In 2011, Google began factoring user preference into algorithm results. This has evolved further with Google’s RankBrain algorithm, which is designed to better understand searcher intent and allow the algorithm the opportunity to serve search results that best match this intent.
The algorithm has a preference for local results, and when it believes a user is looking for a local answer to their search query, it will prioritize these organization types – be it a business, service, or listing of service providers – in search results.
Because of this, a local search engine optimization (SEO) campaign is the most affordable approach to driving more customers to your business through your website IF you stand to benefit from more local customers. Examples of companies that could benefit are: law firms, medical practices, service-related companies, and franchise businesses.
How Local SEO Works
Key Elements of Techwood’s Local Search Engine Optimization Strategy Include:
Proper Keyword Analysis
People search two ways when searching locally. Most search without a city modifier, while other users specify a location. For example, the keyword “home depot” will show local store results in Atlanta, Georgia even without the Atlanta city modifier. There is typically a core set of high-value keywords that represent > 80% of the available search volume for a local business, and these must be identified to create a winning strategy for ensuring the content on your website is relevant to user queries.
Integration of Keywords into Your Website
Yes, this is still (and likely always will be) a signal. Techwood knows that keyword research is highly critical to SEO success. We work to make sure that we find the best local search keywords and integrate them into the HTML markup, body content, and URL structure (if possible) of your website.
This is a big variable, and frankly, this is a frequent reason local SEO campaigns fail. There may either not be enough unique content for the client’s website or the problem simply goes undiagnosed. There is a happy balance between a beautiful website and one that has plenty of unique, relevant content, and Techwood knows how to strike this balance.
Local Citations and Reviews
When ranking businesses in local search engine optimization results, Google looks for quality and consistency by analyzing local business directories for uniformity of information. For example: do name, address, and phone number (NAP) match across all Internet citations such as Google+, Yelp, local listings, etc.? Does the business have any reviews, particularly on Google? We enable our clients to generate these reviews and directory listings by creating and managing processes that allow the business to connect with happy customers and secure this crucial ranking signal.
The local search algorithm has more than 200 signals with 10,000+ variations of sub-signals. The above four areas are the highest priority, however, once a business has secured a first-page listing, the difference in a #4 and a #2 ranking can represent a 100% increase in local traffic from focusing on local search engine optimization strategies.
Why Start a Local Campaign?
The answer is simple: business growth. Would your business grow if you ranked on the first page for the local keywords that are relevant to your ideal customer? Yes. Can you actually rank there? Answer: It depends.
At Techwood, we are honest with potential clients because the majority of the business we receive is via referral. This means a current client, industry colleague, friend, or family member thinks highly enough of us to proactively encourage a company to engage with us. We’ve built our business to 20+ employees via this referral-only model, and we’ve been growing steadily for nine years.
In nearly all circumstances, ranking locally is simply a matter of the correct analysis and execution of a local SEO campaign. However, in a small number of cases, it may be very challenging to penetrate a local SEO space. For example, attempting to outrank Yelp for restaurant-related queries is very challenging for many reasons. When a scenario like this exists, we are upfront with our clients and proactive in suggesting other methods, such as paid search advertising, that will achieve the desired results.