Local SEO

Local SEO is a specialized type of search engine optimization in which a website is optimized on keywords based around a specific location, usually the physical location of the business. This geo-targeted method of SEO helps the website rank higher in searches for a specific location. It’s helpful for users as well, because it allows them to search for a specific business or for a type of business located in a certain area. This is very successful, especially when you consider the fact that more than a third of all online queries performed in 2014 were local.

How Exactly Does it Work?

Local SEO really shines when a user enters one of two types of searches. First, they might want to know more about a business. One such example is if a user wanted to know when the Wal-Mart in Mississauga opens. The user would search for something like “Walmart Mississauga,” this is a geographically specific search that would return pages that have been optimized for both the business name and the location. Another way local SEO can be helpful is when a user needs to find a certain type of business in a specific area. Suppose someone wants to know what hair salons are located in Scarborough, Ontario. They would search for “hair salon Scarborough.” By specifying the location, the search engine will filter out any results for hair salons located in other cities. If the user simply searched for “hair salon” the results may list websites for salons in Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, and London—results that are obviously not helpful for someone living in Scarborough.

Introducing Local SEO to a Website

Adding local SEO to a website is fairly simple. If you have listed your business’ address on the website, chances are Google and other search engines are already picking up on that. However, this single listing usually isn’t quite enough to get the page ranked high on a list of local results. To do that, you’ll need to use SEO best practices to work the city and province name into a website’s meta-data, text, and more. SEO, both local and general, is absolutely vital to a website. Without it, the site may never rank highly enough for potential customers to find it. However, you do have to be careful to avoid bad SEO practices, such as keyword stuffing. If you include the city and province name too many times, it may appear that you’ve written the webpage specifically to rank higher in local searches, and that can actually negatively affect your ranking.