What Is Local SEO?

Posted by Elma Mrkonjić
What Is Local SEO

If you go online to look for a plumber or a beauty salon, what good will it do if Google shows suggestions coming from the other side of the globe? Of course, companies in your area would be much more relevant than those from another continent.

For that reason, improving local search rankings is essential for every brick-and-mortar business. Yet, many executives probably don’t know what is local SEO and why it’s beneficial. 

So, let’s see what all the fuss is about.

Find in this article

  • How to define local SEO
  • How to differentiate between organic and local SEO
  • What are the fundamentals of local SEO?
  • How to do local SEO
  • How to implement local SEO strategies
  • Which factors affect local rankings the most?
  • What are the most efficient tools for local SEO?
  • How important are local rank checkers?
  • What is the cost of local SEO?
  • How can local businesses benefit from SEO?
  • What are the pros of local SEO practices?
  • Why local SEO plays a crucial role in today’s digital marketing

What Is Local Search Optimization?


As the name suggests, local SEO targets a specific geographical area. Moreover, this SEO method aims at improving rankings for businesses operating from a physical location.

As a rule of thumb, location-specific optimization works best for businesses in the hospitality industry, such as hotels and restaurants. However, the same goes for SMBs in other industries. In other words, both an electrician and a lawyer can benefit from local SEO services.

However, if you run an ecommerce store or offer online services, local rankings will not play a significant role. That means that global enterprises and local companies don’t need the same marketing methods to reach their business goals. Yet, most organizations can benefit from local rankings, and we’ll soon explain why. But first, let’s see the difference between local and organic search engine optimization.

What Is the Difference Between SEO and Local SEO?

In essence, local SEO and traditional search engine optimization are almost the same. After all, SEO is SEO, and optimization follows similar principles regardless of the target audience. But despite the similarities, local SEO and traditional SEO also have plenty of differences.

First, local SEO is location-specific, with little effect on the global online world. For example, thanks to local SEO marketing, people searching for a nearby hotel will not get the same results in London, Tokyo, or Houston.

Conversely, traditional SEO helps with organic ranking in situations when the location is irrelevant. For instance, people searching for the best sports car in 2021 will get similar results, regardless of where they search from. We’ll go into more detail below and explain the different tools for local and traditional SEO.

How Does Local SEO Work?

Local visibility provides SMBs with valuable exposure, but the results displayed in the featured snippet or in the Google Map Pack are never a coincidence. In other words, you have to earn those positions by applying the local SEO principles and providing search engines with the required information.

In a way, local SEO is a subcategory of search engine optimization, and it focuses solely on location-specific rankings. If you want to start optimizing for local search, it’s essential to provide Google or other search engines with details about your business and its physical location.

In essence, local SEO can boost your online visibility but also your foot traffic. By appearing in front of users looking for nearby services, you can attract them to the store and increase sales. Local SEO acts as a set of steps and practices for ranking locally and attracting visitors from a particular area.

How to Do Local SEO?

Now that we know more about the concept, it’s time to explore SEO strategies related to localized content and local business websites. We already explained that not every business needs local SEO, but the ones that do should focus on local rankings as soon as possible.

Suppose you are new to search optimization or just want to maximize ROI with the help of local SEO software. In that case, you’ll be glad to hear that the latest version of SerpWatch offers accurate local tracking and many other relevant insights.

But if you have more experience in SEO, know that local optimization goes hand in hand with Google’s guidelines. So even though Google often changes the rules, it’s crucial to keep up to date and apply best SEO practices at all times. For instance, local SEO also relies on keywords and uses visuals to entice and engage visitors.

How to Set Up a Local SEO Strategy?

Depending on the type of your website and business, local SEO requires specific steps and processes. Nonetheless, it all boils down to meeting search intent and helping Google help those looking for information.

To be precise, it starts by supplying the information about your business to local listing directories, including the Google My Business service. So the key to local business SEO is improving your online presence through local databases. Search engines then use this data to respond to queries and searches.

So, your campaign should start by analyzing the competition in the immediate area. After that, look for reliable SEO tools to implement and track the strategy. As we said, SerpWatch’s rank tracking features will exceed many users’ expectations and provide valuable insights.

What Are the Essential Local SEO Ranking Factors?

With each update, search engines are becoming smarter, thanks to algorithms that process staggering amounts of data and rank products and services more efficiently than ever before. Consequently, ranking factors often change, and the same goes for local SEO parameters.

Some elements remain essential regardless of the updates, including the content quality and relevance to the query. Specifically for local SEO, local search statistics reveal that 59% of marketers agree that Google My Business improved in 2020, gaining even more importance.

As expected, the searcher’s proximity also affects local rankings, together with the website’s authority and backlinks quality. In addition, search engines will look at keywords in GMB titles and the overall reviews your company gets online. In other words, several factors play a role in local ranking.

What Are the Best Local SEO Tools?

Nowadays, SEO tools and apps cover all the bases of search engine optimization, including local SEO practices. Besides SerpWatch which provides accurate insights, many other quality tools are on the menu. Some are free, while others require payments and subscriptions, but the crucial thing is that they get the job done.

Thus, marketers and SEO specialists can harness the power of modern technologies to track local rankings and improve visibility. If you know what local SEO is and how it can help a business, you also know that investing in these SEO tools is worth every penny.

Aside from a rank tracker, experienced marketers opt for local review monitoring tools. Likewise, many SEO experts use apps and services to control hundreds of local directories and listings. Also, tools for multiregional tracking and performance inspections are popular today.

Should You Use a Local SEO Rank Checker?

Tracking dozens of local listings and directories can be tricky or even impossible without suitable software. Unfortunately, manual tracking is almost out of the question in the modern online world because of the massive data volume. So, sophisticated algorithms and advanced apps are there to save the day.

Specialized ranking tools like SerpWatch can analyze your campaigns and provide valuable local SEO tips and insights. Therefore, you can use rank checkers to discover weak points and improve the performance of your SEO strategy.

In combination with Google Analytics and other SEO apps, marketers can track keywords, receive feedback on conversion rates, and hone their focus on particular target audiences. By combining on-page SEO, competitor analysis, and presence in local directories, you should be well-prepared to attract local customers.

How Much Does Local SEO Cost?

Unlike paid-per-click (PPC) campaigns, search engine optimization requires smaller investments, but it takes more time to deliver results. Speaking of the costs, we should say that SEO statistics reveal that the average monthly expenses on local SEO range from $300 to $2,000 per location.

Other studies show a similar cost structure, with the prices of local SEO starting at $400 per month and going up to $4,000 per month. If you include local video SEO, the costs could increase even more.

Of course, the expenses primarily depend on the type of campaign and the scale of the overall SEO strategy. In other words, the extent of your digital footprint directly affects the costs. Even so, we must mention that many services that help improve your rankings are free, including Google My Business, Google Maps, and similar. Therefore, businesses can benefit from these tools without spending a dime. 

How Effective Is SEO for Local Businesses?

Spending money on search engine optimization would be a waste if the strategy didn’t yield the results you had in mind. So, measuring ROI is among the vital steps on the path to success because it gives you the necessary feedback. You’ll know whether something works or not. 

In any case, the vast majority of SMBs will benefit from improving local search engine rankings.

After all, local SEO is affordable. Plus, there’s less competition on a local than on a global scale. So, for a relatively low price, you can boost visibility and increase brand awareness. If done right, local SEO will put you in front of customers, especially those at the final stages of the buyer’s journey. For that reason, local SEO can be an effective method, and business owners should never ignore it.

What Are the Benefits of Local SEO?

As we’ve already explained, being visible on local listings is a necessity, not a luxury. In addition, more and more people are using mobile devices to search for products and services, and geolocation technologies will continue to influence the results. Thus, local searches will probably grow in years to come, propelling the need for local SEO campaigns.

Therefore, learning about search engine optimization and knowing what local SEO is can be a priceless addition to your SEO toolbox.

In essence, the primary benefit of local SEO comes in boosting the three Rs:

  • Rankings
  • Reputation
  • Revenue

By optimizing for Google Maps, featured snippets, and other local listings, businesses can improve those three elements with a relatively limited budget. As long as you provide good service, local SEO will only help you grow your customer base.

Why Local SEO Is Important: Key Takeaways


The growing number of businesses makes it challenging to stand out from the crowd. That’s why many organizations decide to offer their products and services to the locals first. 

For that reason, local SEO is the perfect option for any business aiming to improve its visibility on search engines. Hopefully, our in-depth guide has helped you understand what local SEO is and how important it can be.

As we said earlier, local search engine optimization can improve rankings, reputation, and revenue. You couldn’t ask for more. 

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