If you run a business on the web or have any kind of web presence, then you have probably at least heard of SEO, search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is the practice of making your website, content, ads, landing pages, business listings, and other items perform well and rank high in search engines, particularly Google.
Even if you don’t know what all this practice entails, you probably know that this is important to getting traffic to your website and getting people to buy your products and services. It can impact everything from your advertising and sales budgets to your total profitability. This is particularly true if you run an eCommerce store. Proper SEO is the difference between popping up on page one of Google’s search engine results page (SERP) and being buried so far in the results that even a detective won’t find you.
What you may not know is that there are essentially two types of Search SEO, the standard type of SEO which is for global search results, and a local search SEO that is focused on your local area and is designed to draw business to you from the area you serve or to your brick and mortar store in a particular location. Knowing the difference can significantly benefit your business.
Most of the work of general SEO focuses on keywords and relevant content that makes your business appear when someone does a generic Google search for companies or products in your space.
For instance, if you sell shoes, and you have good SEO, then when someone Google’s shoes, they might see your name in the page list of results. This is good for your business because it means someone might potentially click on your business website and then buy some shoes. However, if you don’t sell shoes and instead provide a service, then general search SEO won’t be as beneficial.
The reason is that general SEO targets results from around the world. If your business lets you provide services, such as roof replacements, to your local area, then someone across the country finding your website isn’t going to be beneficial to you. While more search traffic is a good thing, unless that search traffic translates to more actual business, it isn’t doing much good.
Thankfully, there is more to SEO than just ranking in the global search results.
There are some key differences between traditional SEO and Local SEO. In Local SEO, the keywords and information that you normally use for SEO are instead tailored for a specific location. This is done so that when people search for businesses in a specific area, the search page for that area comes up, and you want your business to be in it.
The fact is, the most traffic on the web involves people searching for “___near me” if your business fits in that blank, then you want to make sure you appear in those specific search results. For instance, if you are a painter. Instead of just including keywords about painting on your website or blog, you want to include keywords that indicate the specific location, such as Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. So if your meta description for your business was something like “if you’re looking for the best residential and commercial painters in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, call ___,” you’d be more likely to show up in the results page.
Having all your business’s location information on every page helps tell Google where you’re located, which helps identify you in local search as well. Additionally, listing your business on different business indexes will improve your relevance and search rank when people use the “near me” search terms. It’s a bit more specific than general search, but that’s the point, narrowing down the results to people in your area to whom you can actually provide services to.
For brick and mortar businesses and service providers who don’t have a physical business but operate in a set area, these types of searches are where most of their business on the web will come from. Hiring an SEO agency that specializes in local SEO will help you generate a lot more business than typical results.
Now that you know the difference, you can take advantage of both types of search to improve your business the right way.