What is local search optimization?

By Sarah Giometti | Business

Dec 02

Have you ever wanted pizza? Sure you have. Pizza is good. How about your favorite pizza? Do you have a favorite pizza place in your city? How about in your neighborhood?

Now, what if you wanted pizza, and you’re not a good cook, and you forgot the name of the place that you like to go to. Your first thought might be to look it up online. If you went to a search engine like Google and typed in pizza, how would you feel if it came up with pictures of pizza and maybe some pizza recipes? Stupid internet got it wrong again. Right?

As it turns out, Google agrees with you. If you do a search for pizza, Google does give you some nutritional information about pizza, but it also knows that you’re more likely looking for a place to get pizza. In addition to the nutritional information, at the top of the page will be ads related to pizza that businesses have paid to get at the top of the page. Directly following the ads, is a local map with locations marked for local pizza joints and then something called the organic search results.

Now let’s say you OWN this fantastic pizza joint. What would you like to have happen when somebody searches for pizza around your location? You want to show up first on the search results page! You could pay for ads and get lumped in with those paid listings, but you’ll want to check your budget first. Not only can it be costly, but the statistics are pretty clear that the ads don’t get clicked on nearly as much a local pizza joint might want them to.

You want to show up on that map and in the local organic search results, but especially on the map. The way to get there is a process called local search engine optimization and it can be time-consuming, complicated and expensive, or all three, depending on how you’re calculating things. You can do it as a DIY project, which you can expect to be something of a part-time job so consider your hourly rate, and you may have results that look something like most DIY projects. Do a search for Pinterest Fails and you’ll get an idea of what we mean. You could also let your nephew do it for you because he “understands computers.” Or you can hire a professional to take care of it.

If you decide that you’re going to do it yourself or let your nephew do it, there are a couple of things you need to look out for. First of all, stay consistent! Even the difference between Street or St. on your listing information can affect how you rank on the local search engine results, or not. Secondly, get lots of reviews, on Google, Facebook, and Yelp. They matter. A lot. Finally, use a tool like our reputation management platform to help you manage both local optimization and reviews on one place..

There are lots of strategies to continue working on local search engine optimization, but that is a slice of a whole other pie that we’ll cover in another blog.

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