What is SEO?
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” It is the process by which the contents of a Website, a social media post, or other online content are made more readily accessible to search engines and more highly indexed relative to specific, relevant search terms, known as “keywords.” This works by attracting the attention of the algorithms used by search engine “crawlers” — software used by the major search engine providers to index and sort the contents of the internet — and convincing these crawlers that your Website is relevant to a particular keyword by repeating it often throughout your content… and by positioning it in places where crawlers are inclined to look (for example, they pay more attention to the specific words in headings and titles than they do to those in a standard paragraph).
Why is Local SEO Important?
Local SEO, or SEO intended to grab the attention of people located in close proximity to a physical storefront, is important for several obvious reasons. It makes your business stand out to those who are in a position to take advantage of more traditional means of interacting with a business. Obviously, this is particularly important for businesses such as restaurants, merchandisers, and other business models which rely almost entirely upon local clientele as opposed to an international customer base, but any business with the capacity to handle local clientele will be helped by making themselves more widely known to those who might prefer to deal with them in direct fashion.
How do I Know Which Company to Choose?
There are many SEO companies out there, and — strictly speaking — an SEO company, being a provider of digital services, doesn’t have to be local to your area of doing business itself in order to work on your local SEO. The key things to look for in choosing a provider of local SEO-related services would be to look for a provider which emphasizes providing SEO with a specifically local flavor, whether by default or as an option. Recognition of the role that SEO plays in a discipline that is only just beginning to grasp the larger implications of localized SEO focus suggests forward thinking and positive initiative.
In addition, look for a provider which discusses the use of Google’s Map Pack, or 7 Pack. This is an extremely important tool for local SEO optimization. Don’t go with a provider which doesn’t strongly emphasize the importance of using this feature, or discuss to some length how they go about influencing your business’ Map Pack profile.
Finally, pay attention to past client ratings. A company which has previously generated noticeable results for other businesses, particularly those of your industry, is a good bet for your own future results.