Make organic and local search work together to get found faster
We recently considered whether Google has become the new homepage for local businesses. Today, we’re going to take a look at organic and local search and consider how they’re related and highlight ways that they can work in harmony to help you get found faster.
It’s not surprising that 65% of marketers* agree that there’s strong correlation between local and organic rankings. The biggest similarity, of course, is that both start with a search. But both also focus on content, backlinks, keywords and website activity.
What sets LOCAL SEO apart is the geographic component. With organic search, you want people to know what you do, but to get found locally, you also want to highlight where you do it. That’s where the power and value of your website comes into play, influencing not just organic rankings, but LOCAL SEO. In fact, a majority of marketers believe that companies with good visibility in local Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) have high organic placement, too.
At the heart of it all is user intent. Simply put, search engines want to give users what they’re looking for. For instance, when a person conducts a search that includes both a business type and location, the search engine knows that the user has local intent. So, if that person wants to find a good pizzeria that delivers, they may search “Pizza delivery” along with their location.
What happens next can make or break discovery: The three closest pizza places – also known as the “local 3-pack,” show up under the ads on the first search results page. Having the strongest LOCAL SEO presence gives you the very best chance at getting your business to display in this free local 3-pack. Why? Because all these local SEO criteria provide the authority to support local rank.
There are a few simple practices that help you get LOCAL SEO and organic search to work in harmony.
- Local business citations: A full 46% of all Google searches seek local information! Google places a lot of weight on having that information accurate and correct. Having a consistent business name, address and phone number (NAP) is quite important, helping LOCAL SEO by providing search engines with your correct location and creating consistent links back to your website and to all your mentions online.
Local citations also help your organic search efforts since search engines consider the number of backlinks when they rank websites. The more backlinks you have, the better your chances of meeting your customers right where they are, when they need to find you.
- Good content: Content is king, especially when it’s structured to meet your business goals and customer needs. What’s more, search engines like fresh content.
Adding rich, relevant content, including a locally focused blog post, or simply updating a page, is a great one-two punch because it helps establish your LOCAL SEO relevance and can also boost your organic search rankings.
Other strategic synergies between local and organic search include:
- Keywords: Keywords are essential for both local and organic. A broader keyword research strategy is necessary for organic search, while LOCAL SEO focuses on more targeted or “niche” keywords. The key is striking the right balance. We can help!
- Location pages: On a website, these play a key role in LOCAL SEO and organic search, as they can appear in SERPs and help your site appear in Google 3-packs for relevant keywords. Distance is an important factor in local search, and Google will look at geotargeted terms used in a searcher’s query and then compare potential search results and their distance from the person. If the searcher doesn’t use a location-specific term, Google will still use what is known about that location in results pages.
- Prominence:Building a solid online presence boosts your authority that in turn bolsters both organic and LOCAL SEO. This includes regularly getting reviews, building relevant links, local citations and more.
- Schema: While it is not a ranking factor, schema does help position your website for better rankings.Further, this specialized form of HTML coding is increasingly important in being part of the holistic search (local and organic) picture. Why? Because schema helps define to Google the purpose of website content. For instance, one area of specialization is for NAP (driving LOCAL SEO); another is for online reviews on the site (boosting organic search). In essence, schema can improve the quality of any search result by providing context to each landing page.
The most powerful SEO campaigns focus on how LOCAL SEO and organic search can be combined to gain the most effective online presence that helps your business get found right where potential customers are searching.
When done correctly and in tandem, both organic and LOCAL SEO efforts improve your visibility and rankings, giving searchers all the information they need, while delivering a search and content experience that is relevant and useful in the moment.
Here’s how we can help:
- Subscribe to our free HOT!Content service that delivers a daily dose of content for you to post to your Knowledge Panel, Facebook and other sites. HOT!Content also includes an automatic posting wizard – so your online content is always up-to-date – as well as other handy functions to help you build online success. Enroll here.
- Contact us to request a complimentary Digital Marketing Assessment. A member of our team will walk you through your current online presence and discuss ways of improving how customers and prospects perceive your business. Click here to for more details.
- HOT!Content – a no-cost Daily Email with content and DIY tools.
- Digital Marketing Assistant, (DMA) – a managed subscription service.
Source: Moz, “The State of Local SEO, 2019”