As you take steps to boost your online presence, you’ll come across two key terms: SEO and Local SEO. While they may seem similar, they target different aspects of your online visibility. Understanding these differences is crucial to harnessing their full potential for your small business.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a set of strategies used to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. It involves optimizing your website and content with relevant keywords, high-quality content, user-friendly website design, and credible backlinks.
Understanding Local SEO
Local SEO is a subset of SEO that focuses on optimizing a business’s online presence to attract more customers from relevant local searches. These are searches with geographical qualifiers, such as “near me” or “in [city name].”
For example, if you’re a bakery in Boston, you’d want your business to appear in local search results when someone searches “bakery in Boston” or “bakery near me” while they’re in Boston.
Key Differences Between SEO and Local SEO
- Geographical Intent: While general SEO focuses on improving your site’s visibility on a national or international scale, local SEO targets specific geographic areas.
- Target Audience: SEO aims to drive traffic from anyone interested in your content or products, regardless of their location. Local SEO, on the other hand, focuses on reaching customers in your immediate vicinity or specified service area.
- Search Results: Local SEO uses a unique feature in Google’s SERPs known as the “Local Pack.” The Local Pack displays the top three local businesses relevant to a query, including a map, which doesn’t occur in general SEO.
Why Understanding the Difference Matters
Knowing the difference between SEO and local SEO can help you shape a more effective marketing strategy.
For businesses that operate on a national or global scale, general SEO strategies are critical. For example, an e-commerce site that ships nationwide would want to use SEO to reach as many potential customers as possible, regardless of their location.
On the other hand, if your business depends on customers who live in or visit a particular area, local SEO strategies are essential. For example, a local restaurant or dental clinic would want to prioritize local SEO to attract customers in their immediate area.
In many cases, small businesses need to implement both SEO and local SEO strategies. For instance, a local boutique might use SEO strategies to sell their products online to customers across the country, and local SEO strategies to attract customers to their physical store.
Understanding SEO and local SEO and how they differ is the first step in choosing the right strategies for your business. If you need help ranking on the first page of Google and beating your competitors, call us at (601) 436-4112 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.