SEO vs. Local SEO – What’s the Difference?

Provided by local SEO company, Lucidpage, Inc. of Pawleys Island, SC.

I have helped a lot of clients with their SEO (search engine optimization) and one of the most common questions I am asked is, what is the difference in SEO performed for a large, nationwide business and SEO done on behalf of a small company that wants to attract local customers in a given locale or geographic region?

While the two often are very similar, here is a comparison that should outline the key differences. Please note that there will be some overlap, depending on the specifics of a businesses search and digital marketing goals.

SEO Markers for a nationwide or worldwide website:

  1. Typically less concerned about getting an individual to contact the company.
  2. Typically more concerned about getting eyes on a webpage or product page.
  3. Typically more concerned about disseminating product or service information.
  4. Typically more concerned about online orders or sign ups.
  5. Examples: Mazda Automobiles, Lowes Home Stores, Walmart.

SEO Markers for a local or regional business:

  1. Highly concerned about getting a customer to email, call, or visit.
  2. Highly concerned about map listings and local business directory listings, such as Google and Yelp.
  3. Typically more concerned about lead generation or appointment setting.
  4. Typically less concerned about disseminating information.
  5. More likely to use a “call to action” on a webpage.
  6. Examples: Joe’s Plumbing; Carl’s Pizzeria, Alberti’s Liquor Store.

The above search engine optimization markers should, when carefully considered, give you a pretty clear idea of the differences between local SEO and search optimization performed for larger companies that serve customers from several locations, from around a country, or even worldwide.

That said, the majority of my clients have been business owners interested in local SEO for their business web pages and websites. They were interested in seeing their site’s pages ranked highly in Google, Yahoo, and Bing for search phrases like the following:

pawleys island hvac contractor, myrtle beach mini golf, best steak in the grand strand, wedding dresses murrells inlet, conway hair salon.

These search phrases and others like them, are the phrases a business’s ideal clients or customers might type into their search bar when they are looking for particular, locally available products or services. And these clients don’t just want to rank in the organic search listings, which often don’t even begin until the searcher has scrolled halfway or more down the search engine’s web page.

They want to be ranked in the top 3 of the map listings at the top of the page. Google’s top 3 map listings are often called the “3 pack” and it’s important to be ranked there because otherwise, the searcher will need to click the “next page” or “see more” button, and very often a searcher simply won’t go to the extra trouble to do that.

In fact, knowing how to obtain and improve a business’s ranking in the map listings is probably the biggest difference between local seo and seo for a company with a broader geographic appeal. It’s a specialized knowledge, and when you decide on a local SEO company to provide this service for you, it’s something you should really be asking about.