Why Local SEO Is Important

Do you own a local business? If you are trying to get your website spruced up, you may worry about getting found against all the other businesses like yours in the world. It’s not like you have a huge budget for search engine optimization (SEO).

The good part is that you probably don’t have to spend all that much. You’re likely not competing with Amazon, Temu, or even a business the next state over. You’re competing with the similar businesses in your area. That’s where local SEO comes in.

Local SEO is basically the results that people get when they type “Orthodontists in Peoria, Illinois” or “Roofing specialists in Lakeland, FL” into a search engine. They’re looking for businesses in their vicinity that can fill their needs. Somebody in Florida isn’t going to care about a roofing specialist in California. They just care about finding somebody who’s probably based in Florida and can get their roof up to snuff. (Yes, those hurricanes can be atrocious.)

That’s a good case for having your business’ exact address in an easy-to-find place on your website. You want Google’s web crawlers to easily find and parse it whenever somebody in your area searches for a business like yours.

It is a good idea to pay some attention to “normal” SEO rules like optimizing for certain key phrases, even if your number one key phrase is “where to get a good bagel in New York City.” Things like making sure your website loads fast, reducing your bounce rate, and having a mobile-friendly version of your site can help. It’s just that you can toss out that SEO rulebook from 2008 and focus on making sure people in your area can find your business.

Where does writing the content come in?

Good SEO is no longer about cramming the key phrase into the website’s text as often as possible. It’s increasingly about making both the website and the text “human-friendly.” Basically, Google’s bots are getting better at looking at a website the way a human would look at it.

What your business offers should still be obvious at a glance. Dentists don’t normally sell bagels and roofing contractors aren’t trained to pull a wisdom tooth. If your business offers braces and Invisalign, the website should just say so without making the user – and Google’s web crawlers – guess about it.

Some good guidelines for content include:

  • At least 300 words for each page. This gives Google something to work with when calculating things like keyword density.
  • Each page is about one topic, product, or service. This makes it easier for search engine web crawlers to rank the page for one or two important key phrases.
  • The text fits neatly into the layout of the page. It doesn’t look “too short” or “too long” for each page’s element and is aligned appropriately.
  • Grammar, syntax, punctuation, and spelling aren’t ignored. This should be obvious, but search engines may have a hard time ranking a page with numerous typos and glaring grammar errors. If a paragraph would completely confuse a reader with its poor grammar, then it may also confuse a web crawler.
  • The content is unique. I know it can be tempting to just scrape content from a similar site and do some light editing. However, search engines will ding you for plagiarism if you do that. It can definitely tell which website’s content is “newer.”
  • The content is updated frequently. This helps Google learn which websites are most active. This can be as easy as publishing “company news” or helpful content related to your niche on your business’ website every so often.
  • For local SEO: Mention which city your business is located in somewhere in the front page’s text. You really only need to do this once or twice. Search engines will reduce the ranking of any site that does “keyword stuffing,” but can reward websites that mention where the business is located in the first paragraph or two.
  • Can Google tell if content is AI-generated? I don’t know yet, but there are definitely tools out there that can tell their users if content has been AI-generated. Google also has its own AI generator. So it might wind up affecting search engine rankings at some point.

The text should fit neatly into your local SEO strategy along with paying attention to website design and optimizing for loading speed. That way, your business can wind up near the top of the rankings when someone searches for your business’s niche in your city.


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