What Local SEO can do for your business.

A term Internet search engine users are starting to see more
and more often is “local SEO”. How does Local SEO differ
from traditional SEO? Who does Local SEO benefit the most?

Traditional Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a practice
that helps websites of all types rank higher in the listings
generated by a traditional web search. Say, for example, you
have a website about Betta fish. If someone searching for
information about pet fish types in the keywords “Betta
fish” in a search engine (such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo!),
the search engine will return listings of websites in which
those two keywords have been found. Now, Betta fish are a
pretty popular species of pet fish, so there are likely to
be hundreds or even thousands of websites that mention them.
Because of the way the various search engines’ ranking
mechanisms work, your site may be visible on the first page
of the search results, or perhaps on the 15th page of the
search results, or even way back on the 127th page of those
search results. It all depends on algorithms over which you
have no control.

With traditional SEO, an SEO professional
works to elevate your page in those search results listings.
Everyone wants to be on Page 1 of that keyword search for
Betta fish, of course, and the SEO professional will do his
or her best to put your website on that first page.

So, how does traditional SEO differ from Local SEO?
Local search engine optimization doesn’t just help a website get
higher in the rankings overall; it also works to elevate
that website’s rankings when someone in a particular city
or region is looking for a product or service located in
that area. Say, for example, that you don’t just have a
website about Betta fish. You also sell them at your pet
store located in Boston, Massachusetts. Because you’re
running a business, you don’t just want to inform people
about Betta fish. You want them to come to your store and
buy Betta fish.
With local SEO, an SEO professional works
to elevate a website’s rankings in listings for a
particular area—in the case of the example above, Boston,
Massachusetts. Local SEO also helps elevate a business’
rankings in a somewhat new feature of most search engines:
local listings.

In Google, these are known as Google Places.
In Bing and Yahoo!, these local listings also
appear, either as a result of keyword searches for
businesses in a particular area, and/or as a result of the
area in which the web surfer’s browser is located
(generated by their IP address).

Local listings bring up a list of business locations that
match the keywords specified in the search. So if someone in
Boston, Massachusetts types in the search term “Betta fish,”
not only do websites about Betta fish appear, but a separate
list of businesses that sell Betta fish, supplies for Betta
fish, etc., also appears on the first page. These local
listings feature the business name, address, a brief
description of the business, and often a visual location
on a map.

It’s fairly obvious that if you own a business, you want your
website and your location to be prominent in related search
listings for your area. It’s a winning scenario.

Another benefit of having Local SEO performed for your
business is that it synchronizes with the Google places,
Bing, and Yahoo Listings, increasing your overall ranking.

you don’t necessarily have to have a website to get listed
in the local search listings. Because local listings like
Google Places require a physical, brick-and-mortar address,
you can get your business listed even before your website is
ready to go. If you’re like many small business owners, you may
not have the time or extra cash lying around to create and
maintain a website, or to have traditional SEO services
performed. Local SEO is a less costly alternative.

Local SEO is a cost-effective way to increase the number of
potential customers that find your business and/or website.
The more customers who lay eyes on your local listing, the
more customers who ultimately enter your store.

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