Local search engine optimization, or SEO, is a method of organizing your website so that it will be associated with local searches. A local search is one in which the searcher specifies that they are looking for a result near them, or perhaps in a specific location. When done correctly, local SEO will give you great search engine results page (SERP) visibility. A local SERP page offers a featured section wherein the top three ranking businesses that match the search are listed.

There are several things someone might do to improve their site’s local SEO:

  • Localize your website. This refers to the process of including your physical location in several places throughout the site. Talk about the city in which you’re located, the region of the country you’re in, and any geographic features or aspects of community culture that might tie you to your location. This includes creating separate pages for different locations your business might have.
  • Citation building. Register your business with online directories, ensuring that the citation you use is identical every time. Even minor changes, such as abbreviations, can make it difficult for search engines to recognize that you’re talking about the same company.
  • Claim your Google My Business page. It’s free and easy to do, and it allows you to communicate to Google directly the information you’d like displayed about your company.
  • Build backlinks. Incoming links to your site from other thought leaders in the industry are called backlinks. The more well connected you are, the more you’ll be perceived as a trustworthy voice in the industry—always a good thing.
  • Accumulate customer reviews. Letting potential customers know that others in their community value your service is a good thing, of course, but search engines also post customer reviews in their SERP pages. Make sure yours looks good!