My motto over the past 4 years has been, “helping the world 1 small business owner at at time”. I work hard to be the best consultant I can be, as a side effect, I’m on a constant quest to educate clients about the world of SEO. I get all sorts of questions from all sorts of people, but there are 3 questions I find myself being asked more often than others.
#1 – Why is Local SEO Differentiated from SEO?
- There’s a specific section within the Google search results that only businesses with a local focus can rank in. There are 3 sections in total – Paid Ads, Organic, and Local Maps. Each have different features, advantages and benefits based on many business variables, SEO isn’t one size fits all.
- Google decides what categories are applicable for local results. The list is large, but not all encompassing so it’s important to check each search term to make sure it produces a local pack.
- The phrases offered are usually the higher trafficked phrases. There are no custom or long tail terms available, those are reserved for the organic results.
- Different set of ranking factors – citations and reviews play a bigger part in local results than any other. It’s not uncommon to see businesses only ranking in the local section and not the organic section due to this factor.
#2 – What is the Benefit of Local SEO?
- The Primary Application is Mobile Accessibility – we live in an age where there are more cell phones on the planet than toilets! The ability to be found is crucial, the ability to be found quickly is even more critical. Beware though, being found is only half the battle, once they discover your business the information needs to be accurate.
- Branded Search Terms – When a person Google’s the name of your business it’s important to have the entirety of the first page link back to the business.
- Nowadays, a knowledge graph will appear, hosting all the relevant business data including recent Google+ posts.
- Location Specificity – This mostly applies to chains and franchise type businesses. The ability to discover the closest Dominoes, Jiffy Lube or REI type place has transformed how big businesses market themselves.
#3 – Are Reviews Really That Important?
- For as important as you thought it was when initially asked, multiply that by 10!
- I like to think of it as the ultimate popularity contest – the one with most points wins! SEO is mainstream enough now that in some geographies/verticals everyone is so well optimized, the only factor to determine rank position is the number of reviews spread about on the web.
- Google has said repeatedly they’re moving to a “more conversational” model. To me, the only way people can “converse” about your business online is by leaving a review or commenting on social media – both increasingly important factors in SEO for 2015.
No one can say for sure what the future holds, but one thing is certain… I will get more questions and I will answer more questions. As they say, “The day you stop learning, is the day you start dying”.
If you found this information helpful, be sure to check out our post “Ode to SEO: A Poem by Jenny Foster.“ Organik SEO is passionate about helping businesses grow by tapping into the power of social media and SEO. To discuss how we can help you grow your business, contact us today!