Local SEO is the use of online marketing strategies and tools but with a more laser-focused approach. Local SEO is the great equalizer of internet marketing. You can outrank your competitors without having to dish out tons of money in Google Ads.
The rise of local SEO is deeply rooted in how Google tries to serve their customers. The fact that 46% of Google searches have a “local” intent tells us something important about where our SEO efforts should aim.
Moreover, more than 75% of local searches result in clients walking in and making a purchase. This means that businesses that offer extremely customized content and products, have an edge over brands who have a more universal approach.
How is Local SEO different to vanilla SEO?
In principle, they´re not that different. Both depend on a well-crafted website, filled with engaging content. They both focus on efficient use of keywords, and a sound backlink building strategy. So they´re very similar in terms of philosophy.
However, the execution is where you will find stark differences.
For instance, local SEO will do everything in its power to let Google know exactly where they are located. They make commendable efforts to include your website in every relevant local listing, providing consistent information to all of them. They call this NAP (name address and phone number).
This element looks so simple and mundane that most businesses tend to overlook it completely. However, Google really pays attention to it. Often, owners list their businesses at various times through the years. They might change address and contact number, or add a partner. They even change how they spell their business name, or inadvertently just change punctuation. But they forget to update these changes in all their listings. Heck, they even forget the first few listings they did when they were starting.
This causes problems as Google is not sure what information to rank. For them, they´re contradicting. So, just to save their reputation, they don´t rank them. That´s why updating your NAP all over the online and offline world is so important for local SEO.
Content creation is also different. The content strategy tends to be focused on creating engaging copy for the community the business is located in. This is extremely important for niches such as law firms, restaurants, dentists, handymen, rehab centers, and more. People looking for these services, usually want to visit within the next 24 hours or less. So they need to know they´re not dealing with an impersonal company, but a well established local business.