While social media, word of mouth, paid advertisements, and other online platforms can create traffic to websites, the majority of today’s online traffic is driven by search engines. But to understand local Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, let’s take a quick peek at the inner workings of a Google search.
What is a Digital Footprint?
Early on, there were considerably fewer websites, so navigating the web was relatively easy. Once the internet started to grow, (and grow it has!), search engines were created to allow users to find the sites they were looking for more efficiently. Nowadays, Google looks at hundreds of factors to determine if it’s relevant to display as a search result. Factors, such as social media, reviews, website, blogs, and backlinks, form your “digital footprint,” which the search engine combines to offer results.
Your digital footprint determines whether or not you’re a top answer to a question a user types into a Google search. The more your company can validate who they are, the higher you will be in the search results. It’s worth noting that 96% of people searching for something won’t go on to page 2 of Google’s results, so it’s vital for the success of your business to have a strong digital footprint to stay relevant.
After analyzing all the search data, Google figured out that searching certain types of businesses need local results. That’s why Google takes location into account. If you’re at home looking for a flower shop, Google uses your current location to give you your closest, local options, but that search would offer different choices if you were in another location. Local search has been around for years, but has experienced exponential growth due to society’s access. The internet is now in the palm of your client’s hands. This is why local SEO has become so important for the success of any local business.
Verifying Your Business
Now that you’ve had a peek at the behind the scenes with how Google ranks local search results, you can focus on ensuring your digital footprint being spot on. That way your business shows up higher on the results page, which can lead to more potential customers finding you.
How do you verify?
- Ensure your information is correct across the board.
- Utilize social media to expand your content.
- Cultivate locally relevant links to enhance your visibility.
- Embrace the importance of user reviews.
Once your digital footprint is established, trusted, and verified, you’ll be able to serve more people in your immediate proximity, grow faster, and make your way to a coveted Google 3-PACK!
What is Google 3-Pack?
The Google 3-Pack is what Google created to prominently display the top three results for local Search Engine Results Page, or SERP. If you searched “restaurants near me”, the Google 3-Pack would display three restaurants near your current location. The 3-Pack contains all of the information you need to take immediate action. These three businesses are ranked high because of their strong and accurate digital footprint. They have the right information across many different sources and Google can verify that it is listing the correct contact information.
It is not uncommon for a small business to beat out big chains in the top results: that is how effective a strong online presence can be. Achieving the elite Google 3-Pack attracts attention to your brand and makes it easy for people to find you. If 96% of people won’t go to page two of the search results, your business needs to verify information to ensure Page One Status. See you at the top!
For more tips on improving local SEO and other helpful marketing information, download our free eBook at www.sweetwaterglobal.com