We’ve worked with search engines like Google for so many different search engine optimisation projects. From international, national and local SEO projects, we understand the subtle nuances between each of them. When we refer to local SEO, that can have two different meanings. One is when we say locally that it’s a business website that serves a specific geographical area of a country. It could also mean a website that is viable to appear in the local maps section of Google’s search engine. The difference between the two is huge.

When we look further into the first option, the website will typically be optimised to rank for a keyword along with a location identifier. So if you are a law firm in London, your keyword is made up of two parts: What you are: Law Firm and Your Location: London. The keyword, in this case, would be “law firm London”. This is the keyword that specific elements on the website and it’s pages would be optimised for in order to become visible for that keyword in the organic listings of Google. This could also be called local organic SEO. The webpage is eligible to appear in the organic listings in Google and it would do so for a search term that includes a local or location keyword.

The second local option centres around the maps section of Google. This option focuses on the Google My Business page of the business and not the website. Having said that, having a website linked to your Google My Business page is really critical.

So first things first, you will want to make sure your business has a GMB and that it has been claimed and verified by you. Once that is done, you will need to fill out your details for your GMB and optimise it as best that you can. It pays to fill out your Google My Business page with as much detail as possible.

The overall goal of local SEO is to receive more visitors to your specific webpages based on searches that have local intent.

Before we talk further about Google maps, it’s a good idea to understand the various ways you can be displayed on the first page of Google.

There are three ways you can be found:

1: Google Ads
2: Google Organic listings
3: Google Maps

There is nothing to stop you from showing up in all three of those places and the business that does will ultimately receive more relevant visitor traffic to their website. The number of available clicks for a given keyword is divided amongst these 3 areas with Google organic getting the majority of the searches.

Now, the advantage of Google Maps is that it will be shown for location-specific searches above the organic listings so they will generally receive more visitors than Google organic.

So if you haven’t already done so, make sure you have claimed your Google My Business listing and in a future post, we’ll help you optimise your local SEO campaign.