A lot is asking what is localization SEO, why it is important and how to perform localization for your business over search engine.
What is Localization SEO?
Local SEO deals with optimizing a web page for a specific location modifier keyword, a simple example: “coffee shops” would provide different results for different people as per their location, search engines pick the location information of the user via GPS or the IP address, depending upon this, they change the search results accordingly.
These results, as we all know, can change even within cities itself, optimizing your page for a particular location is known as Localization SEO; this type of SEO is hugely popular with mobile-devices.
Importance of Mobile Devices
Close to 50% of all the web traffic happens via mobile devices nowadays and this number is going to increase in the future. People tend to perform location-based searches frequently via mobile. Therefore, in order to optimize for local SEO, businesses a must have a responsive, mobile-friendly website.
Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool
You can always test your website’s look and feel on a mobile device by using Google’s free tool, Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool; it provides a screenshot where you can interact with your website and note its functioning.
Importance of Localization
Search queries that are localized have a much higher intent than a non-localized query, people looking for “coffee shops near me” are more likely to make some contact with the shop, therefore it is very important to have a Localization SEO strategy already in place.
Let’s start with looking at how a localization-based SERP differs from the usual one; Google now provides a section known as “Snack-Pack” results, it consists of the basic information of a Business/Store/Shop, normally, only 3 best results make it into the Snack-Pack layout.
Example: When I search “Digital Marketing Trainer”, I will see my own GMB shows in the snack-pack:
The biggest advantage is that even the 3rd placed Snack-Pack result is ranked higher than the 1st placed Organic result, by now you should know what is localization SEO, and this is why performing Localization SEO is soooo important for a business owner.
5 Step To Performing localization SEO.
Step #1 – Keyword Research
Of course, by now we have a really good idea on what all techniques can be used for keyword research, the only difference over here would be the usage of location in the keywords, example:
“Coffee shops in <city name>” – Too Broad
“Coffee shops in <locality>” – Better fit
Similarly you can combine your finalized keywords with various locations and get new keywords, of course, all other free Google tools like autocomplete and related searches can also be used to generate lots of keyword ideas, you can also put in your service keywords rather than business name along with location, like:
“Plumbing solutions in <locality>”
Remember to use as many variations of your service for better coverage of keywords, examples would be:
“Plumber in <locality>”
“Plumbers in <locality>” – Use plurals
“Plumbing in <locality>”
Step #2 – Google My Business Listing
For a query like, “<shop name> phone number”, Google’s SERPs include cards which provide a direct answer to the query, this clearly saves the user from one additional click or trying to find the answer within the Meta Description area of SERP. Do you know how Google is able to pull off such results?
Welcome to Google’s offering called, “Google My Business” listing. If you are interested to know more, I have a Google marketing course which covers this topic, a course that guide you how to optimize your Google My Business listing.
Claiming your “Google My Business” listing is the most important part of Local SEO, much of your techniques would revolve around this portal, you can easily find which businesses have already claimed this listing. If your listing is not claimed, I strong recomend you to claim it, read more on my previous articles “Your Google My Business Listing Is Not Claimed”
The steps to be followed are also pretty simple, you have to provide details like the name of your business address, contact information, etc. There are a host of other questions as well, like operating hours, category, etc.
The key over here is to maintain consistency. Apart from Google My Business, there is a range of other local directories as well, always maintain the same information over each of these portals.
You should also provide pinpoint information on the address of your business, use the maps to actually pin your location correctly, further optimization of this can be done via photos, additional phone numbers, additional services provided, etc.
Local citations refer mainly to your business’ Name, Address and Phone Number; collectively known as NAP. It is important to maintain a good structured presence of a NAP over the internet, the last thing you would want is inconsistent citations among various listings.
Step #3 – Local Citations
The main priority is to fix any incorrect citation, a simple way to find this is by performing a search with your <business name> + <old NAP details> if the result still shows various listings, then it is time to fix those.
Step #4 – On-Page SEO
This is again something which we have already discussed earlier, keywords in H1, Title, etc. but most handy would be the aite atructure.
Since there can be location-specific pages, it is always good to maintain different pages, this can be done during the site design stage itself, try maintaining one single page for a location; Also, choose to create a location page only if you have a physical presence in that location.
One should try to optimize their homepage with the location keyword, as we saw in the beginning, search engines provide results as per the location.
Step #5 – Reviews
Google cards have a designated area for reviews, tt is the job of business owners to keep interacting with their customers using this area, they must always be on their toes to respond to such reviews.
If a negative review is received, then a potential action item must be a part of the response, business owners can also use another tool called “Google Posts”. This service helps in maintaining a feed card exclusive to the business; It is like a micro-blogging platform only for the business owners to provide important updates to the users on the SERP itself.
Post will show at bottom of your listing, example:
If you keep your customers at the centre of each and every decision, you will probably be the next hottest thing on Google SERPs, this also the reason people learn what is localization SEO and it importancy, till then, I’ll bid adieu to you guys.