Local Search Engine Rankings & Results
The fact or the reality of local search engine rankings & results is that they never remain still. Rankings move. What’s more, Google will serve unique local search results when it can tell where a consumer is searching from. Add to this that an individual’s personal search activity, including their past choices, may also personalize the search results that they see. It all means that a lot of people see a lot of different search engine rankings & results.
When a business is locally targeted, a Google search engine results page (that the business is included in) may be crowded with advertisements, above a local map pack of listings, and finally the traditional organic search results. Competition is also there and just like your business – they are working on their visibility in these results too.
So if the idea of a #1 or a top #5 rank position motivates your business … and it should!, try and think of an SEO effort more as raising ‘average visibility’ to an overall searching marketplace. Those #1 rankings will move and your company and/or your competition will rank differently at different times of the day for different searchers. If it seems discouraging, it really should NOT because the amount of searching for every single subject is so enormous that there are likely more qualified consumers than any one business could ever want or handle. These realities of search apply to all – and STILL, the well-optimized business will raise its’ odds dramatically for being highly visible to its’ target marketplace.
How Do Prospective Customers Search?
A marketer must also identify how customers think and, thereby, search for the products & services they want. Target customer ‘search language’ often differs from the terminology a business uses internally. A local dental practice needs to use the customer’s language because, for instance, the word ‘Prosthodontist‘ is likely NOT to be their ‘search language’. The ‘Prosthodontist’ may need to target keywords like dental implants, crowns, bridges, and dentures.
So matching the language of the ‘target market’ in website pages, in social postings, and in listing descriptions is fundamental to how a business must present itself. At least, it is if the business wishes to achieve its ranking & search visibility goals. Start with who and where that target customer is. Then identify what their local needs are, including the product/service keywords they use to find them.
Search Engine Optimization For A Marketplace
Location is where a business operates from, but its target market is where its prospective customers are coming from. For a locally targeted business, success is going to include looking at its own location and its market the way the Google algorithm does. Unless it is clear that a business is nationally targeted, Google logically compares or ranks a business (keywords on website pages, via links, and in listings, citations, social accounts, etc.) part based upon a radius around its location. The amount of competition is very much a part of that calculation, the more densely competitive the tighter that radius may become. So for the locally targeted business, mapping that from a base location outward is critical to marketing and SEO success.
And for what it’s worth, a local business has a better chance with prospects physically near to their location. Google’s perception of intent is based upon how far a distance the average prospect will accept when choosing a particular business (e.g. dentist, builder, or paving contractor)? The further away a prospect is from the local business, the less likely they are to choose it from or (even) discover it in search results. And, by the way, reaching more distant prospects will inevitably require more related content … and more cost.
Local SEO is a means for getting your brand high in local search engine results, leveraging highly optimized website pages, listings, citations, and various other locally useful references. The goal is traffic, direct calls, and leads from qualified searching consumers. Kinetic Knowledge is a leader for affordable local small business SEO and internet marketing services.