There’s a lot of misinformation surrounding Local SEO and the majority of this false information is coming from SEO’s pretending to be Local SEO’s. There’s a fine line between Local SEO and SEO. There’s a science to each and each is unique by nature. I’d like to dive into some of the misconceptions surrounding Local SEO to help those of you who are interested in ranking in the local 7 pack in Google, whether you’re a local business owner or an online marketer of sorts.
The biggest misunderstanding in my opinion is “what a business should take advantage of for their local SEO marketing campaign“. Most cut themselves short because they don’t know what’s available for their own benefit. So, before we dive too deeply let’s first gear up so that we can see clearly while moving forward.
All that matters in Local Search is Google+ Local — to leverage top local business rankings.
Local SEO search optimization is whole lot more than a basic Google map listing. Businesses can and should take advantage of local organic optimization, local AdWords advertising, reviews, and local outreach. Searchers search in more areas than the Google map listings. You should market in more areas that Google maps listings to assure that you’re business is getting the most exposure possible, giving your business the best chance of leveraging the most success, while leaving your competitors in your dust.
How is Local SEO Different From Non-Local SEO
Let’s talk about Google’s search results for just a moment. Let’s assume that you went to Google and done a Google search for: “your city + roofing company” or “Attorney + your city” or “carpet cleaning company + your city” or “pain management + your city“.
Where I used the term “your city” in the above paragraph, you are to replace my term (your city) with the actual city that you live in. Once you follow these instructions, you will see that after typing in “your city + keyword” Google will show you a page that returns what you’re searching for.
The page that Google returns should possess Local search listings, as well as some Organic listings.
The above image shows you the Google Local 7 pack SERP results. These search engine results are achieved only through your Google+ Local business listing. If you was to click on any of these Google 7 pack results, the link will take you to a Google+ business page. This is what many refer to as Google Local. When you hear folks talk about Local SEO, the majority of them are talking about ranking their Google+ business page in Google’s local results.
A regular website, such as a site where you own the domain — this type of website can also be ranked in Google for Local search terms. Though it will not be listed in the Google Local 7 pack. It will be listed for a local search term, either above or below the Google Local 7 pack. Notice in the above image there is a listing just above the 7 pack and then again there’s a listing just below the 7 pack. This is called local organic optimization or marketing.
Both are justified as Local SEO — though before you sign a contract with an Local SEO company, you should speak with the Local SEO consultant to explain to them exactly what you need. This can be a confusing topic, if you don’t understand things.