All webmasters have the same goal – getting as much traffic on their websites as possible. They are targeting the unpaid results, also known as natural or organic, and they use different techniques to achieve them.
SEO, short for search engine optimization, is a tool of the utmost importance for getting the unpaid results. It is defined as the process of affecting the online visibility of a website in a certain search engine.
SEO targets different kinds of search, such as image search, video search, academic search, news search, etc. Essentially, in order to create a decent SEO for a website, an expert will adjust the site in accordance with a search engine’s algorithm that determines its rank in the search results.
For example, if a business wants to improve its site’s visibility in Google results, it will hire an SEO expert who will adjust the site’s content, loading speed, responsiveness to mobile devices and other requirements which have to be met in order for Google’s search algorithm to show it among the top results. It’s definitely worth reading some SEO statistics to understand how and why the aforementioned aspects influence rankings.
One part of SEO is Local SEO. It is similar to the general SEO described above, as both have the same goal – manipulating the visibility of a website. Local SEO dates back to 2003-2005 when search engines tried to provide people with results within their vicinity.
It plays a big role for local businesses. According to Forrester via WWD.com, by 2021, mobile devices alone will influence $1.4 trillion in local sales.
There are many factors which affect local ranking.
- Link signals – Inbound anchor text, link domain authority, link domain quality.
- On-page signals – Presence of NAP, keywords in titles domain authority.
- Behavioural signals – Click-through rate, mobile clicks to call, check-ins.
- Citation signals – IYP/aggregator NAP consistency, citation volume.
- Review signals – Review quantity, review velocity, review diversity.
- Social signals – Google, Facebook, Twitter engagement.
Google uses three main criteria in its algorithms to show the best match for a search.
- Prominence – how well known a place is in the offline world.
- Relevance – surfacing the listings that best match the user’s query.
- Distance – return listings that are closest to the location of the user.