What Is Local SEO?
The SEO strategy that most businesses need to succeed
Local SEO. It’s a term thrown around at parties by guys with thick glasses and manicured goatees. They all seem to agree it’s very important. And it is. But what exactly is it? Some think it means search engine optimization when it’s performed by someone who lives in the same zip code as you. Not quite. Here’s what it really means.
Local SEO is optimization that’s:
- Targeted to appear for keyphrases in your industry that also contain keywords for a specific locale (e.g. Orlando, Arizona, Cape Cod) and/or
- Targeted to show your site listing(s) to searchers in a specific locale
Local SEO Means Local Geography
Let’s look at the first qualification. Imagine you’re a shoe repairman (or shoe repairwoman) in Baltimore, Maryland. You only want to reach customers in, or just outside, that city. After all, anyone outside a certain radius will not be using your services. Who’s going to travel up from Atlanta just to have you repair their Florsheims? Not me. So, what do you do to reach your real, viable customers and clients? Easy.
You simply target your industry keyphrases, shoe repair/resoling/etc, but coupled with the term ‘Baltimore’. You could even expand that targeting to include names of significant areas or neighborhoods there. Searchers sometimes get very specific about where they want to find a shoe repair shop. Or at least one that serves their particular neighborhood.
Remember, your customer is thinking the same way you are. They want to find someone nearby who is selling what they want, so they’re going to put in those geographic terms to find somebody like you. Make senses, doesn’t it? But what about that 2nd qualification for Local SEO?
How Google Is Boosting Local Results for Non-Local Searches
Despite the fact that most searchers seeking a local service or shop do use the geographical terms, some do not. They forget to add them in or it’s because they’ve realized something important. That is the fact that Google’s smart search capabilities means that they now feed you local listings on searches even if you don’t specify a location. That’s extremely important to understand if you’re a business serving a local clientele. Why is that?
Google’s capability to serve different results for the same keyphrase depending on the searcher’s location means that you also need to identify your service area and location so you appear in those searches as well. You should be hitting your local keyphrases, but you can’t forget to state your address on-site, especially if you’re a brick and mortar business.
That’s Local SEO in a nutshell, or at least in a short article. It just means optimization aimed to reach local customers for a specific geographic area. So now when those guys with creative facial hair start putting on their show at the next public gathering, you’ll know exactly what they’re talking about.
Contact us today about taking your SEO to new levels.
Article written by Jonathan Cook