SEO for small businesses – How important is it to stay local?

One of the latest search trends is to use the phrase “by me.” Local SEO results will appear for people who search for businesses and places near their location in the maps and search area. Google will try to show you the nearby results and uses local SEO results to suggest some options. Your local SEO is controlled by you, the owner, and can be changed and improved through Google My Business. For small businesses, it is especially important to have correct and complete information accompanying a strong SEO website. There are many factors that go into how Google will rank your local SEO, but here are the main points:

How Google determines local SEO rankings

Local SEO results are based primarily on distance, relevance and prominence. These factors (along with others) are combined to help find the best match for your search.

Distance
How far is each potential search result from the location term used in a search? Google will calculate distance based on what’s known about your location based on an IP address, or a GPS signal.

Relevance
Relevance refers to how well a local listing matches what someone is searching for. Adding complete and detailed small business SEO information can help Google better understand your business and match your listing to relevant searches to people at home on their desktop or on a phone.

Prominence
Prominence is a bit of a popularity contest. Places that are more well-known in the offline world are represented by Google in a prominent way. Reviews and positive ratings of places like museums, hotels, or restaurants that are familiar to many people are also likely to be prominent in local SEO results. Web results are also an important prominence determining factor, so having the best SEO practices on your website will help boost your local SEO for small businesses.

Currently there’s no way to pay for a better local SEO ranking on Google. Google keeps the details of the search algorithm confidential to make the ranking system as fair as possible for everyone, so using best practices based on the current Google tools will help your small business rank high for specific searches on your product or service.

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