SEO has evolved, and it has now become much more pinpointed and specific in meeting the expectations of searchers. Google wants to provide the most relevant answer to search queries by discovering the intent behind the searches. This has led to the emergence of local SEO, which relies on geographical considerations for providing information to searchers.
In the earlier days, SEO was all about products, services, companies, and brands without referring to their geographical location, and this posed problems for small businesses. This was perhaps the reason that there was a feeling that SEO was not good for small businesses.
Small business owners who operate in specific geographical areas had little to benefit from SEO. Even if their business appeared in the search results, the physical distance from the users’ location reduced the chances of conducting business with them. The purpose of SEO got defeated on many occasions.
What is local SEO?
To enable small businesses to take advantage of SEO that could translate into meaningful business, Google introduced the concept of local SEO. Google realized the importance of providing search results specific to the geographical location of searchers so that they could physically visit the store to buy the products.
Thus, Google’s search results now have a local connection with the searchers, ensuring a fruitful conclusion for searches. At the same time, small businesses can promote their business within a geographical area to local customers who are happy to receive the services.
The difference is in intent.
When evaluating search queries, Google tries to discover the intent behind the searches. By knowing the intent, Google can understand what the searcher is exactly looking for, and on knowing, the most relevant information appears in the search results.
If Google knows your location and that you are looking for a tap for your basin, Google will provide the names of businesses closest to your location. The results would encourage you to visit any shop and buy the product. This creates a win-win situation for all searchers, small businesses, and search engines.
Increases visibility in the specific geographical area
Small businesses usually have lots of local interest in catering to the local population by appearing in local searches. They want to increase business visibility in that place by taking advantage of their location. Since more than half of search queries have some local intent, it makes sense for small businesses to turn to local SEO instead of organic SEO.
When companies have a local interest, they would like to rank for searches related to that particular geographical area, and this is where local SEO outsmarts organic SEO. By concentrating on local searches, Google can provide much more relevant results to searchers.
According to the experts at OmegaSEO, four out of five people are keen on local search results, and it shows why Google is paying so much importance to local SEO.
More customized search results
Local searches are more people-oriented in the sense that the results seem to be tailor-made for users. This is where local SEO scores high over organic SEO, and since the number of local businesses are much more than bigger organizations, the popularity of SEO is spreading far and wide.
People want things almost as soon as they perceive the need for them, and local SEO provides the perfect answer to their needs. Local SEO has been able to satisfy the needs of local marketers who aim for targeted marketing and timely delivery to meet the expectations of customers.
Search algorithms are focusing on “Near Me” searches
Since 2007, Google has been showing information about local businesses in SERPs with the purpose of presenting results ‘Near Me.’ Google has been refining the search results based on user requirements, and this culminated in local SEO parameters finding a place in search algorithms.
For the first time in 2012, Google started showing search results that had relevance to the geographical location of the businesses in addition to the search term used. This brought a drastic change in the presentation of search results that included name, address, and phone number (NAP), which are essential citations in local searches. Maintaining consistency in a NAP is critical for SEO because any inconsistency could result in your business falling out of favor with search engines.
As you can understand, local SEO dividends are very high, and you could take your business to new levels by implementing local SEO under the guidance of SEO experts. Create high visibility for your online business entity by making it appear in directories and maintain consistency across all media because consistent NAP holds the key to success in local SEO. If growing your business at a local level is your goal, then local SEO is a must for you.
Guest Author: Jude Barstow is a digital marketer who closely associates with several SEO companies, including companies engaged in providing SEO services in Sarasota. Writing comes to him naturally, and he has authored a few marketing books. He is also a visiting faculty in a management school.