Search Engine Optimization is an every changing field of digital marketing. Algorithm updates, shifting user usage, and newer techniques mean that it can be hard to ever get a firm grasp on SEO unless you’re in the business. Under the large umbrella that is digital marketing there are separate branches- social media marketing (SMM), paid per click ads (PPC), and SEO. What many people don’t realize is that SEO is an umbrella of its own, housing smaller divisions beneath if.

Local SEO is one of these smaller divisions. In the past SEO companies have focused heavily on general SEO. But as mobile searching is rising there has been a shift towards local SEO. So what is local SEO and more importantly why does it matter?

What is it?

Basically, local SEO is about providing users with relevant search results based on their current location. General SEO about more about broad topics. The problem with general SEO though is that while it might be topically relevant to the search that doesn’t mean it’s accessible. For example, if you search “accounting” you might get results to accounting and accountant pages that aren’t even in your country. A local SEO search would be “Toronto accounting” which would give results for accounting pages in the GTA.

For businesses like restaurants and shops, Google has already integrated local SEO. Now adding a location to the search isn’t necessary, as Google will automatically provide results based on your location. The results only get more accurate with mobile searching. In fact, four out of five people who mobile searching to look up local information.

Why Is It Important?

SEO is all about getting seen in search results. The shift towards local SEO both in terms of search engine algorithms and user searching is already happening. Having only general SEO means that might as well not have SEO at all. Local SEO will mean that your website will get seen and by people that will actually use your services. If you’re a Toronto accountant why bother attracting people in the US?

More than ever before people are looking for local results. Search engines have replaced the physical phone book and yellow pages. 64% of local customers used search engines as their main source of finding local businesses and 46% of all Google searches are local. If you don’t appear in local search results then you are missing out on a massive user base.

How To Optimize For Local Searching?

Luckily, there are a few easy steps towards making your website more local searching friendly. The first thing you should do or make sure your SEO company does is claim your Google Places for Business page. Update your contact information and location so that you appear on Google maps and searches.

Having on-page local SEO is important too. Have the targeted location in title pages, tags, and in the meta description of the page. Embedding a map of your location on your contact page will also help with your local SEO ranking. On the content side of SEO, focus on local keywords in addition to general ones. Instead of targeting just “accounting” try targeting “Toronto accounting”. This will boost both your general and local SEO ranking.

An aspect of SEO is external links. That means making profiles and linking back to your website on reputable directories and sites. To make external linking local SEO friendly simply add your address to these profiles. It’s a simple step that many people don’t do.

Conclusion

Integrating local SEO into an existing SEO or digital marketing plan isn’t that difficult. All it takes is some slight adjustments and mortifications. Local SEO is more important than every before. Contact us today if you’re interested in learning more about local SEO or would like an SEO website audit.