How is Local SEO Different from Typical SEO?

Samir Sampat

Local SEO is a critical element for local businesses that are creating an online marketing strategy. But what is local SEO and what makes it different from the optimization that you’ve already done? In this guide, we’ll take a look at SEO as a holistic strategy and explain where and how local search factors into your plans. 

Essentially, the biggest difference is that while standard SEO focuses on improving your visibility on a global scale (across the entire Internet), local SEO helps you hone in on your local market so that you can reach people who are more likely to need your products or services. There are best practices for local SEO just like there are for your overall SEO strategy, and making sure that they’re both on point will give your marketing team the results that it has been looking for. 

Typical SEO

Also known as organic or national SEO, this type of optimization is focused on the keywords and phrases relevant to the business, not so much the location. There are several on-page and off-page strategies to help you optimize your website and other online presences so that people can find your business when they search for a relevant term. 

The idea is to get ranked as high as you can in the search results. In creating your overall SEO strategy, you’ll realize that the only way that you can do that is by incorporating local SEO. Today’s customers use their smartphones for local searches. They want to find businesses nearby and they generally want to find them now, or within 24 to 48 hours. So, if you don’t take the time to create a solid local SEO strategy as a part of your overall optimization efforts, you’re going to miss out on that entire market. 

Local SEO and how it works

Creating a local optimization strategy is about more than just tacking a location onto a keyword and calling it a day. Yes, that’s an effective way to create keywords, but you will want to do your research to see what’s performing. For example, right now there is a big trend for searches that include “near me” or “close by” that has actually seen an increase of 900% over just two years. 

So, as you can see, having a local strategy is going to ensure that your overall optimization efforts are on point and that you’re not losing valuable potential customers. In addition to using local keywords, you will want to reference local landmarks, cultural elements, attractions, etc. when you are creating your local content. Google ranks for authority and relevance, so make sure that you stand out in both areas for the local results that you want to rank in. 

Best practices for local SEO 

So, now that you understand how local SEO is just one part of your bigger optimization strategy when you have a local presence, let’s talk about how you can make sure that it delivers. 

  • Always perform keyword research and see what kind of terms are trending for your business or industry. It may not be the same for every business. Keywords will ensure that you get noticed and you might be surprised at some of the things your local audience is searching for. 
  • Make sure that you check your name, address, and phone number (NAP), or your local SEO citations. This includes the ones on your website, as well as any and all directories that you’re listed in, your Google Business Profile, and so forth. Inconsistency here loses big points with Google. 
  • Speaking of Google, make sure that you claim your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business). Fill it out completely and accurately and make sure that you take advantage of keywords and tags to enhance your profile and get it ranked higher in the results. 
  • Get reviews and make sure they include local keywords if possible. Reviews are one signal that local shoppers and clients look for when they’re trying to find the companies they’re going to work with. If you have any negative reviews, respond to and resolve them so that it shows that you are committed to making things right. 
  • Use social media. Actually USE it. Don’t just create profiles and then walk away. Share content. Share posts. Connect with potential clients or customers. Use social media to build your local audience by promoting local sales and events. It can do a lot for your local SEO and your authority, as well. 
  • Focus on reputation management, not just getting listed in local search rankings. The more reputable you are, the more likely you are to rank well when the rest of your strategy is on point.
  • Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and renders seamlessly on any device to give local customers that mobility that they crave. 

These are just a few of the best practices to get you started with local SEO. You should always go above and beyond to ensure that your campaigns are executed and that your local optimization hits the mark every single time. Create a solid local strategy and your overall SEO will improve, as well. 

With the new strategy comes new leads—are you ready?

So, while you’re creating a better local SEO campaign for your business, who’s answering the phones and fielding all those new leads? When you partner with the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai, you get access to a 24/7 answering service so that you never miss an opportunity. Plus, we can assist with lead screening and intake, appointment scheduling, and even live website chat

Perhaps you’re still working on the marketing aspect of things. Ask how our team can assist with outreach campaigns and dedicated outbound sales support solutions. Plus, it all comes with a plan to manage all of it that’s tailored to your needs so that you never miss a thing. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation to discuss how the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can assist with lead generation and other business communication elements. You can also reach us at hello@smith.ai or (650) 727-6484. 

Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing and Events Associate with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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