For years Google has been updating its algorithm to give more and move relevant results to users. One of the ways it does that for local searchers is by using what is referred to as local proximity.
Generally speaking, Google wants to serve you the most relevant results, so if you were searching for say a coffee shop, it’s not going to send you to the one all the way across town, right? No, it’s going to give you results within a reasonable distance of your current location. This is local proximity at work.
Is your Website SEO affected by Local Proximity?
YES! Well kind of…
For those that are familiar with SEO, they may understand the difference between Google My Business listings and your actual website. There is a huge difference here for local businesses, especially considering the fact that in our own estimates 60 – 80% of calls and leads for most local businesses come through the Google My Business profile. If you are not sure what Google My Business is… Google it :).
So how does this relate to your website? Through the lens of an SEO agency, we are trying to do two things with SEO. First, tell Google what you do and second, where you do it. Your website can accomplish this in lots of different ways, and some of these can really help to expand the net of where your Google My Business profile may show up in these valuable maps listings. So that begs the question, how do I help spread the area that my business shows up in a Google My Business listing?
How to Expand Your Businesses Reach with Local Proximity
There are a lot of different ways to accomplish this, most of which I can not effectively address here, but one way to help is to simply put your service areas on the page of your website that is linked to the Google My Business profile. For instance, if your homepage links to the Google My Business profile, simply put the zip codes that you operate in on the home page. It may mess with the homepage a bit, but the pros certainly outweigh the cons here.
Additionally, there is some evidence to support the fact that a “Local Pack” of pages can also help. What do I mean by this? Simply put a “local pack” of pages are pages created on your website that have embedded driving directions from different areas of the city to your business. Additionally, creating pages that link out to other businesses and organizations may further help Google understand where it is you do business. We normally accomplish this with a page entitled events in *insert city*.
Wrapping it Up
Google’s Local Proximity algorithm is extremely advanced and there is no easy way around it. The best thing that you can do is keep adding localized content to your website and Google My Business profile in order to keep helping Google understand where you operate. While this isn’t the perfect solution, it’s where we are for now, and it’s not changing anytime soon. I hope it helps!