Google is a search engine. Search engines use algorithms to prioritize search results. In some cases, this means that local results will appear in search results for queries related to your business. Local SEO, therefore, is the act of optimizing your website for local search results. If you are seeing maps for your business in the map pack that appears under important keywords in the top right of Google Maps, then you should consider using local SEO.
How did search engines evolve?
In the early days of the internet, there were relatively few websites. To find them, people used search engines to locate sites with the keywords that the searcher was looking for. The first search engine to use this approach was BackRub, and Google quickly became much more popular than its competition when it came out in 1998. Nowadays, when you type a phrase into Google, the results that are displayed are determined by hundreds of factors on and off your website. These factors form your “digital footprint,” and each has a different weight or value. These values are combined by Google and ranked according to relevancy. Your digital footprint determines whether or not you are at the top of the list when someone does a search on Google.
So how does Google work?
The first stop when you type a search phrase into Google is its index. The index holds a copy of all the websites that Google has discovered. Content on these sites is crawled by Google’s spiders, or small programs, and then stored in Google’s servers. These spiders are constantly crawling trillions of pages at an incredibly fast pace to make sure the index is up-to-date and new sites and connections are discovered quickly.
How Google ranks search results
I don’t know if people have noticed, but Google doesn’t always have the latest information when you enter a term into the search bar. It actually searches a saved copy of all of the sites that Google has discovered, called Google’s index. In order for Google to form this index, it uses small programs called spiders that crawl the web (aka follow each link in sequence). This process is carried out by trillions of spiders that work at a particularly fast pace. By doing this, Google can determine which new sites and connections need to be added to their index quickly.
Local SEO is a different pattern
If you want to Google search for a pizza nearby, for example, Google’s local search algorithm provides results close to your location. If you’re at work and looking for a pizza restaurant to deliver to your office, the results will show restaurants close to your office. At home, however, the results will be different because you need a pizza delivered from a restaurant near by. Local search has been around for years, but it was limited due to people only using their desktop computers.
What matters for local SEO
The way to be seen on Google is now evolving. Local searches in the search results are now being shown as a map pack at the bottom of the page, with different algorithms powering both the main organic search results for local rankings and the map pack. This means you can be shown on both the map pack and in traditional Google organic search listings at the same time. If you’re new to internet marketing, one of the biggest challenges is knowing what you need to focus on in order to make your efforts as effective as possible. One way to answer this question is by looking at an annual survey conducted by software company Moz, which asks industry experts about which factors influence local search visibility. Localized content and building links locally are two of the factors, just as they are in Google’s traditional search algorithm. It’s important to build landing pages for every location you have if you have more than one, because localized content and links are important to presenting your business in a visible way.
Start harnessing SEO
Now that you have a better understanding of the basics of SEO and Google’s ranking mechanisms, you can start to concentrate on what will make your site rank higher on local-oriented search engine results pages. This way, more people find your business. There are a lot of factors that influence this, so keep in mind that the environment is always changing. To keep up with current trends, you can refer to a survey by Moz to form your strategy playbook. Once you start to improve each important SEO signal area, you’ll be able to serve more people in your geographic region—and grow faster.
SEO Services from Proximate Solutions
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