Search and social are undeniably intertwined -- kind of like PB & J. Social metrics such as "likes," pins, and comments can be indexed as keywords and social signals on Google. This impacts SEO -- increasing visibility for those brands taking advantage of the synergy between search and social.
Although there are many components within SEO that are correlated with social media, local SEO is certainly a stand out. Focused specifically on local business, this aspect of search engine optimization is translating traditional word-of-mouth into digital transparency. It consists of local citations, business information, and user-generated content -- such as reviews, tags, and images.
Local SEO is largely contingent on geotagged content. Search engines pick up the verification of physical addresses that provide relevant results for geographic-specific search queries. Search Engine Journal reports that this has become a "key part of their algorithm."
Although geotagged images contribute to local SEO, social check-ins hold more of a conscious intent. Users checking in at a location are doing so for a reason -- leading to increased visibility. Social networks have taken notice of this location-centric trend, with many beginning to incorporate geotagged content into their digital strategy.
The power of social check-ins is not to be taken lightly. User-generated content is quickly demonstrating its effectiveness in improving local SEO -- especially by way of three popular social networks/applications. Foursquare, Yelp, and Facebook are established in the digital sphere and have helped shape how social media intersects with local SEO. Let's examine them in greater detail.