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SEO Math 101: Simplifying Why Local SEO is Relevant

Here at Upright we are passionate about helping provide Local SEO to our small business clients, many of which have become friends throughout their duration with our company!

Still, many of our friends just don’t understand why, when they pay, their site does not show up at the top of Google Search Results. This only becomes even more complicated when you start to try and explain keywords, links, algorithms….and they’re asleep.

Google quietly rolled out their latest algorithm shift in July, Pigeon, making ranking in metro areas even more difficult for small businesses. So, we would like to provide some simple math to help explain why Local SEO is so important and as valuable to your business as your most reliable technician is.

*Numbers below are just used as an example but can be duplicated regarding vertical markets or specific areas

Here is one way to explain the SEO equation in the suburb of a metro area or smaller market:

Let’s say there are 18 tire dealers directly in your town and there are 17 spots on page one of Google if you include organic results and a map pack. Also after the Pigeon update there are quite a few directories displaying so after we remove those spots that leaves us with about 11 spots.

20 dealers – 11 spots = 9 dealers that will not be on page one in your town

Smart business practice would be to target the larger area nearby to bring in more traffic. There are 8 surrounding towns so let’s adjust our equation:

20 dealers x 8 cities = 160 dealers

STOP. We also will include the dealers that are in the main city in your metro area and since it is a much larger market let’s conservatively say there are double the number of dealers in that city. Let’s adjust our equation again:

20 dealers x 10 cities (two added for the one large city) = 200 dealers

The bottom line is that you are ONE store looking for the top position of 200 dealers which means 189 dealers will NOT make it onto page one.

To boot, giving credit to the Pigeon update, it is now tremendously difficult,  if not nearly impossible, for a business NOT located in the main city to rank for that city in the “maps pack.”


This modest math shows that if you want to rank over the potential hundreds of competitors you need to send strong quality signals to Google proving your credibility to outrank others websites and that simply having a website does not cut it. It is then imperative that your website has great content, a positive user experience, you MUST optimize your content for local searches and you must be proactive on social media and gaining positive reviews.

We hope this different perspective shed light on the value of Local SEO and the visibility of your business on the internet.

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