What is Local SEO? Demystifying Search Engine Optimization

Written by: Jason Bayless | October 14, 2017

“The worldwide web has literally millions of websites. That fact may not actually be the most monumental thing you’ll face as you optimize your website. No, the fact that people can find your website among the millions should be the thing that awes you. The question then becomes, how can you make it so that your customers can find you? SEO or search engine optimization is the answer to that question. Local SEO is just a part of that. If SEO mystifies you, then this article should clear that up.

The Scoop About SEO

Search engine optimization in general means that your website has been optimized to make it easier to find your site on the web. Very simply, this means you use the right words or combination of words as well as maps and other “clues” that allow the search engines to categorize your site. By extension then, people doing searches will find your site.

Ideally, the words that you use on your site will be the same words that people searching for your services will use. For example, if you sell gourmet cookies online, some of the words you might work into the text of your website would be:

  • gourmet cookies
  • gourmet cookies online
  • gourmet cookie delivery

All these words are in some way related to your product and are words that people have used to find gourmet cookies online (according to the Google Keyword Planner.)

Localizing Your Vocabulary

According to Search Engine Land, all of the elements that you’ll find in broader, national SEO campaigns, you’ll find in local campaigns as well. However, there are some specific additions that make SEO local.

Let’s go back to the cookie example. If you have a cookie business and you want to get some local foot traffic to come into your store, your SEO would add a local element like:

  • cookie delivery [name of city here]
  • gourmet cookies [name of city here]

By adding the name of your city, you’ve taken the first step to localizing your SEO. Again, you’re matching the words that people in your local area use to find local vendors that make gourmet cookies. All of the pages on your website should have some mention of your local area in your on-page SEO.

Localizing Your Contact Information

Now that you’ve added the right wording, you need to take other steps to make your site localized. Your SEO efforts at this level will concentrate on providing them with ways to find you “in the real world.” According to Entrepreneur, people doing local searches are predominantly looking for a couple of pieces of information. They’ll want your address, phone number, and hours of operation.

Additionally, there are some steps you can take with off-page SEO that will help you. Go to the “Google My Business” page and fill out the information. What you’ll end up with when you’re done is a Google listing that looks similar to the at-a-glance feature of Wikipedia. You’ll have the opportunity to post links to your website, list the type of business it is, and add in contact information. Not only is this putting your site’s listing directly into the search engine, but it provides you with a backlink back to your site, which also helps with your SEO efforts.

Final Thoughts on Localize SEO

By adding localized SEO to your website, you will help people looking for local goods and services to find your site and your business. If you have a brick-and-mortar business and you want more traffic in your physical store, adding local SEO tags, words, and backlinks to your site will help you accomplish this.”