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What Is Local SEO Marketing?

Local SEO marketing or local search optimization is the process of optimizing your owned properties to generate traffic from location based searching. The rapid growth of mobile usage and on the go searching has made local optimization an important focus for a variety of businesses, but most importantly for businesses with brick and mortar stores.  It is estimated that 43% of all Google, 25% of all Bing, and 25% of all Yahoo searches are location oriented (Chitika – via Search Engine Land). In June 2013, ComScore announced that approximately 40-50% of all mobile searches carried local intent.

In search engines, there are three primary types of non-paid local results (localized organic, pack/carousel, and maps) for both mobile and desktop searchers. Localized organic searches are the traditional organic search results for keywords that contain geographic modifiers. The pack (or carousel, depending on the search) refers to the portion of the search results that are strictly for local searches. The pack/carousel is a separate set of listings (above the traditional organic search results) that call out specific points on the map contained within the search results page. The maps section refers to searches generated through Google/Bing maps. Below are diagrams outlining the differences.

Local SEO Marketing - Search Engine Results Page.png

Local SEO Marketing - Local Search Engine Carousel.png

Local Result Factors

The below factors are based on the opinions of 34 local search experts throughout the world.

  • Place Page Signals – Categories, Keywords in Business Title, Proximity, etc
  • External Local Signals – Internet Yellow Pages / Other Aggregators – Name, Address and Phone number consistency, Citation Volume, etc.
  • On-Page Signals – Presence of NAP, Keywords in Titles, Domain authority, etc
  • Links Signals – Inbound anchor text, linking domain authority, linking domain quantity
  • Review Signals – Review quantity, velocity, and diversity
  • Social Signals – Google+ authority, Facebook likes, Twitter followers etc.
  • Behavioral/Mobile Signals – CTR, Mobile clicks to call, Check-ins
  • Personalization – personalized results unique to the searcher
Local Search Ranking Factors - Moz.com.png

Source: Moz.com

 

Local Search Recommendations:

Traditional Organic Results: In Order of Priority

  • On Page Signals – Build and optimize local pages that contain name address and phone numbers for specific locations.  The preferred method would be to create state/city pages because that will allow for greater keyword targeting on the state and city level.
  • Links Signals – Continue to create credible linkable site content that generates links and authority on the primary domain.
  • External Local Signals – Build citations and optimize location listings through local business aggregators.
  • Place Page Signals – Create, claim and optimize Google+ local, Bing Business Portal and Yahoo local pages for each location.
  • Review Signals – Reviews: quantity, velocity, and diversity
  • Social Signals – Engage, interact and build accounts for the different social mediums
  • Personalization – Continue to build Google+ presence, and integrate Google+ into the site.
  • Behavioral/Mobile Signals – Ensure that your site is optimized for mobile users

Pack/Carousel/Map Results: In Order of Priority

  • Place Page Signals – Create, claim and optimize Google+ local, Bing Business Portal and Yahoo local pages for each location.
  • External Local Signals – Build citations and optimize location listings through local business aggregators.
  • On Page Signals – Build and optimize local pages. Make sure they contain name address and phone numbers for your specific locations.
  • Review Signals – Reviews: quantity, velocity, and diversity
  • Links Signals – Continue to create credible linkable site content that generates links and authority on the primary domain.
  • Social Signals – Engage, interact and build accounts for the different social mediums
  • Behavioral/Mobile Signals – Ensure that your site is optimized for mobile users
  • Personalization – Continue to build Google+ presence

Check out the full list of local search factors on Moz.com.

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Chris Mason

September 12, 2013

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