Startups and businesses can benefit a lot from doing a well-planned and well-executed search engine optimization program that is geared primarily for the local business scene. While it is equally important to look at the growth of one’s business on a more or less global scale, firming up your online presence in the same community you are serving is critical to ensuring your overall business success. Performing activities that optimize your signals to internet robots and indexers can help you in this regard. That is why it really matters to do SEO at the local level and here are the reasons why.

Google’s emphasis on local searches 

Year in and year out, Google and the rest of the search engines continue rolling out changes or updates to how they rank websites that appear in search listings. Before, as long as you followed proven tactics in increasing traffic to your website, you would be just fine. 

Over time, however, many of these tactics have been grossly abused – a lot of people and so called search engine optimization experts are performing black hat tactics – and search engines had to do something very drastic. This led to the rollout of updates that put emphasis on quality over quantity. According to industry experts, leading search engines like Google actually roll out changes in their search algorithm for an astonishing 500 to 600 times in one year alone. Many websites owners are unaware of these changes. The only reason they know something was rolled out is because their rankings have somehow changed. 

One of these truly significant moves that Google has made in its algorithm is the increased emphasis on local searches. This means that anyone who wishes to look for something in the web, he or she will be bombarded with a listing of locally-available websites first. For instance, if you are located in New York and you’re going to search for something through the internet, Google and the rest of its pals will give you local listings first before they list websites found in other states or part of the world. 

If you own one of these websites that have been optimized for local SEO, then you’re in luck because people will see you in the search engine results page. But what if your website is not locally optimized? You simply miss out on this golden opportunity to be recognized by other people. 

Search engine platforms’ shift of focus on mobile-friendly sites 

In connection with the continuing emphasis of Google on local listings, mobile-friendly sites are also gaining a foothold in the rankings. In April 21, 2015 Google made a game-changing move in its algorithm by prioritizing mobile-friendly sites. 

The reason is quite simple. There are now more folks who use their mobile devices to surf the web. When they travel for a holiday or even business, they don’t necessarily bring with them their desktop or even laptop computers. What they will bring, however, is their smartphone or even tablet because it’s a lot more portable. Most of the time these mobile devices always have their GPS or even other forms of geolocation signals switched on. So when they search for something they need search engines will give them a listing of those websites that are within their current ‘location’. This means that if you’re a Californian on a holiday in New York, you cannot expect the search results to be filled with websites from California, but rather from New York. This is what local-based SEO is all about. 

This also means that if you have a business in New York but your website is not optimized for mobile devices, then your business will simply not be returned in the list of results. 

Here’s another reason why you need to optimize your website for mobile devices. Google made sure that only the top 3 local businesses with credible mobile-friendly websites get the chance to land on the first page of the search results. If you do well in strengthening the mobile-friendliness of your website while also adhering to the various updates of Google and the other search engines, you can better ensure the viability of your organization. 

Local SEO link-building strategies firm up a business’ online reputation 

Localized search engine optimization also matters when it comes to building and strengthening your online reputation. Everyone knows that search engine optimization is not only about strengthening the signals of your website but also enhancing the reputation of your organization within the local community. 

It is crucial for your business to build credible links with other reputable local businesses if you want your local search engine optimization programs to become successful. This is especially true if you’re relatively new in the industry. You will want to link with well-established organizations, not necessarily your competitors, which can also help improve your own credibility and reputation. Understand that it takes time before your local link-building efforts will bear fruit. But, that’s exactly what SEO is all about. You don’t become successful overnight. 

Doing SEO at the local level matters. And if you’re unsure if your website is already locally optimized especially for mobile devices, you definitely will need to seek assistance from a reputable company that assists businesses establish their online presence in the local scene. At Unofficial, we can help you create a very definitive search engine optimization program that will boost your credibility and online reputation in the local community.