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Local SEO Glossary: Every Term Explained

Local SEO is the process of 'optimizing' your online presence to attract more business from relevant local searches. These searches happen on Google, Bing, and other search engines. Here is a glossary of related terms to Local SEO to serve as your reference.


A


Aggregator

An aggregator is a company that maintains and supplies the underlying business database for local search directories. The company gathers business information from various online and offline sources, such as phone bills, business registration records, chamber of commerce membership rosters, and many others. Infogroup, Localeze, and Factual are examples of major data aggregators.

Other terms: data provider, data aggregator

Alt Text

The alt tag is inserted within the image tag in HTML and used to specify alternate text for an image. It is read aloud to users by screen reader software (for blind and visually-impaired people), and it is indexed by search engines.

Other terms: alt attribute

Anchor Text

Anchor text is the clickable text that links out to another web page. In SEO, using natural-sounding descriptive words relevant to the hyperlinked page’s content is best.

Apple Maps

Apple Maps is Apple’s mobile mapping application. It is the second most popular maps application among mobile users after Google Maps.


When conducting Local SEO, businesses should target Apple Maps alongside Bing Maps through Microsoft and Google Maps through Google Business Profile.

Attribute

In the context of a Google Business Profile, attributes are labels that can be added by business owners or the general public to highlight aspects of a business. Google can also pull them from review text and add them to a GBP. Authority

The combination of signals search engines uses to assess websites and webpages for ranking purposes.

B

Backlink

A backlink is a link created when one website links to another. Backlinks are especially valuable for SEO, it shows that this other website points to you as a valuable and relevant source. They represent a "vote of confidence."


While the value of backlinks varies, the number of backlinks to a website remains one of the most important factors in determining its page rank.

Other terms: incoming links, inbound links

Best Of The Web

Best Of The Web is the oldest, editor-curated local business directory for U.S. businesses. Business owners can create a listing for free. Best Of The Web verifies the listings by category.

Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Better Business Bureau (BBB), founded in 1912, publishes reviews of the reliability of businesses in the U.S. and Canada with the mission to promote “marketplace trust.” BBB listings can act as a citation for local businesses.

Bing Places For Business

Bing's local business component, where users can create listings for their businesses. It’s suitable for businesses with storefronts, chains with multiple locations, or service providers without a physical store. Black Hat SEO

Black hat SEO attempts to improve page rankings by employing tactics that violate search engine guidelines. Such tactics include keyword stuffing, cloaking, using paid links, doorway pages, schema spam, over-optimization, hidden text, bait and switch, and much more.

Brand A brand is a business and marketing concept that allows people to identify a specific company, product, or individual.

Bulk Upload

Bulk upload is creating multiple local business listings for multi-location business models on a given platform at the same time, typically using a spreadsheet or other form.

Business Description

A business description is a field on a local business listing that allows for a text description of a business. Rules about the types of content one can include in the business description field vary from platform to platform.

C


Category

A category is a term used to describe a system of industry classification. When creating local business listings, companies are prompted to categorize themselves as associated with a specific industry.


Centroid

In the local search industry, the centroid is a concept used to define a central point of geography or activity.


Wherever a user is physically located when they search for something local, Google’s results will be customized to display the businesses nearest to the user’s device. This may be referred to as “proximity to the point of search” or the “user-as-centroid phenomenon.”

Citation

A local citation is any online mention of the business’s name, address, phone number (NAP), and other core data. Structured citations can appear as formal local business listings on local business data platforms. Simple mentions of a company on a blog, news site, website, or other online publication are examples of unstructured citations. Some powerful citation sources are Google My Business, Apple Maps, Foursquare, Bing, and Yelp.

Citation Campaign

A Citation campaign is the marketing practice of auditing, cleaning up, and building citations for a local business on a variety of local business data platforms.

Claim

The claim is verifying one’s business information with a local search engine and taking ownership of the business listing on that search engine. This reduces the risk of hijacking by spammers or competitors. It often involves a PIN setup process with the search engine, platform, or app.

Click-Through Rate

The rate at which users click on an advertisement, link, or other search engine result. CTR is one of the metrics used to assess the success of online campaigns.

Other terms: incoming links, inbound links

Cluster

A cluster collects information about a specific business location from a search engine's data sources. When a search engine's attempt to create a cluster is too "aggressive," this results in merging distinct business listings in its index. There may be instances that the attempt to create a cluster is not strong enough, which results in multiple listings for the same business.


D


Data

In SEO, data is information related to traffic, impressions, page rank, and other relevant pieces of information. It usually refers to analytical data we use to determine who our visitors are and how they interact with our website.

Data Aggregator

The company gathers business information from various online and offline sources, such as phone bills, business registration records, chamber of commerce membership rosters, and many others. Infogroup, Localeze, and Factual are examples of major data aggregators.

Other terms: data provider, aggregator


Directory

A list of websites that is usually divided into related categories or alphabetically. The directory is maintained by human editors. Inclusion in the directory may be free or paid, depending on the directory. Directory information is frequently assimilated by local search engines.

Duplicate Listing

A duplicate listing is having more than one listing on a given platform (like Google Business Profile) representing a single entity (a business). Some business models may be eligible for multiple listings. An intentional or accidental violation of this policy may result in penalties and ranking issues.

E


Editorial Summary