally and would you like to take advantage of the possibilities and opportunities of local SEO? We are happy to help you with a local SEO strategy to attract more visitors and customers. Feel free to contact us for more information!