Google local Search

Local SEO

Get A Boost In Site Traffic With Local Search

It’s difficult to find agreement on “what is local search?” among the SEO community. Clickz has a provided three working definitions, so we’ve paraphrased them below. Clickz.com has more in-depth local search information. Local Search is a Google specific search engine optimization technique. Other search engines have variations on Google local search, but their efforts are not considered worthy of SEO efforts.

Here are 3 working definitions that cover the overall concept of Local SEO. Use these as more or less a big picture of what local search is all about.

  • Local search consists of targeting anything within a defined geographical area. Example: “steak restaurnts shops in the city of Chicago.”
  • Local search is an Internet search looking for something defined by the geographical search in order to do something that is not Internet related. Example: “best coffee shops Chicago.”
  • Looking for businesses that have been traditionally located using Yellow Pages. Example: “dentist near Belmont Drive in Chicago Il.”

For many businesses with a fixed address, providing services to clientele/patients/customers who shop or seek services from the business at that specific address . . . then obviously – all business is local. Generally, most businesses in this genre appeal to customers within a limited geographical area (aka service area). This definitely means that within these market niches all online targeting is local search. Examples of businesses in this niche market are plumbers, nail salons, yoga studios, exercise facilities, coffee shops, spas, delis, pet shops, manicurists and delis. Customers for these types of businesses prefer to do business locally as a matter of convenience.

The image below demonstrates a map with pins for the most important locations for the search term “coffee shops Chicago.”

Google local map

Google has a very specific way of interpreting “local search”. Because search engines attempt to show “relevant results” very all queries, Google will look at a search to see if there is a “local intent.” If Google interprets a local intention, it will then return a local listing search page result. Example, if someone keys in “coffee shop” and a modifier for a city or community/neighborhood for search, that will definitely trigger a local search page, possibly with Google map or local specific address listings known as “7 Pack” or a smaller group of specific local address listings in a “3 Pack.”

In the image below, Google shows the 3 Pack for a search for “coffee shops Chicago.” Note: This search was conducted from an IP address in the Chicago area.

The Google 3 Pack

So, gear up for Local Search when planning your SEO campaign.