Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Vs Local Search Optimization

The major difference between traditional SEO and the new Local Optimization is that traditional SEO relies exclusively on the company website whereas Local Optimization relies heavily upon the company name, phone number and address. Initially, Google stated that a business did not even need a website to obtain a high position in the search results but since their initial launch, this has changed and we are seeing increasing evidence that the optimization of the company website is now playing a role in achieving high placement.


SEO Techniques

  Although Google changes its algorithm frequently, and you have all heard the horror stories where a business falls from grace overnight, losing thousands of dollars in sales but in reality, SEO has remained consistent in that optimization is achieved by fine tuning the website for selected keywords, or search terms, and creating backlinks from third-party, high page ranked websites, pointing to those pages. SEO is ideal for businesses wishing to promote its products and services to a nationwide or international market. For more information on SEO, please click here.


Local Optimization Techniques

Most major search engines and directories now have a "Local" component, delivering results based upon the distance of the business from the person performing the search. The location of the person performing the search is obtained in a number of ways: When using a mobile device such as a smart-phone or tablet, the search engine can read the GPS location from the device; When using a PC, or a tablet connected to a hotspot, the IP address being used by the device determines where the user is located. In Google, the user can also select their geographic location in their profile, or a city or place name can be used in the search term to find a local business.
Each major search engine and directory now provides each local business with their own page and/or listing. The listings contain the business name, address, and phone / Fax numbers. The website address is also normally included. In addition, this business information can also be posted in social bookmark sites, on blogs, in articles, etc., etc. These posts, or listings are known as "Citations," and are the equivalent of "Backlinks" in SEO terminology. As these citations are the equivalent of backlinks, the more a business has, the higher it will appear in the local search results. You can therefore, understand that the accuracy of these citations is very important as a minor difference in the address field, phone number used, etc., will mean that the citation will not be recognized.
The other major difference in Local listings is the inclusion of customer reviews. As Google purchased Zermat in 2012, a major review website, it is fairly obvious that Google places heavy weight on the number of positive reviews a company receives as this shows an active community interest and therefore, a popular business with the local population. We include our reputation manager portal in all our Local Optimization packages, providing us the ability to react immediately to restore the good name of the company should any bad review about the company be posted anywhere on the web. We take a very pro-active stance on reviews, helping our clients to achieve the best possible results.
The third factor in Local Optimization is the company website. We have noticed Google is now using the optimization of the website for local information, such as address, search term optimization, etc., in determining its local search results. 
To learn more about Local Optimization, please click here.

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