SEO vs. Local SEO
The difference between the two comes with how you choose to focus your SEO strategy. Local SEO homes in on area keywords and phrases and targets users within your local area to increase your search results ranking. This is in contrast to the generalized strategy of basic SEO.
As an example, let’s say your business is a shoe store and you sell Nike shoes, among other things. A generalized SEO strategy might use phrases such as “Your one stop shop for Nike shoes.” This is a very general strategy, using keywords such as Nike shoes or Nike shop/store. The problem with this strategy is you are now fighting any number of stores globally who sell Nike shoes, as well as Nike themselves, for that search ranking.
A better strategy would be to focus on shoppers in your local area with a phrase like, “Your Omaha Nike Store. Nike shoes galore in Omaha.” Now you’ve whittled down your competition, as Google now focuses on “near me” results first. You will only be competing for “Nikes in Omaha,” “Nike Omaha store,” “Nikes near me,” in the local results and this significantly increases your chances of gaining that top spot and winning a conversion.This is a very simplified example (there’s a lot more that goes into it) but you get the gist. And the fact is, 50% of mobile users will visit a store found in their local search results within one day and 78% of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase2. This is why it’s so important to understand the difference between traditional and local SEO, and to optimize for the latter – though, not in exclusion to the former.
How to Optimize for Local SEO
So, how do you optimize for Local SEO? Well, there are a number of ways and we won’t get into all of them here, but in short this is where SERP features come in. Remember this? It’s that interactive section between paid ads and organic results in Google’s search page.
The SERPs usually include what is referred to as “The Local 3-pack” and features the top businesses locally who best match a user’s search query. In this section, you will find maps of matching business locations, as well as contact information, hours of operations, links to their websites, featured videos and FAQs, and more.
Also, your business may show up in the Knowledge Panel on Google’s search results page. This is located on the right hand side of the search results and can showcase any number of interactive sections, including images and videos, your business description, messaging buttons, click to book appointments, click to order, recent posts, and so much more.
The best way to do this is to claim your Google My Business listing. From here you can enter all the information about your business and include features that will showcase in the SERP and Knowledge panel sections. You can also track and respond to reviews from your customers, check statistics about user interactions with your listing in search results, post excerpts from your blogs, link to your website, post special promotions and offers, host events, and more.
Google My Business Checklist
10 things you can do to make your Google My Business page attract new customers.
While maintaining your traditional SEO strategy remains important, it’s absolutely vital with the changing landscape of internet searches that you focus on your local SEO strategy. If done correctly, the two are not mutually exclusive and should actually help on both ends. Your current strategy likely just requires a few tweaks such as adding locally relevant keywords and optimizing your Google My Business profile.
If you think you could use some help with that, just give us a call at (402) 810-6971 or contact us here. We can help set you up with a customized local SEO strategy that will amplify your conversion rates and improve your business performance.
Sources: 1“Search Engine Marketing Statistics 2020” by Joanna Carter for Smart Insights, Feb. 18, 2020; 2” The Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics for 2020” by HubSpot