At a high-level Local SEO works like “normal” Google search.
When someone does a search, Google scans through its index to provide the best results for that person’s query.
What makes Local SEO unique is that Google uses a different set of ranking factors to rank the local search results.
In fact, local SEO has a set of unique ranking signals, including:
- The location that the person is searching from
- NAP citations
- Presence of Google My Business listing
- Keywords used in Google My Business profile
- Sentiment of online reviews
- Keywords used in online reviews
- Number of “check-ins” at that location
- Shares on social media
- Google Maps star rating for that business
Local Organic Rankings
If you’re a local business, The Map Pack is the place to be.
You don’t want to completely ignore the traditional local results.
Yes, the local organic results usually show up BELOW the local pack.
But don’t let that fool you into thinking that it’s “Map Pack or nothing”. Because most local searches have an insanely strong commercial intent, it’s totally worth ranking in the local SERPs too.
And, unlike Map Pack results, the local results are basically the same for any Google SERP.
So to optimize your site for local organic rankings, you want to use your keyword in your title tag, in your URL… and all the traditional on-page SEO stuff.