The Three Pillars Of Local SEO

Deepen your knowledge of Local Search Engine Optimization by familiarizing yourself with its three pillars: Relevance, Proximity, and Prominence.

The three pillars of local seo: relevance, proximity and prominence.

Learn All About Local SEO And Its Three Pillars

Local Search has become the default way for small businesses to attract new customers that seek specific products or services in the local area.

Let’s compile some insightful data: 97% of users rely on online searches to discover local businesses, 46% show intent for local services(via Seroundtable), and there has been a steady rise in “near me” searches over the years.

Therefore, business owners need to allocate resources to local search engine optimization and benefit from the outcomes of the implemented strategies on search engines such as Google.

For those unfamiliar with local SEO, it’s an internet marketing method that aims to improve the visibility and rankings of a local business website and online presence in local search results.

While this explanation is easy to understand, it is vital to gain a clear understanding of how this online strategy works.

To do so, it is necessary to explore the three pillars of Local SEO: Relevance, Proximity, and Prominence. Trust me; it will help you get how Local Search generally works.

What Are The Three Pillars Of Local SEO?

Small businesses aspire to establish a solid and prominent presence in the digital realm; thus, the initial step involves attracting customers within their local vicinity.

The issue is that many people need to learn the basics of Local SEO and optimize a campaign for search engines like Google. That’s why we’ll clarify each pillar and provide ways to optimize them for maximum local visibility.

 How To Optimize For Relevance

Relevance refers to how well a business’ online presence aligns with the user’s search intent.

The digital footprint of a business must be in sync with the information users seek to enhance the overall search experience.

Here are some ways you can optimize your presence for relevance:

1) Select Google Business Profile Categories

Selecting the correct primary and secondary categories is crucial for customers to discover your business online.

Pick your google business profile categories.

It enhances visibility on Google Maps, helping you attract potential customers searching for specific businesses in your area.

If you have a jewelry store in Leeds that also sells watches, you can select “jewelry store” for the main category and “watch store” for the secondary.

Invest the time to choose a category that represents your business.

2) Keywords in GBP Name

Include relevant keywords related to your business’s category in the GBP name, as it is a significant ranking factor informing Google about your business’s nature.

Be cautious when naming your listing on Google Maps, as it should match your actual business name to avoid the risk of Google suspending your profile. Keyword stuffing in the title is strongly discouraged and can result in profile suspension by Google.

3) Create Google Posts Around Υour Expertise

If you are a “Tire Repair Shop in Detroit”, you can, for example, leverage the Google Posts section to showcase a before and after tire repair service you did on a broken car tire in the middle of the road.

Example of a Google Post related to tire store niche.

In the text, you can input relevant keywords like tire, tire repair, used car tires, tire balance and other variations that correlate with your industry.

4) Individual Service/Product Pages On Your Website

Create Service/ Product pages on your website with enough content and images where you can put relevant keywords in the following places:

  • URL
  • H1, H2, H3 Headlines
  • Body Copy
  • Title Tag
  • Meta Description
  • Image Alt Text & Name
  • Anchor Text In Internal Links

5) Create Niche Relevant Citations

Niche-relevant citations are listings explicitly created for your business’s industry or niche.

By focusing on directories and websites relevant to your industry, you can enhance the impact of your citations and increase the chances of being discovered by potential customers actively searching for businesses similar to yours.

 How To Optimize For Proximity

Proximity is the physical distance between a user searching for local businesses or services and the location of those businesses.

In Local Search, proximity takes the crown among the three pillars. It’s pretty straightforward, considering that a large chunk of Google searches have local intent. It makes logical sense, right?

Here are some ways you can optimize your presence for proximity:

1) Google Listing Address & Correct Map Pin Placement

The most basic thing you can do on your Google Business Profile is to register your business address, but most people neglect to place the Google Maps pin correctly.

Give Google the correct business address and place the Google Maps pin accurately.

That might appear unnecessary and something you can overlook, but if you get it wrong, you might guide potential customers to unfamiliar locations instead of directing them to your store where they should be.

2) Local Phone Number

Another crucial aspect is to incorporate your telephone number, particularly a local number commencing with an area code designated for a specific region or city.

I emphasize this because including a local number sends the correct signals to Google about your business’ location and aids in verifying your GBP.

3) Local Guide Reviews With Location Keywords

Anyone who includes geo-targeted keywords in their review can boost local rankings. Still, if that review comes from customers in a particular location with an excellent local guide level, it will improve near-me results.

Earn Google local guide reviews with location based keywords.

Imagine each of those guides as its own little entity, you know? Like, it’s got this location power that tells Google, “Hey, check out this business in this specific area. It’s worth a look!”

4) Creating Citations On Local Directories

Listing your Company Name, Address, Phone Number, and Website on local directories and other local websites was a huge local ranking factor.

Nowadays, Google focuses on more important things like your Google Business Profile and website content. However, it’s still worth registering your business in local directories, where most folks might go to find the services or products you offer in the neighborhood.

5) Location Keywords on the Website

When you’re crafting content for your website, make sure to include location-based keywords and phrases like “near me,” “close to,” “nearby,” and “services + city.” This approach helps paint a comprehensive picture of where your business operates and serves its customers.

Remember to embed a Google map in the footer of every page and create multiple location pages if your business operates within a service area. Doing so enhances the user experience, provides easy access to geographical information, and caters to the diverse regions you serve.

 How To Optimize For Prominence

Prominence refers to the business’s general online presence and brand recognition in the local area.

This term isn’t as specific as the other two, and it’s likely an ongoing digital marketing campaign that encompasses diverse online assets, aiding businesses in maintaining a certain level of awareness in the local online sphere.

Here are some ways you can optimize your presence for prominence:

1) Complete Google Business Profile

Google allows you to create a free listing on Google Maps where you can show all your business’s important information, photos, products, services and a review system.

Make sure to optimize your Google Business Profile for local Search fully and earn your place in the Local Pack.

My FREE Google My Business Checklist will be more than enough to get you started.

2) Create And Optimize Your Website For Local Search

A website is a must-have for any local business that wants to thrive in today’s digital age.

In our case, you need to make the necessary optimizations and create content that focuses on your industry and the area you serve, including all vital information about your business and why they should choose you instead of your competitors.

3) Create Social Media Pages

Social Media is, without a doubt, the most abundant way of marketing your business in the digital space.

More prominent brands leverage the power of social to their benefit. Without at least the basic ones (Facebook & Instagram), a business is doomed to fail in the long term.

Small Businesses should create social media pages.

Concentrate on establishing a robust profile with your essential details, and strive for consistency by sharing photos and brief videos showcasing your products, services, and behind-the-scenes expertise.

Oh, and remember to constantly engage with your customers and try to solve their problems, which in turn will give you more credibility.

4) Create Local Citations 

As I mentioned earlier, citations continue to be a part of a local search engine optimization campaign, contributing to the online discoverability of your business by customers.

You can list your business in countless directories, depending on the country. However, I recommend creating listings on major Aggregators like Bing Places, Foursquare, and Yelp, as well as directories specific to your local area and industry.

5) Word Of Mouth

Word of mouth is the oldest method of marketing your business ( since before the world went digital).

Part of Prominence is Word of mouth

Still, it reigns supreme as the most influential force. You must deliver an unparalleled customer experience to harness its power, ensuring indisputable brand recognition.

Combine it with the methods mentioned above, and watch as customers flock to your store, becoming loyal patrons of your products and services.