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Local SEO Guide

Google My Business optimization is the first and for many the most important step when doing local SEO. From that point, there is much more to do in the practice of local SEO.

Local SEO | SEO at Hand
Local SEO | SEO at Hand

What is local SEO?

The fundamental intent behind the practice of Local SEO is to increase the visibility of your website directly to local searches.

Local search is about targeting the right customers with the right message at the right time and as a result, helping you meet your local search goals. From optimizing your on-page content to conducting audits of your off-page community involvement, there are many tactics you can employ in order to improve the overall visibility of your business.

Most people still search for businesses and services around their location. This means that your customers will be searching things like ‘plumber’, ‘restaurant’, and ‘lawyer’ in a really specific way.

What are the foundations of Local SEO?

The foundations of Local SEO are built around the idea of making sure your local business gets found by search engines when a potential customer in your area searches for your products or services. Whether it’s finding a plumber in your area, or a dentist, you want to make sure that the listings you show up are actually related to your local business and that you’re ranking high enough for your desired keywords.

This optimization of our online presence is done to attract local business opportunities. These types of searches usually happen on Google and also on other search engines, such as Bing, Yelp, Apple Maps, etc.

However, it is known that Google receives about 87% of global searches. So most people use the Google search engine to find local area businesses as well.

What is Google’s Local ‘Snack Pack’?

The Google Snack Pack is a section that appears well up on the first page of results when a local search query is made in the search engine. The Snack Pack box displays the top 3 most significant local business listings for the search query.

This box shows a star rating score and total number of reviews for each business in the search results. The position of the Snack Pack on the results page depends on two factors: (1) the weight given to ratings and reviews over external link reputation and (2) the reputation of the business.

A high number of reviews has been shown to increase your chances of being in the Snack Pack.

When someone performs a local search on Google, they will generally see 3 local businesses in the Snack Pack. The top three results from the Snack Pack are generally shown in the order that they appear in the search results, with the Snack Pack businesses displayed in boxes to the right of the regular results.

There are studies that point to around 30% of clicks going to the local “snack pack” results, while 40% go to the organic results that usually appear immediately below.

The key is to work our local SEO to try to appear in both results.

Want better Local SEO results? Register your website in Google My Business

Registering and leveraging the Google My Business listing is undoubtedly the most important part of local SEO, although Bing Places and Apple Maps listings are also important.

Setting up these listings is not very difficult, you simply have to comply with Google/Bing/Apple recommendations.

However, in the case of GMB in particular, there are a few things that can confuse business owners.

It is undeniable that Google My Business is a free and very easy to use platform for companies and organizations to manage their online visibility.

Bing Places for Local SEO? What is it about ?

Bing, in principle, is the counterpart of Google My Business. The most important difference is that Bing has a much smaller market share.

Bing Places is the former business-oriented section of Bing Maps, which was renamed to reflect its purpose. The section was originally launched in April 2009 as Bing Business Photos, and then quickly changed to Bing Maps for Business in September 2009 when a series of updates were rolled out by Microsoft.

Businesses in the US ? You should use Bing Places

Bing Places might mean something to a few businesses and individuals that are active in the US.

If you want to reach consumers from the US, there is no other choice than joining Bing Places. It is a pity that Bing has a much smaller market share, but we can’t do much about it.

The good news is that Bing Places holds some small advantages over its counterpart, Google My Business. The good news has been confirmed by those who have followed my previous advice and worked on a directory listing.

Just go to Bing Maps and start typing your company name in the search bar. If it’s already listed, you should see your company appear in the query results.

As with the Google My Business listing, you just need to add the data you have in other listings (such as Google My Business), so you can make sure it is consistent with the other listings.

Apple Maps

Millions of people, iOS users, continue to use Apple Maps, as it is the quintessential mapping application on the iPhone. There is not much updated and publicly available statistical information about the number of iOS users who use Apple Maps. Just keep in mind that Apple’s iPhone has a market share of close to 30% in the U.S., so tens of millions of people use it.

Apple Maps, also known as Maps on the iPhone, are still a widely used mapping application.

A bit of Apple Maps history

In 2015, Apple said they saw 200 million active devices using Apple Maps. The previous year, 2014, that number was 38 million, which highlights how fast Apple Maps has grown.

Apple Maps are very integrated with Siri voice commands and it is very likely that many people search for directions using voice commands on their iPhones. This means that Apple Maps is an important tool and will continue to have a huge user base for several years to come.

Apple Maps has evolved a lot over the years. I started using the app when it first launched on my iPhone years ago, and it was extremely limited and buggy. It was not nearly as useful in some major cities at the time. But Apple Maps has improved dramatically over the years, and it is now an app you can trust.

Local schools and the movie theater down the street are on Apple Maps. The app automatically shows me the traffic on my preferred routes, and it has public transit information for many major cities.

I can even save favorite locations and get directions with Apple Maps.

Apple Maps is a great mapping application for people who are interested in getting from point A to point B with very few distractions. But it would be difficult to claim that it is very useful for people who want to get more contextual information about their surroundings or learn more about local culture.

Conclusion:

“Local SEO rankings can benefit tremendously from a well-optimized Google My Business listing.”
“The goal of local SEO is to rank highly in the search results for local search queries.
“The best way to rank for local search queries is to get your business listed on major directories, including Yelp, Foursquare, and Bing Places.”
“A ranking on these sites will increase visibility of your business in the SERPs and drive traffic to your website.”
“All of the major search engines offer My Business (aka: Business or Place) listings, as well as a suite of tools to help you manage your listings across their network.

There is a lot more to cover, such as on page SEO using local keywords, posting frequently on Google My Business, etc.

If you manage to get down to work with these simple tips you will get ahead of many of your competitors.