Local SEO: Search engine optimization for local companies

When a user searches for a specific business or service provider through Google, local results are displayed first. If he does not provide a place name, the search results will depend on his location. Therefore you see for the search term “Indian restaurant” in New York different results than in Dallas. Local companies can also be found on Google Maps.

Local SEO aims to make your company rank as high as possible in local search. In addition to those already mentioned above, the following factors also have an influence:

  • Maintenance of the Google My Business entry: A complete and up-to-date entry is the most important local ranking factor.
  • Reviews: The number and quality of customer reviews also have a major impact on the ranking, and reactions to them are also rated as positive.
  • Entries in business directories: Pay particular attention to complete, current and consistently used information on the web.
  • Links: You can only influence links to your Google My Business profile to a limited extent.
  • Use of Google Posts: Create new content for your customers regularly, also use photos and videos.
  • Frequency of interactions: If you use Google My Business very intensively and interact with your customers, this has a positive effect on your ranking among local search results.

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A current and complete Google My Business profile is a prerequisite for a good ranking in local search. Ideally, your entry meets the following requirements:

  • Complete contact details (company name, address, telephone number)
  • Current opening times (pay attention to public holidays)
  • Directions (integration of Google Maps)
  • Informative photos and videos
  • Linking the company website
  • Integration of the place name in the content

Maintaining the Google My Business profile and interacting with your customers regularly take up time. Don’t just look at these measures in the context of search engine optimization. Rather, they also make a major contribution to customer loyalty , especially in local companies.

User signals: This is how Google rates the reactions of visitors

The main goal of search engines is to give each user the results that best match their search intent. A distinction is made between different types. The commercial search intention aims at a purchase, whereas the informative search for information is in the foreground. Navigational searches are only used to search for a specific website and local searches are interested in offers from the local area.

With the help of user signals, Google can evaluate how well individual web pages fit the search queries associated with them. These provide important information as to whether the displayed content answers the search intentions. The following key figures play a role:

  • Click-through rate :
    How often is the snippet clicked in the search results? An interesting design of the title tag and the meta description has a positive effect on the click rate.
  • Return-to-SERP rate :
    How quickly does the visitor return to the search engine after viewing the page? The influence of this signal on the ranking is not clear, because the user has either found the information they are looking for very quickly or does not feel addressed by the website. Most SEOs, however, see the return-to-SERP rate as an important user signal.
  • Bounce rate :
    What percentage of visitors only use one subpage of the entire online presence? A low bounce rate indicates interesting cross-references.
  • Interactions :
    How often do site visitors comment, give ratings or use interactive elements? A high intensity is rated positively.

It is not one hundred percent certain that these user signals will directly influence the ranking. However, it is very likely that at least indirect connections exist.

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