Join Brad Batesole for an in-depth discussion in this video How does local SEO work?, part of SEO for Local Visibility.
- Before we get deeper into Local SEO, I want to take a minute to share a high-level overview of how Local SEO works. Understanding what's going on behind the scenes will be valuable as you adapt the material you're learning to your own specific business needs. When you enter a term into Google and hit submit, a lot happens simultaneously. Google's going to check to see if it has any historical information on you, what searches you may have conducted previously, and any cookies that you're dragging along. Beyond that, they'll receive data on your physical location, which can come from your IP address, the public network you're connected to, or even the true GPS data from a mobile device if you're providing it.
Now that's a fairly simple explanation, but it's more than sufficient to get a picture of what's going on behind the scenes. So now that Google has that information, they're going to work to understand what it is you've searched for. There's a few types of local searches. Contextual, inferred, and intent. Contextual is really easy for Google to understand. In this case, a user provides Google with a specific location, and that location is identical to where the user currently is. So if I'm somewhere in Los Angeles, and I conduct a search for the term "cupcake bakery Los Angeles," Google has a very clear understanding of what I want.
They have the complete context. The next type of search is an inferred search. In this case, if I was in Los Angeles and I conducted a search for "cupcake bakery Las Vegas," Google has to infer that I'm actually interested in local results from Las Vegas, despite the fact I'm currently in Los Angeles. The last type of search is intent, and this is becoming one of the most popular types of searches. As Google gets better and better at understanding the intent of a search, people are less likely to include additional location context.
In this type of search, I'm in Los Angeles, California, and the only thing I type into Google is "cupcake bakery." In this case, I may even stretch Google by leaving out the term "bakery," and instead only using the root key word "cupcakes." Part of identifying the right Local SEO strategy is also identifying what type of search query your target audience is most likely to use. There's potentially a different approach to rising to the top in a contextual query versus an intent query. There's a lot that goes on to make Local SEO work, but understanding the basics will give you the foundation you need to be successful with your implementation.
Want to appear in Google Maps and local search results? Find out how to make sure your listing shows up, by setting up your Google Business page, and learn how to incorporate links and reviews. Finally, discover how to secure backlinks from reputable sources and handle SEO for a business that has multiple locations. If you want to boost your ranking, understand the competition, or just understand how search engines like Google operate at a local level, this is the course for you.
- Understanding local ranking factors
- Identifying your top keywords
- Researching the competition
- Optimizing site structure
- Leveraging schema.org markup
- Optimizing on-page elements
- Tracking results
- Acquiring local citations
- Creating a Google My Business page
- Securing backlinks
- Collecting reviews