What is local SEO and why is local search important? (2023)

Local search is an essential part of any SEO strategy that targets customers in a specific region, city, or neighborhood.

Simply put, with local SEO, focus on improving your ranking and visibility in local search results like Google Map Pack/Local Pack.

Organic SEO is the way to improve the ranking of websites in organic search. Ranking your site in these organic results can also have a positive impact on your local pack rankings.

Organic listings are another great opportunity for your local business to appear in front of motivated searchers when Google determines that the search query has local intent.

So while local and organic SEO are linked in this way, each requires a unique strategy with different optimization tactics.

Let's start at the beginning: what is local SEO and why is local search important?

What is local SEO?

Local SEO is the practice of search engine optimization for local search results.

On Google, this means your business listing will rank higher in the local pack/map pack and appear more frequently in response to more relevant searches.

Think about the last time you traveled the world looking for something you needed. Maybe it was [men's shoes] or [daycare centers] or [coworking spaces].

(Video) What is Local SEO & Why is it Important?

Google's mission is to provide search engines with the best answer to each query.

And when its algorithms recognize that your intent is local, that you're looking for something in your area, those Map Pack results show up prominently on the first page of search results.

They can also be supplemented with organic results about businesses and services in your area.

If you search for something like [Mexican restaurants open now], local results may appear as the default view over all organic content. Google has identified that you have an immediate local need.

The information available in local search results—business name, address, phone number, website, photos and videos, customer reviews and star ratings, and more—fills this need better than a simple blue link.

observanceGoogle Webmaster Guidelinesand creating a great user experience on your website are best practices for SEO in general.

This is important if you want your website to rank in organic search results when Google has determined that the search query has a local intent.

However, you can appear on Map Pack without having a website, as MapPack results are largely influenced by your Google Business Profile (GBP) listing. They may contain information that Google has collected elsewhere on the Internet and even suggestions from users.

google has oneseparate guidelines for local SEO, also the most important of which is its “Guidelines for listing your business on Google.'

(Video) Why Local SEO Is Important? | Local Search Engine Optimization for Beginners

These guidelines are important to maximize your visibility on the map pack and prevent your listing from being banned.

As you work through oursLocal SEO guidePlease note the differences between the local bio and the map pack.

From time to time we talk about Google search algorithms, technical SEO for your website, on-page optimization of your web pages, etc. These themes relate to your ability to appear locally.organicResults and to support Map Pack rankings with your website presence.

As you read about local reviews and star ratings, Google posts, and other elements of your GBP, you'll learn about local SEO in relation to the local results you see on Google Maps.

Why local search is important

Here are some statistics that show how important local search continues to be for businesses:

  • google mar,76%of users who perform a local search on their smartphone visit a business within 24 hours, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase.
  • 30%of all the searches it processes are location-related, also according to Google.
  • 61%of consumers said they search locally every day in a recent local search survey.
  • That's according to a recent local SEO survey.82%of consumers read online business reviews during a local search and spend almost 14 minutes before making a decision.
  • 86%of people trust Google Maps to find the location of a business.
  • Yelp appears in the top five search results for SMB searches92% of the time.
  • World,74%of store shoppers who did their search before entering the store said they searched for things like [nearest store near them], [locations], [in stock near them], and other types of hyperlocal information.
  • more than a halfof Internet users worldwide use a mobile device for their local searches.
  • 83% of searchersPlease use Google search for more information on nearby businesses. 55% use Google Maps, 44% use Apple Maps, 39% use Yahoo and 31% choose Bing.

How Google calculates local rankings

Google keeps its organic search ranking algorithms secret, but is much more open about what it takes to rank in local results.

The three main categories of local ranking factors according to Google are:

  • Relevance.
  • Distance.
  • and celebrity.

What is local SEO and why is local search important? (1)"How to improve your local ranking", Google, screenshot by the author, January 2022

(Video) What is Local SEO and What Makes it Important?

“Relevance refers to how well a local business profile matches what someone is searching for.

Add complete and detailed business information to help Google better understand your business and match your profile with relevant searches, ”explains Google in its help resource to improve your local ranking.

Google defines distance as “how far away each possible search result is from the location term used in a search. If a user doesn't provide a location when they search, we calculate the distance based on what we know about their location."

And celebrity in this context refers to how well known Google rates this business. This is perhaps the most complex of the local ranking factor categories, as search algorithms try to factor offline celebrities into the equation as well.

Laut Chispasblancas „2021 Local Search Ranking Factorssurvey, these are the local SEO experts for Local Pack's top ranking factors:

  • Main category GBP.
  • Keywords in the post title.
  • Proximity of the business address to the location of the search engine.
  • Physical address in the search city.
  • Additional GMB Categories.
  • High numerical star rating.
  • GBP price integrity.
  • Quality and authority of the incoming links to the associated domain.
  • Keywords in native Google reviews.

Improve your local search presence

As you can see, local search is an essential channel for businesses of all kinds that serve local customers: franchises, retail chains, corner stores, financial services brands, service providers, corporate brands, and SMEs alike.

In 'Local SEO: The Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Local Search Ranking' you'll find everything you need to know to develop and implement a successful local SEO strategy.

You'll learn:

(Video) The Importance of Local SEO and Local Search Results

  • Top local rating signs you need to know and why they matter.
  • How to create a successful local SEO strategy.
  • Tips and a technique for analyzing the competition in local search results.
  • Why accurate NAP information and user experience are so important in local search engine optimization.
  • How and where to find the best local link building opportunities.
  • Why ratings and stars matter, and how to make the most of them.
  • How to fully optimize your GBP trading.
  • All the different attributes you need to know to make your GBP listing stand out from the crowd and attract clients.
  • Local SEO and listing management tools to save you time and improve your performance.
  • And much more.

You'll hear from local search experts Ben Fisher, John McAlpin, Alexandra Tachalova, Marshall Nyman, Maddy Osman and more as they share their top tips and advice for creating a strategy built for your business.

Download the free guide here.

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

Next Chapter Local SEO for Beginners: Getting Started

Category local search


What is local SEO and why is local search important? ›

Local SEO is a digital marketing strategy that consists of targeting the local market through search engine optimization tactics. It's perfect for service-based businesses, or for businesses located in a certain area that don't want to target a nationwide audience.

What is local SEO & why local search is important? ›

Local SEO is a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that helps your business be more visible in local search results on Google. Any business that has a physical location or serves a geographic area can benefit from local SEO.

What does local SEO stand for? ›

Local SEO is the practice of search engine optimization for local search results. On Google, that means helping your business listing in the Local Pack/Map Pack rank higher and appear more often in response to a greater volume of relevant queries.

Who benefits from local SEO and why? ›

One of the benefits of local SEO is it drives potential customers to your site and improves conversion rate. According to Joel House Search Media, 28% of the local searches result in sales. So there is no denying that local SEO results in better conversion rate—increased traffic flow results in increased sales.

Why is local search marketing important? ›

One important factor for local businesses in local search marketing, which often goes ignored or forgotten. Local search marketing ensures that your local customers can find your business when they are searching for it. It helps businesses of all sizes connect with potential customers and increase their leads.

What is local SEO vs SEO? ›

National SEO typically targets various keywords and phrases that can relate to a product or service—but without a geographical qualifying word or intent. Local SEO targets similar keywords and phrases but with the intention of being searchable in their local area.

Why is local SEO important for small businesses? ›

If you don't have a local SEO strategy for your business, you'll miss out on valuable online traffic. Local business owners simply cannot ignore an opportunity of this size. Local SEO is important for online companies and for companies looking to attract foot traffic.

What is local search used for? ›

In computer science, local search is a heuristic method for solving computationally hard optimization problems. Local search can be used on problems that can be formulated as finding a solution maximizing a criterion among a number of candidate solutions.

What is the power of local SEO? ›

Local SEO is the practice of optimizing your business' website and online presence for local search results. It's important because it allows you to connect with potential customers in your area who are looking for a business like yours, and it can help drive more traffic and leads to your website.

What is SEO and how it works? ›

Well, SEO stands for 'Search Engine Optimization', which is the process of getting traffic from free, organic, editorial, or natural search results in search engines. It aims to improve your website's position in search results pages. Remember, the higher the website is listed, the more people will see it.

What three things are involved in local SEO? ›

Common tasks associated with local SEO include finding local keywords, optimizing a business's Google My Business profile, and building “NAP” citations.

What are the three main benefits to SEO? ›

Top 8 SEO Benefits
  • SEO Benefit 1: Brings Organic Search Traffic to your Website.
  • SEO Benefit 2: Generates Leads Cost-Effectively.
  • SEO Benefit 3: Increases Brand Awareness.
  • SEO Benefit 4: Gets You Ahead of the Competition.
  • SEO Benefit 5: Optimizes Your Website for Mobile Users.
  • SEO Benefit 6: Builds Trust.

What are two advantages of local search techniques? ›

Advantages of local search methods are that (i) in practice they are found to be the best performing algorithms for a large number of problems, (ii) they can examine an enormous number of possible solutions in short computation time, (iii) they are often more easily adapted to variants of problems and, thus, are more ...

How local SEO helps grow your business? ›

Local SEO helps increase online visibility so you get noticed by new customers. Google Maps and Google My Business optimization can generate more direct calls, leads, and sales. Optimizing your website for localized terms means you attract targeted traffic and better leads.

What are the three factors that influence local search results? ›

Google has three main local SEO ranking factors that every local business should take into consideration when optimizing their online presence for local search: proximity, prominence and relevance.

How important are backlinks to local SEO? ›

Backlinks are an important part of local SEO because they send a signal to search engines that other websites value your website's content. Think of backlinks as a vote of confidence.

Which of the following is considered an important ranking factor in local search? ›

Proximity to Searcher

The physical distance between your business and the location of the search is one of the most impactful ranking factors.

Which is better local SEO or paid search? ›

SEO is also more effective for local searches and can grow your online presence for longer. Pay-per-click (PPC), on the other hand, is an acquisition strategy that requires you to spend ad money to get your content in front of an audience when they search for specific keywords online.

What is an example of a local search? ›

Examples of local searches include "Hong Kong hotels", "Manhattan restaurants", and "Dublin car rental". Local searches exhibit explicit or implicit local intent. A search that includes a location modifier, such as "Bellevue, WA" or "14th arrondissement", is an explicit local search.

What is key advantage of local search algorithms? ›

Although local search algorithms are not systematic, they have two key advantages: 1. They use very little memory (usually a constant amount), and 2. They can often find reasonable solutions in large or infinite (continuous) state spaces.

Why do we use local search strategy to address optimization problem? ›

When using local search to solve constrained optimization problems, with both hard and soft constraints, it is often useful to allow the algorithm to violate hard constraints on the way to a solution. This is done by making the cost of violating a hard constraint some large, but finite value.

What are the different types of local SEO? ›

Local SEO is a game of two halves because Google shows two types of search results for local searches. These are “map pack” results and organic “blue link” results. You can rank on both of them.

Who benefits most from SEO? ›

Let's discuss them in detail.
  1. Restaurants. Restaurants and cafes can benefit largely from the SEO tools. ...
  2. Online Business. Running an online business without a proper SEO strategy is basically asking for failure! ...
  3. Home Repairs and Renovation. ...
  4. Professional Services. ...
  5. Real Estate. ...
  6. Medical Practitioners and Services.

What is local search strategy? ›

Local search marketing is a strategy that targets customers within a certain radius of a physical store or business. Essentially, it is all about targeting an audience that is based in the same area as your business.

How do you explain SEO to dummies? ›

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to your website through organic search results, as opposed to other channels like direct, referral, and paid advertising. To do good SEO, it's important to understand how search engines work.

How would you explain SEO to a beginner? ›

SEO is the process of growing a website's organic search traffic. You do this by ranking in organic search results. SEO is important because you're unlikely to rank well without it. Ranking high gets you free, passive, and consistent traffic month after month.

What are the 4 types of SEO? ›

Explore the four types of SEO and learn how to optimize your site.
  • On-page SEO. Our Beginners Guide to SEO outlines the basics of search engine optimization, and on-page SEO is one of the easiest and most common ways to boost site visibility. ...
  • Off-page SEO. ...
  • Local SEO. ...
  • Technical SEO.
Jan 5, 2023

How to do local SEO step by step? ›

The 15-Step Local SEO Guide: How To Find Hidden Opportunities
  1. Check For Google Penalties. ...
  2. Run A Keyword Audit. ...
  3. Check Your Google Business Profile. ...
  4. Find On-Page SEO Issues. ...
  5. Perform A Backlink Audit. ...
  6. Evaluate Your Online Reputation. ...
  7. 7 – 15.
Sep 14, 2022

What is local SEO for doctors? ›

Local SEO for doctors is a strategy that helps you get more business from people who are physically located near your practice. It involves optimizing your website and improving your search rankings based on specific information about your location and services.

Is doing a local SEO worth it? ›

Local SEO helps increase online visibility so you get noticed by new customers. Google Maps and Google My Business optimization can generate more direct calls, leads, and sales. Optimizing your website for localized terms means you attract targeted traffic and better leads.

Can you do local SEO without a website? ›

But you actually don't need to have a website in order to practice SEO for your business. One of the best ways you can do SEO without a website is through a Google My Business (GMB) listing. A GMB listing is an online business listing that ranks locally on Google.


1. What is Local SEO and Why Is It Important?
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2. What Is Local SEO? Why It Matters NOW
(Toby Danylchuk)
3. What is local SEO and why its important
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(Red Crow Marketing)
5. What Is Local SEO? | Lesson 1/10 | SEMrush Academy
(Semrush Academy)
6. The Ultimate Guide To Local SEO And Local Search Rankings


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