As we already know, Web positioning is the set of techniques aimed at improving the position of a website in the organic results of the different existing search engines. These techniques, in general, focus almost exclusively on Google, since this mega search engine receives between 90 and 96% of monthly searches on the Internet. Read the article about the “SEO Trends That Are Greatly Being Used By Digital Marketing Agencies”
Yes, as you well suppose, here we are speaking from a very generic point of view.
But what about local searches or local SEO?
What is The Definition Of Local SEO?
Local SEO is a set of techniques aimed at increasing the visibility of a web page in the searches of relevant information for users based on their current geographic location.
Or what is more or less the same, to make the website of a company that has a physical business location or provide a service in a specific geographical area is found by potential customers who are in that area and perform searches related to that business.
This does not mean that local SEO is not compatible with the implementation of measures to position our website in a more global environment.
In fact, the importance given to the local issue must be greater if it is at such a scale that most of our potential sales volume lies.
Take the example of a tax consultancy based in Barcelona: the vast majority of its clients will live in Barcelona or have their company in that city or in its vicinity.
Therefore, the SEO strategy must be focused almost mainly on the local level, but also on a slightly more regional one.
What is the use of local SEO?
The presence on the internet has become a key factor and that every company should contemplate, especially if it aims to achieve its objectives in an increasingly complex, competitive and global market.
Access to the network has completely transformed the way people relate to brands and companies.
Just a decade ago, a customer decided to buy (or not) a product or service based on the information that the brands provided through their advertising campaigns.
Currently, things have changed: the flow of communication is bidirectional.
First of all, it should be clarified that the goal of SEO, in general, is not only to get our website or blog is located in the first search results, but also get more sales and conversions.
Although both objectives are related in a symbiotic way, we must bear in mind that positioning is only a means to an end.
The main thing is to offer value to our target audience with useful content and quality. With this we not only get a better and more amount of traffic for our website (good content is always shared), but we also build an image associated with a positive concept.
But, as if this were not enough, we also fulfill one of Cialdini’s principles of influence (that of reciprocity), according to which “in order to receive, something must be given in return”.
Read more: is MOZ Open Site Explorer (OSE) Gone?
Is local SEO as necessary as it is in broader geographical areas?
The answer is: yes.
At the local level, the commercial market -especially in medium and large cities- is not exempt from the presence of increasing competitiveness.
Without forgetting that in a world as globalized as the current one, our competitors can be found on any side of the globe.
And that factor of geographical proximity to the user who seeks us, can favor us, more taking into account that here plays an important role Google maps.
That is why, enhancing this localist aspect in our visibility strategy, can give us a plus and favor us competitively.
Therefore, there is no doubt that being among the first search results in Google will ensure a substantial increase in the number of conversions and sales that our business will experience in the short, medium or long term also in that local area.
Read more: Guide to Successful Guest Blogging in 2018
What are the benefits of Local SEO?
If our business does not have a service or product that we can distribute more globally, these techniques that help us geo-locate our results in searches, become almost indispensable for the commercial health of it.
And, as I explained in the previous point, we favor that geographic component and proximity to the user who is doing a search … when competing for the first positions with other results.
Without forgetting that we also become more visible in Google maps.
In addition, to appear in the first results of Google gives an image of incomparable professionalism in comparison with those that appear below.
And if not, we pay attention to the following data:
Around 50% of the clicks that users make after a search are made in the first link of the organic results, that is, those whose position occurs naturally based on the indexation that Google robots consider deserves a certain page.
As we said before, the benefits of local positioning are evident, according to data from a study conducted a couple of years ago:
71% of the clicks receive the first 3 results of the search engine page in a certain search, while all the rest of them must settle for sharing the remaining 29%.
Nowadays, web positioning is not only necessary to be able to compete in a saturated market, but it also contributes enormously to the creation of the brand image of our company in the city or place where its main clients reside.
How to do SEO Local for my website?
The first thing we must do before starting to carry out specific actions is to design a strategy that includes the following aspects:
► 1st. A definition as accurate as possible of our activity and the commercial sector to which it is dedicated.
► 2nd Define the geographical area of influence.
► 3rd Define our Target Audience and Buyer Person.
► 4th Identify the keywords (keywords) that best define this activity.
► 5th Select the keywords that contain our location parameters.
► 6th Detect and analyze our competence, whether local or not and whether it is direct or indirect.
► 7th Register and complete our profile in Google My Bussiness.
► 8th Identify available resources: time, budget, tools and human resources.
Defining your activity, commercial sector, geographical area of influence and ideal client.
It is very important that this first step be carried out with rigor, since from it the prospecting of keywords will be carried out, that is to say, those that with greater probability will be searched in Google by the clients to find a certain service or product. .
And now I wonder:
How do users search and how does Google show local results?
Each type of search intention has its particularities, whether geo-located or not.
Then, when a user searches for something, Google tries to interpret what he is asking for. And if that query is not complete, the search engine makes decisions for us to better adapt to what we need and offer us what he thinks are the best results.
Here there is clearly a contradiction between the location of the person and what is being sought, but in these cases we can conclude that Google will always give priority to the search intention on the geographical situation and the results of Madrid will be shown to us.
This leads us to consider our next priority: the keywords.
What keywords to use?
There are basically 3 kinds of keywords: head tail, middle tail and long tail .
Head: These are very broad searches, which usually have a lot of search volume and a lot of competition (example: Blog, web, house, etc.).
Middle Tail: Searches a little more specific, but without ceasing to be generalists (example: Fashion blog, website, home in Barcelona).
Long Tail: they are very specific searches and usually have little competition (example: How to create a fashion blog, How to make a free website, where to compare a house in Barcelona).
The first, as you can understand, are those that have a large number of searches and a competition too high to easily position them.
The middle and long tail, on the other hand, have a little less visitors and tend to be less competitive, which implies a more affordable positioning.
Thus, in the face of local SEO, it is much better to make use of several middle and long tail keywords directly related to our services or business and that also have that local component, like the previous example.
Tools to use to find the best keywords for your Local SEO:
To find the best keywords it is convenient to start with the Google Adwords Keyword Planner , although it is not advisable to base all the analysis on it, since for some months it has stopped providing its users with the exact search volume of the keywords .
Currently, this tool only offers a numerical range whose scarce precision has to be complemented with the use of other keywords analysis tools such as SEMrush, Ahrefs, SEOBox, XOVI, Keywordtool.io, among others.
What to take into account when creating content?
One aspect that must be taken into account is the size of smartphones compared to the screen of the PC.
The fact that the user can be in very different places makes you tend to use less the keyboard and to specify the information sought in Google as quickly as possible.
Read more about “How To Do Competitor Research for Your Business?”
It is for all this that we must create content that goes to the point, without losing the creative touch that every text must have to capture the attention of the reader, but must also avoid (at all costs) falling into irrelevance.
Moreover, we must prioritize, above all, become an authority on the issues addressed.
For the correct writing of quality content should be observed both the absolute reliability of the information offered on our website and the scope of a depth that is able to resolve all the doubts of the user.
It is advisable, before starting the writing, to take a look at the content of the websites of our competition to see what they are not saying and we say it before them.
In addition, the site should avoid duplicate or redundant content and lack of spelling or expression.
Also, one of the keys to good local SEO is the implementation of a very good responsive design on our website, in the structure of the texts, which increase the effectiveness of Google search from a Smartphone or Tablet and, therefore, the satisfaction of the mobile user.
Undoubtedly, also in the short term future it will become increasingly necessary to extract the keywords through an analysis that includes the data referring to the search by voice, something very different from the traditional search.
Some local SEO techniques to consider:
A good starting point for local SEO is the update of the information referring to our company, basically these data:
Likewise, the use of labels and meta-descriptions in each of the pages of our website is basic.
In the case of local SEO, it must be said that Google gives much weight to the quality of geo-meta-tags or labels related to the geographical situation.
It is also convenient to include the name of the city in any of the titles that make up our pages, although always in a natural way.
In turn, the Geo Sitemap or geographical map should make it clear to search engines exactly where our business is located. It is not a redundant measure, since we have already clarified to Google the name and address of our business.
This action is absolutely essential!
And not only because neither the algorithm nor the person in charge of doing SEO are infallible, but because there are many cities with the same name around the world.
On the other hand, registering a location in Google Maps (and the corresponding optimization of our website in Search Console) will add other elements to be taken into account by the algorithm. And is that Google pays close attention to the use made by a webmaster of their tools.
It is therefore very, very advisable, to register with Google My Bussiness , a platform capable of managing our business in a comprehensive manner.
I do not want to stop mentioning something of great importance, and that is, whatever we do, we must always include an effective and accurate social networks management.
Very simple: at a local level, social networks influence in a much more effective way than globally, due to the greater flow of information that occurs between people who live in a certain city or town.
There is something that no one can doubt: encourage the issuance of opinions and reviews among our customers in G Maps, will positively affect our position, provided that our services as a company have earned this good consideration.
And this improvement will undoubtedly catapult our image of authority.
Finally, it is worth noting the existence of other influential factors in the ranking of our local website, such as the inclusion of links to citations of quality local directories or sites that share our area or location.
As we mentioned before, the way Google indexes the pages has changed.
In the semantic web -based on the new Humminbird algorithm, whose objective is to predict the user’s search intention when making a query in Google- the core around which it operates is the satisfaction of the user’s search experience?
Therefore, in addition to quality content focused on the needs of the user, it is good to include microdata and micro-formats in the code of our website, since it can make a difference with respect to our direct competitors.
These are two labeling systems based on the needs of the semantic web.
They add meaning to our website, and at the same time offer more specific information to the user about our business, such as its location, its relationships in social networks, the numerical valuation made by its clients or future events to be held.
The microformats are captured on the microformats.com website and are usually more complicated to implement than microdata, based on Schema.org guidelines.
I hope that this post has helped you to understand what this of the local positioning is and what things I have to take into account to improve my internet business.
But, what you really should never stop valuing, is if this strategy adapts to your commercial activity, in order to make the most of your possibilities.
About Author: Yousuf A. Raza
I am a professional digital marketing consultant, specialized in local SEO and pay per click advertisement. I consider myself passionate about technology and the world of digital business, topics to which I am writing different guest posts. In addition, I have working as a freelancer for Local SEO Blast to assist them in their client’s local SEO rankings.