What is Local Search?
Local search is a subset of SEO that focuses on earning visibility and influence with searchers closest to your place of business or those who are searching for the goods and/or services you provide along with a geographic qualifier (like “near me”, “Malvern PA’, or “19355”).
An example helps. If I search for “pizza near me” the pizza shops closest to me will show up in search results because proximity is one of the largest ranking factors for local search. If I was to instead search for “pizza in Philadelphia”, Google would show me search results from center city Philadelphia regardless of where I’m searching from because I have used a specific geographic qualifier.
The system isn’t perfect, but it’s close most of the time.
Local search also involves setting up your business in various directories to help tell the search engine where your business is located, when you are open, your contact details and most importantly, what you do. Google will use this and other data to decide to present your business on the maps.