Local SEO 101: In the eyes of Google, a local company is very much like a pizza delivery company. Pull out your smart phone and do a quick google search on pizza delivery or if you’re sitting at a desktop, do a google search there.
Google returns local results based upon several factors, one of them being proximity. Others are the amount of content on the website about your product or service, social media also plays an important role as does a good Google Business page. You really have to go all in.
Even though location is a huge factor, you can still outrank another local business if you have more content (Quality information about your product or service), more quality backlinks and a strong Social Media presence (Daily post on at least 3 or more platforms).
I always tell clients to worry about ranking for their local city and build such a reputation for quality that they start telling people in surrounding cities around you about your unmatched quality.
Let’s discuss backlinks a little more as people tend to get confused on what these are:
Backlinks = Votes of Confidence
I find that discussing backlinks in terms of their function is very helpful in establishing what they are in another’s mind. This is where “votes of confidence” comes into play. If one can understand that these websites linking to your site are vouching for your site to the search engines, one can begin to grasp the importance and role of backlinks in an Local SEO campaign.
This simple metaphor helps do the trick of engendering a growing understanding of a key concept.
Alternate Metaphor – Popularity Contest
Google knows certain searches are always conducted around businesses that users expect or need to be local. Whether we’re talking about the new Local Map Stack (Top 3 Google Map) or simply organic results. Google will return local results.
Doctors, lawyers, plumbers, car dealers, etc. They are all included in Google’s “local” business type. This is where, “No matter how much you want to make Google work the way you think it should work, all we can do is work with the way it actually works for local results.” Local SEO is different and Google will treat your business differently when someone is searching for them.
By now you hopefully have a good understanding how Local works. To win the Local SEO game you will need to be original, unique and have useful content on your website. Without good content and a strong online presence, you will most likely not be very competitive.
“Now that you understand how Google serves up local results for your business, just like pizza delivery, think about this: Why would someone order your pizza when they can just heat up a frozen pizza or order from the cheap guy who’s closer?”
Most Small Business Owners have cookie cutter websites. They’ll all tell you that they treat customers like family, or that they’re family-owned, or that they provide the best customer service around.
Google wants you to be different and to show why you should rank higher than the rest. You can do this through content.
The sites with the most information about the product of service usually gets the win.
Explain why you are different. Give facts that prove you’re better and if your pizza (product) really is more delicious (the best), then the customers will always call you.
Remember Local SEO is a marathon not a sprint. It’s that simple!