Local vs General SEO: Which is Right For Your Small Business?

So, you’re a small business ready to ramp up your digital strategy. Without an online strategy, your business could be (and probably is) missing out on a plethora of available online leads and customers.

Okay so, how do we capture these online targets? The answer: SEO.

Honestly if you’re here, you probably already knew that. Stick with us, though, because we’re about to dive deeper into SEO, what it is, and how to leverage its strategy for your small business.

You know SEO can be a great tool, but when it comes down to it, what does that actually mean for your business? SEO isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy. Part of the beauty is that it can be scaled up or down to fit the needs of your particular business.

Traditional SEO is useful for businesses with clients and customers that are not bound to a certain area or region. For example, an eCommerce website that sells and ships hair products all across the country is going to need a different SEO strategy than say, a mom and pop wine shop in Tampa, FL.

For certain industries, it makes more sense to focus on the customers in your general vicinity rather than to try to pander to the entire internet.

This is where Local SEO comes in.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is a subset of traditional SEO strategies. With local SEO, the goal is to attract customers in a specific area, rather than casting a wider net. A huge chunk of all search engine traffic is for local purposes, which makes sense given the entire appeal of search engines is the immediacy of information.

When it comes to achieving these goals, the lines between local SEO and traditional SEO get a bit blurry. However, local SEO strategies include some specialized solutions for reaching searchers within your given area. This can be:

  • Optimizing local listing sites like “Google My Business
  • Earning & managing online reviews
  • Targeting local, relevant keywords on site
  • Ensuring contact info is available and accurate on local directories
  • Earning backlinks from local websites

What industries are right for Local SEO?

For certain industries, such as: real estate, health care, and food service, local SEO is actually the only strategy that really matters. If you’re a local shoe repairman and someone searches online for your services, you’re going to want to be there on their SERP (search engine results page), front and center.

The opposite can be true for extending your net too far. Think about it: No one is trying to search for a hamburger spot for lunch that is 350 miles away. Why try to reach people that will probably never actually walk through your doors?

Here’s the thing though: local SEO offers huge conversion rates. According to HubSpot, 78% of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase.

Yep – that’s not too shabby of a batting average.

Local SEO Strategy

So, we’ve established that local SEO is a match made in heaven for small businesses looking to expand their reach. This is where things get a bit more complicated.

Owning mindshare of certain commonly searched phrases (i.e. ‘ice cream near me’) even within your local area can be extremely competitive. In fact, searches that include the phrase “near me” and “close by” have jumped up 900% in recent years. That is a lot of local searching.

This is where having an SEO expert like Boxwood Digital can come in handy. We can help your business identify the right strategies and tactics your business can take to optimize your website and bring in new, qualified leads to your site.

Give us a call today or schedule a free consultation to see if we are a good fit for your SEO needs.