What you need to know about local SEO

local-searchNot sure yet about putting SEO – local or otherwise – to work for your business? Heard about it but don’t really know what it is or what it does? Hopefully in the next few paragraphs, you’ll have a better idea of what Search Engine Optimization is and what it can do for you, especially when applied to your locale.

Basically, SEO is taking factors about a subject, person, or business and running them against an algorithm (search engine) during a computer search on the Internet. Generally, these factors are going to be called “keywords”, however current day search algorithms have become more sophisticated and gone beyond simple keywords. The search results have a hierarchy from greatest number of “matches” on the factors to least.

The more matches or “hits” a particular subject, person or business website gets during the search, the higher up on the list of results it’s going to be – and that is a “ranking”. If a particular subject, person or business is the first one on the list of results, it got the most hits/matches with keywords or content from the website. This type of matching science has become ever more critical as smartphones and other mobile devices have taken over a majority of user experiences on the Internet in recent years. Space on the smaller mobile devices is at a premium, so ranking is uber important.

Studies have shown that the higher up a search result listing shows, the more likely that listing will be to get the call or visit from a prospective customer. The farther down the search results, the less likely it is that the subject, person, or business is going to make contact with the person doing the search. If the SEO results put the listing on the “next page” of results, it is unlikely that those listings will ever reach the prospective client or customer.

When thinking about this from a local perspective, this means that you need to load your website or page with multiple factors that might be used in an Internet search for your goods or services, and link them to your physical location. Services like Google+ Maps that take your address and show a visual on a search engine result page are invaluable – especially if you have made sure that all references within your website are matching and current (no address moves or phone number differences).

So Joe’s Garage that puts a webpage out there and makes sure all their name, address, and contact info is up to date, then plugs in customer reviews/ratings, and includes phrases or words that would commonly be used to search for a car garage in the Knoxville area (transmission garage Knoxville, engine help Knoxville, mechanic all makes/models using GPS locator) is going to be higher up in the results than Jack’s Garage that has a miss-match on their address, and didn’t bother with customer ratings.

Remember the higher you are on the list, the better your chances of snagging that new customer. Take a look at your website or webpage and make sure you are using all of the information there to your best advantage.