January 28, 2022
Often people get confused when it comes to differentiating between SEO and Local SEO. Although both of them function the same way, the difference lies in the scope of SEO. However, before you know the difference between the two, it is important to know what is local SEO and how does it work.
In the following article, we are going to discuss the same. So read it till the end.
Local SEO marketing is a type of SEO, which aims at optimizing a website, business, product, or service concerning a local business.
For example, a user enters a location-specific query in the search box using either a desktop or mobile. Now the search engine will extract the location of the user using the IP address (for desktop) or geolocation (for smartphones). And then it will use this location to determine what results should be shown to the user.
Among the several ranking factors of Google, the search volume of businesses in their actual locality is one factor. Hence Google now considers the location of the user when a search is conducted. Due to this, the users do not have to specially add extra words like ‘city’, ‘near me’, etc. They just have to enter search terms like Chinese food, North Indian cuisine, etc. and Google presents the list of all the places located nearby.
Local Search Results on Google
The local search results for a local business on Google include two aspects:
The organic results include the websites of the local businesses, arranged in ranking order.
The local results appear in a boxed area on the first page of the search engine result pages. The boxed area shows the top three local business listings. These listings are the most appropriate for the search query made.
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Although both SEO and Local SEO work to improve a business’s ranking in the search results, however, there is a slight difference between the two.
SEO aims on improving a website’s visibility on both national and global levels. While local SEO or local search marketing performs the same function but on a local level. Unlike SEO, it focuses on targeting an audience in a particular locality, i.e. where the business is physically located.
Local search optimization is important for businesses wanting to attract an audience in a particular geographical location. This location, in most cases, is the one where the business itself is located physically. Local SEO marketing helps your potential customers find where your business is located.
The following few statistics will help you know how local SEO works significantly for local businesses:
Hence after looking at the above stats, we can summarize the benefits of local SEO optimization in the following points:
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Businesses like restaurants and cafes extract the most benefit from Local search marketing. This is because customers immediately get customer reviews and business address details in the search results. Plus, they also get to know about the restaurants delivering the best food, ambiance, and services in the locality. This, in turn, directs the customers to the restaurant quickly.
When it comes to browsing for a doctor or medical service, people usually use search terms like ‘doctors near me’ or ‘doctors in [city]’. This is because they prefer to choose a health service that they can resort to every now and then.
Now since all the details such as doctor’s contact number, address, google map directions, etc. are provided, it gets easy for people to contact them in a short time.
Local real estate agents and firms find local search engine marketing very useful. This is because people look for them in large numbers when it comes to finding a new place in an existing or new city. Be it a house, apartment, land, or any property, a majority of the population now begin their search online.
To search for lawyers in a particular locality or city, people follow the same search process. They use search terms like ‘lawyers near me’ or lawyers in [city]’, etc. This way they get all the targeted results for a specified location. Also, using the Call button, they can easily get in touch with lawyers who provide free or urgent consultations.
Another business to get the benefits of local search marketing is plumber services. Customers can easily call plumbers in a few minutes using the contact details provided. They can even read the reviews provided by previous customers, before choosing a plumber, so as to make a smart choice.
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As mentioned earlier, the only difference between general SEO and local SEO is that the latter focuses entirely on the local aspects. Hence all the keyword research & analysis, content formulation, SEO linking, and on-page SEO are driven by the local objectives. And only by using these objectives effectively can the local businesses outshine among the competitors on the search engine result pages. Let us understand these important factors in detail.
Content plays an important role in local search engine marketing. Hence:
While using links in Local SEO optimization, you must first understand the guidelines of the Google Webmaster. This is because links violating any guidelines will be detected by Google in no time. And as a result, it could remove your website from the search results.
To create a quality link profile in local SEO, businesses take the aid of many citation websites and directories. The more citations there are the more visibility and better rankings your business gets. Such websites include:
NAP or Name Address Phone Number websites are citation websites where businesses register themselves to grow their local presence on Google.
The online directories help businesses increase the authority of their website link for the local searches on Google.
Industry-related local websites like newspapers, government associations, schools, colleges, and universities, also help boost up your local link profile. They even help businesses increase their authority and uniqueness appreciated by Google.
These websites are actually a business’s local partner. Businesses take the help of these partners to get links. However excessive use of these link exchanges is prohibited by Google and may lead to a penalty.
These website links are the easiest and the most relevant a business can get. They list businesses depending on the chamber. Some may require a yearly fee while others keep up the membership each year. With the link you get, there comes a NAP.
Since local newspaper websites are always looking up new and interesting news, businesses can also reach them to attract audiences.
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On-page SEO majorly deals with the important information of your local business present on your website. It focuses on enabling search engines to find important details about the business on the website. These details include:
The legal name of the business along with extensions like LTD., LLP, etc.
Street address, City, Postal code, State, Country
Mobile or landline phone number, customer service, technical support, emergency line
Email id, Website address, Fax number
Open time and close time on the number of days in a week.
Help customers identify the business.
Brief description of the business under the business name, in not more than 3-4 lines.
The category in which the business falls, such as ‘store’, etc.
Wikipedia listings, social media profiles, listings in local directories, etc.
Parking map, transit map, and venue map.
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When businesses have a street address in the locality of the city they are willing to optimize for, it becomes easy to find them. The following ways can help you optimize for getting found in local searches using Local SEO optimization:
Add your business address correctly on your website.
Make a Google My Business account and get it verified. Add details like business name, address, and contact information. These details should be the same as those given on your website. Also, add pictures of your physical store so that people can get a glimpse of it and share their reviews.
Create a Facebook page for your local business and add all required details including address there. This will help people get your location details directly on Facebook.
Provide your name, address, and contact details on the local directory websites too. Check for any old/obsolete details, remove them, and update the new ones to avoid getting poor ranks.
Keep checking if your business has been mentioned on social media. Monitor them to know if they are positive or negative, as in reviews. This is because search engines go through these mentions and feedback to rank businesses.
The present scenario shows that local SEO optimization is increasingly getting the attention of several local businesses. And not just that, they are also benefitting from the smart SEO strategies, as we already discussed above. Hence, if you are a local business that wants to get more traffic, customers, sales, and improve business reputation online, its time to give a heads up to Local SEO.
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