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local search

Local Search is what online visitors do when they are looking for a local business for services. It is done by using a search engine to search online for something like a local plumber with a geo qualification. You can simply type in "Plumber {your city}" into the search bar, hit enter and see the results. The top results will be any paid ad listings, followed by a Google map with pins on it and then a list of organic search results. Google fills out the top three map positions and the organic list based on what the algorithm believes are the most relevant search results to the searcher’s query. Read on to learn how to improve your position on relevant local search results pages.

5 things businesses can do to improve their local search results

  1. Optimize your website for local SEO

Many people think they need to put a bunch of keywords in page titles with their city in it but this is a common misunderstanding when it comes to local SEO. This practice will actually do more harm than good unless you know what you are doing and not over using it. You do need your Name, Address, and Phone (NAP) on every page of your website; most commonly placed in the header or the footer, which doesn't usually change from web page to web page.

  1. Set up Google My Business, Bing Local, and Yahoo Local

Start with Google My Business since that will take care of most of the local searches (75% or more). Here's instructions on how to set up Google My Business. Now you need to optimize these locations, which is more involved, but basically just means filling out your business information appropriately.

  1. Check and Update Online Directories

Search engines compare your NAP with popular directories to confirm the location of your business. If any of these are out of sync it can hurt your rankings and depress your results. There are many different ways to speed up this process using various tools like MOZ local. This helps you remove duplicates and incorrect listings.

  1. Manage Reviews

Online review sites like Yelp and Google My Business give search engines signals on the credibility of your business.

These review sites are under fire for false posting, though, because it is currently estimated that up to 50% of online reviews are fake. Recently, some websites like Yelp have gone on the offensive and sued individuals for posting fake reviews. So, don't go out and create false personas and post fake positive reviews for your services because you can get caught.

  1. General Ranking Factors

There is a laundry list of general ranking factors that affect organic SEO. Without going into too much detail, here are just a few to consider for local search:

  • Social media signals
  • Inbound links
  • Traffic and clicks to website
  • Domain authority
  • ...etc.

Negative Factors That Can Hurt Your Results

  1. Mismatched citations (NAP)
  2. Malware on website
  3. Non-mobile responsive
  4. Fake reviews

Seek the Help of a Local Business SEO Expert

Softwired provides digital marketing solutions for our partner agencies and clients. We’ve got you covered for web design, blogs, landing pages, SEO, local online presence and optimization, digital marketing, digital sales, and digital advertising.

Local Search is one of the most intuitive and easy things to fix when it comes to SEO. By following the steps above you can boost your local presence online. If you need help improving your local search engine results; we can give your business a low cost, one-time service.

GET A LOCAL SEARCH MARKETING PLAN

 

Topics: SEO, Local Search, Local Business

Tony Sova

Written by Tony Sova

Owner of Softwired, a web design, SEO, and Inbound Marketing firm.