What is a Local Search?

what is a local searchFrom figuring out medical issues, to what the different symbols on your car’s dashboard mean, to everything in between, we have evolved to using the internet to search for just about every question we find ourselves needing the answer to.

This is no different when it comes to looking for businesses in your local area.

With the help of local search, we get personalized search results based off the area we live in.  And if you are in marketing, understanding local search algorithms can help you produce better results. So with that, let’s learn a little bit more about local search.

What a Local Search Is

A local search is a query in a search engine that triggers localized results. For example, on Google, a local search will produce both organic listings, as well as a local 3-pack via Google Maps.

Local Search Triggers and Intent

Due to Google’s algorithm, there are a variety of basic keywords that will always produce a local pack. For example, if a user searches for “dentist,” Google recognizes the users search intent to be that the user is looking for dentists near them, without them having to specify that in their search:

example of local search for dentist

However, by being more specific, we can turn this off this local search intent:

example of non local search for dentist

Local Identifier Search Terms

As mentioned briefly above, one of the things that can separate a “regular” search from a local search can be phrases used in the search query. Aside from common identifiers such as “near me” or “in X city” there can be other terms that can trigger a local search from a normal search:

example of local search for oranges

example of non local search for oranges

Having Trouble with Local Searches? Check Your Device

In order to produce a local search that is relevant to you, but sure that you have your location enabled for your device. For cell phones, this would be in your phone’s location settings. And on desktop, this would be in the browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.) that you are using.

It’s also important to note that location can also be skewed on mobile devices if you are not connected to WiFi.

How to Help Your Business Rank for Local Search

If you are a local serving business, such as a medical practice, gym, florist, or alike, there are multiple ways to gain more customers through some local search engine optimization (SEO) tactics:

  • Claim and optimize your Google My Business profile by adding photos, gaining reviews, adding in services, and more.
  • Create or update location landing pages on your website to include keywords relevant to your business.
  • Work your local connections to gain more links to your site. This can be partners, directories, chambers of commerce, and more.
  • Conduct competitor research to find key differences between your GMB profile and website compared to businesses that rank above you

Get More Tips on Local Search Optimization

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