In recent years, one of Google’s top priorities is to identify the local search intent.
The search engine knows that a user who is searching for solutions in a certain region should receive responses differently, with more practical and objective information, instead of a list of links as it is in a traditional SERP.
In this type of search, Google activates the local search algorithm. This local search algorithm prioritizes the results in the region of user location or in which the user types the search terms.
In the results, the search engine generally presents information from Google My Business directly, so the user does not always need to enter the brand’s website.
Therefore, optimization for companies with a physical address, called local SEO, has some peculiarities. Following are the key aspects of local SEO.
To display local results in SERPs, Google tries to interpret the user’s local search intent.
If you type hotels, the closest hotels, or similar terms, Google considers the user’s location at first instance to show them the most relevant searches.
On the other hand, if the user types SEO in Dubai, the results will focus on the region that he wrote in the search, regardless of its location at the time.
Therefore, keyword research for local SEO strategy should consider search intentions with all of these variations.
Think of The Following:
- Terms that identify your business, for example, hospitality hotel.
- Industry terms modifiers, for example, the best hotel, best cost-effective hotel etc.
- Geographical modifiers, for example, Medellin hotels, hotels in the center, hotels near the airport etc.
Google My Business
Google My Business is the main ranking factor in local SEO. It is at the top of the SERP for local searches. Google shows the Local Pack, which is a table which shows three main results for the user and its information is extracted directly from Google My Business.
You must strive to appear on it and for that purpose, it is essential to register your company in Google My Business. This tool offers various registration functions for local companies.
You can enter your name, address, telephone number, hours of operation, and also receive comments, respond to users, post photos, inform your menu, among other specific functions for different types of businesses.
Take advantage of all this variety of forms of registration and interaction with users to have more possibilities of appearing in the Local Pack.
Google prioritizes companies that provide the most information on the platform, especially those companies that have the most reviews and highest ratings.
Google uses three main ranking factors for local searches: relevance, proximity, and prominence. The search engine itself presents these criteria on its recommendations page to improve local Google positioning.
These factors are analyzed and combined to provide the best answer. If a company is more distant from the user for example, but is more likely to deliver what it is looking for, it may seem better positioned.
We will explain each of these factors one by one.
The relevance criterion considers the correspondence between the search keyword and the product or service offered by the business. If the user is looking for hotels, for example, they don’t want to see restaurant results, right?
That is why it is so important to complete the Google My Business registration with all the possible information since that is where Google makes this correspondence. For example, if the user searches for SEO Community, Google will only show communities related to that feature.
Proximity refers to the distance of the business in relation to the user’s location or the geographical terms placed in the search. It is clear that Google understands that the best results are the closest to the user.
The standout criterion assesses whether the company is popular in your region, based on online and offline factors. If the business does not have such a strong online presence, but is a well-known brand and is used on the Internet, you can get a better ranking.
But user ratings and Google My Business ratings also count a lot, in addition to the traditional on-page and off-page SEO optimizations the site adopts.
The more confidence Google has in your business, based on these elements, the better your local ranking will be.
Conclusion and Bonus
Although SEO is an extensive subject and subject to constant updates, with what you have learned in this post you are ready to start executing your first web positioning strategies.
However, we recommend expanding your knowledge with the articles that we have linked throughout the post to complement your learning.
After all, getting good results with search engine optimization depends largely on proper planning, execution, and measurement of SEO strategy.
Interesting related article: “What is Search Engine Optimization?“