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Does Your Business Need Local SEO?
Any business that gets some or all of its customers locally should absolutely invest in Local SEO. This could be a restaurant, retail outlet, doctor, dentist, landscaper, electrician, lawyer, and the list goes on. Service based industries can’t thrive, much less survive, without making Local SEO an essential part of their marketing strategy. Basically, if you have a physical address in a particular city and/or provide local services of any kind, you should be doing Local SEO for that location.
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How Search Engines Work
Google, Bing and Yahoo (and smaller search engines, too) all work in the same basic way. They rank web pages according to relevance. When someone inputs a search term, the search engine algorithm tries to determine which results that person will find most useful.
Determining exactly HOW and WHY each search engine ranks a site is a bit of an art and a bit of a science. Each search engine has its own algorithm, and each algorithm is kept secret. Plus, algorithms are regularly updated to adjust how pages are ranked so to better serve searchers everywhere.
Why Local SEO over National SEO?
Local and National SEO are very similar. While all of the elements that apply to national SEO also impact local SEO (on-page factors, links, social influence, indexing, etc.), local SEO comes with a few unique elements:
- Google Plus: The first and probably most important factor for local SEO is creating and claiming a local profile on Google. Your local listing is what will show for localized search results.
- Citations: The second most important aspect are citations. A citation is any place online that uses your name, address, and phone number (NAP). The tricky part about citations is that your business information has to be in the same format as your local listing on Google, otherwise it’s not recognized. Google is smart and they pick up on the tiniest discrepancies, so don’t, for example, try to abbreviate in one citation and not the other (ex: St. vs. Street).
- Reviews: To have a strong local presence, you want to obtain as many positive reviews as possible. Quantity and quality matter here. Most people read Google reviews before ever reaching out to you, making this one of the most important local ranking factors.
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