Understanding Local Algorithm Update
More than 90 percent of online searches conducted on search engines are used to find local information. So, whether you have a brick-and-mortar store or an online business, if you’re website isn’t optimized for local SEO, you’re likely missing out on a lot of new customers – and additional revenue. Here’s another way to look at it. If your business doesn’t appear in local search results when potential customers are searching for products and services you sell, your competitors surely will. So, let’s dive into understanding the local algorithm update and what it means for your business.
What is a local algorithm?
An algorithm is essentially a set of rules or variables that computers use to make calculations or predict results. For example, when you type a keyword or phrase into the Google search engine, the algorithm uses variables from your computer or device such as geographic location, browser type, preferred language, and other ranking signals, along with your query, to display the most relevant search results.
Local Ranking Factors
However, Google’s local algorithm processes search queries differently than its standard searches. Its local algorithm uses three local ranking factors: relevance, proximity or vicinity, and prominence, to determine the most relevant search results near you. For example, let’s say you’re taking the family out to dinner, so you type “Italian restaurants near me” into the search engine. Based on the latest local algorithm update, Google will now display the three closest Italian restaurants plotted on a map in order of distance to your geographic location. This is known as the local three-pack. Users can also type in a city or state to find specific businesses in preferred geographic areas.
The Vicinity Update
Google recently updated its local algorithm to give more weight to vicinity over keywords in local search queries. This update means that Google considers a user’s location and proximity to a business in search results the most relevant ranking factor when displaying local search results. As a result, businesses that optimize for local search now have a more significant advantage of appearing in the local three-pack when users searching for products and services are within close proximity to their establishment.
Local Three-Pack Listing
The local three-pack listing is a highly coveted feature among businesses optimizing local search results. So, what exactly is the local three-pack? Simply put, it is the three business listings that appear on the Google Map at the top of the first page of search results. It may also include photos, reviews, pricing, hours of operation, and other relevant business information in your Google Business Profile. Studies suggest that businesses that appear in the three-pack receive up to 50% higher click-through rates than those appearing below the fold in search results.
Optimizing for Local Search Results
Optimizing your business website for local SEO will bring more traffic to your website and more customers through your door. It can also give you a significant competitive advantage when consistently outranking your competitors. Here are a few things you can do to optimize your business for local searches:
- Create a Google Business Profile
- Add local keywords to your website
- Get good customer reviews
- Write localized content on your blog
- Create location-specific pages or content
- Ensure your website is optimized for mobile
- Hire an experienced local SEO specialist
Hiring a Local SEO Specialist
When you need help with Local SEO, your Web Marketing & SEO partner is vital to your business as an accountant, attorney, or top salesperson. Your website can dramatically increase your business leads, store traffic, and revenue when you implement the right strategies for making Local SEO work for your company in 2022. Frank Motola, President of Brandtastic, has been getting positive results for our clients since 1998. So, call Frank at (813) 441-0275, and let’s put your business on the map today!