So you are marketing your business online and wondering if there is a difference between SEO and local SEO?  Well yes there is a bit of a difference and in this article I will discuss the differences between the two and explain why local SEO is important for your business.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of on-site and off-site optimisation, to help local businesses rank higher in the search engine results page, where local SEO will have a more local intent in their search queries and is an incredibly effective way to market your local business online.

The main principles of local and organic SEO are the same, they have the same objective, to help the company rank higher in the search engine results pages.  SEO and local SEO mainly differ in the ways they reach the target of increasing rankings.

There are a number of SEO strategies that are used for both:

  • Link building which includes guest posting and acquiring backlinks.
  • Guest posts is an effective SEO strategy as backlinks remain a ranking factor for the Search Engine Ranking Pages.
  • Acquiring backlinks is another strategy which can be used.

What is Local SEO?

Local Search engine optimisation search queries will have local intent as users are searching for local businesses.  This could be the need of a local contractor, a restaurant in close proximity of your home or maybe your pet may need some vaccinations so the customer searches for “Vet near me”  With all of these searches you involve Google maps

So, Local SEO is SEO that is specifically developed to target keywords which have a local focus — these are keywords that are searched for by potential customers when they are looking for local businesses. In the majority of cases, these keywords will include your business name followed by a location.  An example would be “Florists in Perth”.

There are three spots to rank in the Local pack and competition as you can imagine is fierce.  So your SEO strategy must focus on providing relevant results based on what your potential customers are searching for, if you are not in the local pack then your competitors are.  Local SEO ranking is tough so errors on your website will cause you not to show on the local pack.   Having a well planned Local SEO strategy will give your customers more opportunities of finding you when they search for the products or services you provide.

How do you improve your Local SEO ranking?

  1. Optimise your Google My Business (GMB) listing
    1. Search engines need to know exactly where your business is based so when someone searches for a business in a specific location, the search engine can find all businesses that are located there.  So for local SEO, you need to make sure your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP) is consistent on your website and in all local listings.  This is really important as your NAP is your companies main identity on Google Maps, so if you change address make sure you update these details.
    2. In addition to above make sure your companies description on GMB is accurate and describes what you provide.
    3. It is a great idea to add your business hours so your potential customers have this information to hand.
  2. More and more potential customers are now checking online reviews before purchasing services or products, so the more positive reviews you have the greater chance those customers will purchase from your company.  The quantity of review is a very important ranking signal for Google Maps results so where possible encourage those positive reviews from your customers.
  3. Building backlinks is still a really important element of your local SEO strategy as they are an important ranking factor.

When you think about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), you need to think about more than just ranking in the search engines.  SEO also includes content marketing, links, social media presence, relevance, trust and authority.   All of these elements will help to achieve successful SEO.  These general principles should be applied for both SEO and local SEO.