When business owners consider SEO companies to help them improve their rankings, they must understand the specialization of that SEO company in order to make the appropriate choice. There are two distinct practices of search engine optimization in order to drive traffic to a website, global and local. Both are the same type of practice, but they focus on different audiences so as to maximize the traffic to the website being appropriate, and they use slightly different methodology in order to achieve the goal of appropriate traffic. The first step towards picking the correct SEO company for the job is to identify if your business operates on a global scale or a local scale. If you do not sell items or services outside of a local environment then you are not a global business, and attempting to do global SEO would be a waste of time, even though it would also technically provide you with local results. An example of this would be a Las Vegas dentist who does not sell anything to a global audience through his website, who decides to attempt to rank for the phrase “dentist.” This would be an attempt to rank all over the world for this general term that describes your services, but without an ability to provide those services to an audience outside a local environment. This means that if you were successful you would rank for the phrase “dentist” in all local areas, and even though Las Vegas would be one of those regions your chances of actually gaining a meaningful ranking this way is slim. Your competition on a global scale is every dentist in the world, as opposed to simply in the Las Vegas area. The immense amount of competition makes the project far more difficult, and if it was successful you would still not be able to service any customers outside of the Las Vegas environment. For this type of project, localized SEO within the Las Vegas area would be a far smarter way to go, minimizing the amount of competition and still presenting the website to the correct audience.
Local SEO VS Global SEO
Local SEO is different than global SEO in that we utilize “geo-modifiers” like city or region names within our target phrases, as well as utilizing localized versions of Google in order to present the business to that local region. The obvious variations of the example used above would be that instead of doing SEO targeting “dentist” as the phrase we would target “Las Vegas dentist” or a variation using the local area terms. While this type of gratuitous localization is not completely necessary as Google has grown quite good as understanding the differences between businesses that service a local region, particular attention will need to be paid to getting local addresses and phone numbers into the appropriate places on the website. These types of contact information presentations allow Google to better understand the local aspect of the business. You do not have to continually repeat “Las Vegas” as a modifier for every search phrase, but you will want there to be a presentation of the contact information and location address on the page. Another form of localized SEO is to create content that uses specific unique characteristics of the local region within the content in order to create local relevance. An example of this would be articles that discuss not only what makes a dentist from Las Vegas unique, but how this particular dentist is the best at those things that make Las Vegas dentists different. The presentation of as much localized information as possible without it being pointless and spammy is the goal. Through this ongoing process, it is proven to Google that this particular dentist is the best in the local region at the things that are important to the local region. Higher rankings for local searches will result.
Local SEO Basics
Utilizing the maps and “Google My Business” sections effectively is an important part of local SEO. These sections were developed by the call from consumers on Google to present them with lists of businesses inside their drive-up markets when they search, and using the data farmed from their mobile phones to provide nearby results. This is the evolution of the “near me” type of search, where you no longer need to rely upon typing in the city where you are located to get nearby results. A search on a device that is being tracked for “dentist near me” would pull up a list of the dentists that are not only in Las Vegas, but are located closer to that particular user. This is also accomplished using zip code searches, which narrow the geographic search beyond just a city-wide result and to the closest results. These will generally be a combination of the best websites that Google has indexed for the topic, with the added qualifier of ranking those results by a tighter location range in addition to the general search term. Through this process of local SEO, businesses that serve a local region can be better presented to potential customers.