For small brick-and-mortar businesses, it may not be realistic to rank high in search results for certain queries. For example, imagine how much work it would take for a pizza place in Middletown, Delaware to show up on page 1 of the Google results for "pizza."
Think about how many pizza shops there are in the U.S. If they're all trying to rank for the exact same keywords, the large chains with thousands of locations will probably win out.
It's wouldn't even be a sound idea to devote tons of resources for a local business to try and rank for such a generic keyword. A huge percentage of people searching for the keyword would be in other areas, so they wouldn't even be interested in that specific shop.
So instead of trying to rank for "pizza," it would be more beneficial for the business to try to rank for terms like "Middletown pizza shops" or "Delaware pizza shops." That, my friends and small business owners, is why local search engine optimization is so important.
Here are a few numbers that prove why local SEO matters for small and local businesses:
- 97% of consumers search for local businesses online
- 67% of searches are affected by geolocation or specified location
- 20% of searches on Google are for local information
Some local SEO ranking factors:
- The address associated with the business's Google+ Local page
- Category associations of the business's Google+ Local page
- The proximity of the business's location to the center of the city, as determined by Google
- Domain authority of the business's website
- The number of references to the business in online directories
- The city and state referenced on the business's website
- Review of the business on Google+ Local
- Authority of structured citations
- Area code of the business's phone number, as listed on Google+ Local
- How consistent the name, address, and phone number are across Google+ Local, structured citations, and the business's website