Local SEO or local search engine optimization refers to any measure that has the purpose of bringing a regionally operating company or a local web portal to the highest position in search results.
Local SEO is based on local search, which Google has entered peer-to-peer since 2007. The goal of local search is to answer queries from a particular region so that the most relevant results can be expected. Relevant in this context means that websites, companies and service providers that are geographically located close to the user are displayed. The concept itself is not new. Whereas a phone book used to be open, now an Internet browser opens. According to a study by Telegate AG, half of all business searches took place on the Internet in 2012.
If you enter a longer-term combination in the search engine's search bar such as "lawyer in New York", below the paid ads you will find the first results and next to the websites listed on the right will be their addresses and entries corresponding in the Google Maps search engine. The red buttons on Google Maps are, in turn, connected to the Google Plus Local entries. Thus, you get search results that correspond to your location, in this case all the lawyers in New York that have a list in the Google Plus Local search engine.
It should be assumed that these are not the only ranking factors in local searches. Since Google uses more than 200 criteria when answering queries, conventional measures such as authoritative backlinks and correctly used keywords are likely to be a factor in ranking.
In terms of keywords, local SEO can be of benefit. The above-mentioned law firms may deliberately use terms in their HTML documents and meta marks that describe the company, its activities, and its location.
The same applies to maintaining Google Plus profiles or registering with the Google Plus Local search engine. Here you enter data such as company, address, city, postal code and phone number (similar to optimizing a page). The official website of the company must also be linked to the Google Plus profile and verified. Important points to pay attention to are the Google Places quality guidelines.
At the same time, positive ratings, reviews, and referrals from a community or stakeholder are gaining relevance. Because the ratings of users who visited this place and wrote a review appear below the SERP entries. They are called rich snippets. These references can affect the local search ranking. Based on the algorithm changes with social search (2009) and search at the same time as Your World (2012), social signals are important factors for Google directly associated with local search.
Importance for SEO
The procedure of constant changes in Google algorithms, local search and related problems are becoming more and more important. At the same time as an optimized listing in the Google Plus or Google Places search engine, reviews, appointments and ratings are increasingly important. To specifically implement local search engine optimization measures, it is not enough to maintain only one entry in the Google Plus search engine. On the contrary, local SEO measures are increasingly accompanied by conventional SEO and a healthy marketing mix, for example through social media presence.
Local search engine optimization is increasingly relevant for mobile devices. Local searches on smartphones and tablets are increasing rapidly. When performing local search engine optimization, mobile devices and their characteristics must be taken into account.