Local SEO vs SEO – What’s the Difference?

For a small business, SEO may get overlooked but it can be a big boost for your business and a leg up on local competitors. The main difference between SEO and local SEO is what search results you want to appear in. Local SEO is focused on optimizing pages and sites for region-specific results, an example of this is ‘near me’ searches. These types of searches allow users to find products and services available in their area. SEO is about ranking in search results that do not depend on any specific location, examples include national and international results.
Optimizing the website to your small business for local searches involves many of the same steps as for regular SEO. Our small business SEO guide will help you through the SEO basics in a way that makes sense for a smaller website, along with what you need to know about local SEO.

Small Business SEO and Local Search Ranking Factors

SEO

Internal Links

Internal links mean any hyperlink that connects to an internal page in your website. Search engines go through content on your site by sending a bot to read the page, this is called “crawling.” These bots use internal links to help analyze the information. Internal linking helps in navigating a website, defines the structure of the site and distributes page authority throughout the site.
Avoid linking to top level pages like your homepage and contact us page. Go for the deep cuts of your site, the more content you have the easier this will be.

Keyword Targeting

Keywords are anything people search for on Google, these can be a word or a phrase. To appear when a keyword is searched, you need to have that keyword in your content enough to warrant your site popping up. You also want to find keywords that are not too common or too obscure.

Optimized Content

You want to use the keywords that we learned about and add in using the right content length, as well. With keywords, you cannot overflow your content with the keyword or search engines will view your site as untrustworthy. Using a Search Engine Optimization program like Rank Math will show you suggestions of lengths in content and keyword usage.

Local SEO

Local Business Structured Data (SCHEMA)

This is a kind of structured data markup code that makes your business’s site easier for search engines to identify what you are and what you do. SCHEMA is essentially additional information pertaining to your search. For example, if you search for a product, you may see the rating and number of reviews in the search results, underneath the page title.

Google My Business

Google My Business is a free program to integrate your business through Google Maps. This program sends signals that are used in search algorithms like proximity. Your location, website, hours open and other information pertaining to your business will appear. Whenever I am looking for a restaurant, I either go to Google or directly to Google Maps and search through there.

Backlinks

Backlinks are links from local, prominent and relevant websites to provide a reputable backing to your business. When reputable sites link your business, you appear more reputable.
How you can take steps forward in creating backlinks would start with creating social media profiles for your business. Finding local business directories and listing your business on them. Reaching out to local news outlets or blogs to promote your business by doing a feature on it.

Small Business SEO Lessons

Getting small business SEO training can be very beneficial to a small business. If you are not going to hire an outside agency, taking some small business SEO lessons would help your digital presence and bring in new consumers.
With some small business SEO lessons, you can make some of the basic fixes for your site. A big reason why a small business owner would want to learn SEO is that you can save money doing it yourself, rather than hiring an outside agency.

Benefits of Hiring a Small Business SEO Agency

With everything a small business owner has to manage, learning and implementing SEO work will be very time consuming and that time is likely not available. Some complex SEO issues may take hours to solve and complete focus, most small business owners do not have the luxury of either, as they are needed in so many areas of their business. A SEO agency would be much more prepared to handle the issues at hand. SEO work is a more autonomous process, where other aspects of your business will need you specifically. Many SEO agencies also offer web design services, your website is the digital face of your business and having a skilled hand to craft that image will be an immense help.
Hiring an outside agency to manage your company’s SEO would be a smart decision. You can hire a SEO agency that focuses on small businesses SEO, for a more affordable and flexible option. As you may not afford to hire an agency for a month at a large price, ones specializing in small businesses can spread the work out over more months, for a more reasonable monthly price. Frankly, the main reason to hire a SEO agency is the same reason why you should use SEO, to gain consumers through search engines. If you are not going to perform SEO, then the options are hire a SEO agency or ignore SEO and ignoring SEO is ignoring a large segment of potential consumers.

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