Google’s John Mueller answered a question about the difference in SEO between an informative search query and a query for a local service. Mueller answers the question and followed up by explaining what a business needs to do to rank by local search queries, emphasizing the importance of Google My Business (GMB).
What is the difference between local and informative search queries?
A “Local Search Query” is a search query that someone enters into Google when searching for a service or store in their geographic area.
Examples of a local search business can be a plumber, a restaurant, a retail store or a lawyer.
And informative search query is one where a searcher tries to find information, e.g. Cast of a movie, a product review or instructions on how to cook a Hungarian goulash.
Google’s John Mueller discusses local search SEO
Is SEO different for local versus information sites?
The question was to ask what the difference was between a local search query and a query for an information page in terms of SEO.
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The idea the questioner seems to have was that the search intent was different, so SEO for the two kinds of queries should be different.
“How different is SEO for a product or service page than a normal article?
For example, for keywords like “piano courses near me” that the user’s intention would be to find a service rather than a solution? “
SEO for local and informative purpose essentially the same
Google’s John Mueller replied that as far as the pages themselves were concerned, the same SEO considerations applied whether the page was for a local service or for an information page.
At first it may sound surprising, but he explains an important difference in how a local search site is promoted, and the answer makes more sense.
Mueller confirms that SEO for content is the same:
“It simply came to our notice then. I do not think we are doing anything different with regard to these different kinds of sites.
Rather, we try to find the content on the page, understand how it is relevant and treat it appropriately. ”
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So what I think he is saying is that SEO considerations like title tags, meta description, headline usage, page content and maybe even the structured data are the same between a web page optimized for a local search query and a page , optimized for an informative search query.
How to promote a local service in Google
John Mueller then discusses the difference in how a local page is promoted.
“The only thing … also to mention here is that it actually sounds like what you are looking at is a local service or local business.
And for that, I would make sure you have a really strong Google My Business entry created.
Because it’s something that can appear a little easier in the search results for queries like this.
And in particular, queries that contain something along the lines of “near me” are not that you should rank by “near me” because near me is essentially like… global.
It’s not something specific on your site.
But rather what you need to do t here is just to make sure you have your placement very clearly defined on your pages so we can recognize that this placement is linked to your site or with this page and the user is on it place.
Therefore, any query that contains “near me” can kind of this geographic distance algorithm to find out that these are actually results that are near them and they match what they were looking for.
So that’s something to keep in mind. ”
Google My Business (GMB) is essential for local businesses
Mueller then stressed the importance of creating a Google My Business profile.
“Once Google My Business is set up, you have automatically entered a location anyway.
So it’s a little easier there.
But having all this combined makes it much easier for us to actually understand that this is a local result and the user is local and they are looking for something local, therefore we should highlight this better in the search. ”
On-page SEO the same despite the difference in user intent
It can feel as if the user’s intent can make a difference between SEO for a local search query and an informative site. But in reality, what needs to be done is pretty much the same.
One thing to keep in mind is that a business must be local if it is included in Google My Business (GMB).
GMB may not be a good fit for a company that has national and / or global customers. What can happen is that the site may disappear from the search engine results pages (SERPs) to searchers outside the service areas specified in the GMB profile.
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Ranking for local search queries against non-locals
Watch Mueller explain local search ranking at 42:45 minute mark: