Google search engine algorithm is as tricky as understanding a few mathematical concepts.
For me, probability functions have always been tricky!
And as an ardent marketer, I refuse to give in to the algorithm's anonymity, just like I wouldn't let Probability win the cold war!
So, I decided to find out how Local SEO works to leverage the anonymity and help my clients invite 2x traffic on their physical store.
Here's what I learned!
Local SEO is a close relative to SEO. It performs the same functions as SEO does but on a local level.
The process is simple; each time you enter a location-specific query on the search engine, it shows you a list of all possible results around a specific location.
A location-specific query generally uses modifiers such as;
● prefix + near me
● prefix + in
The modifiers also use three principles to detect, gather, and produce results for a local search query.
● Proximity: It answers questions like - How close is the store to the user?
● Prominence: This attribute answers questions like - How are the reviews of the store? And if the customers like the product or service.
Based on these three principles, it collects data for the location-specific search query and reflects on the SERPs.
For example, when I Google "Coffee shops near me," this is what I see;
The first three results together are the 3-Pack or the local pack, and they have aced their local SEO strategy.
So, the idea is simple!
Each time that you enter a location-specific search query into the search engine, the Local SEO strategy works its magic to push a relevant store into the local-pack or at least in the first five results of page one.
Since 2015, the number of mobile users has only increased. And as a consequence, mobile searches also have shot-up by a great deal. And to match the level of advancement, creating a mobile-first and functional website is of utmost importance.
Furthermore, getting the crawlers to notice your website is another task. But when it does, the traffic just doesn't stop!
So, if you're a multi-location business or a small business looking to increase traffic on your physical store, then keep reading to know how a local SEO agency can help you.
As you're creating the bases of a flawless online presence, you will need to list your business in Google My Business. Since Google receives 86% of the total mobile searches, you will want to establish a strong presence on this search engine.
When you create a GMB profile, you're one step closer to niches. Let's walk through what happens once your profile is ready.
● If your local SEO strategy is good enough, then each time a user enters a relevant local query, your store shows up on the first page, if not the local pack.
● After looking at your store's rating, other potential customers will want to try your store for a set of commodities.
So, you see, all you have to do is create and optimize a GMB profile and rest the reviews and ratings will do it for you.
In fact, if you have an online website, Google will redirect the user to the website upon clicking on the "website" icon. And this means that your increased website traffic will increase your SEO rankings.
Now, if you're a business operating on multiple locations and you have a website, you must create a different webpage for each of these locations. By doing so, you allow the crawlers to crawl each location page differently and index them under relevant keywords.
It is the mobile-first era. Every consumer with purchasing power has a smart-phone to help them with groceries and other purchases.
On the top of the SERP are two ads, a direct result of PPC (a.k.a paid search.) It says that these business owners have shelled out money to appear on the top of the SERPs when a user enters a relevant local search query.
In the second screenshot, you can see three more stores.
I call the third screenshot - "A rare zone." Users scroll down so much only when they're not happy with the first few results. And that happens only rarely.
As rational users, we tend to prefer a commodity in the market for five years over the one entered two years back. Simple because it has a trusted user network and we avoid experimenting with newer things.
Local SEO busts the myth of "Old is Gold" and brings in a FOMO factor that encourages users to visit a place or buy a product/service.
We saw how a Local SEO agency could help businesses in multi-location, and small businesses gather more customers and multiply your sales. Using search engines' power to leverage more customer base is now a popular way of running your business. Having said that, registering your virtual business store might have some unpleasant consequences like bad reviews and ratings.
So, to quote Spiderman,
"With great power, comes great responsibility."
Use the power of the search engine wisely to avoid the ramifications and reap the benefits!