SEO has risen in importance over the past two decades. There was a time when it was simply regarded as useful. But in modern times SEO is a necessity for even the smallest business. The Internet has become the platform of choice for most people. This is even true in situations where people are looking to shop locally. In fact, one of the most recent innovations in search engine optimization has come about through local SEO.
To understand why local SEO is so important one must first understand what it provides. This has become more difficult as search engines become more powerful. SEO experts once focused entirely on targeting search engines. It was an important approach back in the day. And this approach is still important. However, local SEO needs to also place a heavy emphasis on readers. Basically, local SEO needs to speak to two distinct groups. It needs to target both search engines and local readers. But why is this so important?
Local SEO efforts help guide people to a business. If a company has a local store than there will be an additional emphasis on trying to drive foot traffic. This can be better understood by returning to the example of a company in Phoenix. In this example they might sell pizza. It’s a market with heavy competition. But that competition might be using SEO to essentially target the entire planet as a potential market. This puts a lot of work into a market which isn’t really a good match for the business.
The local SEO efforts would instead work to integrate into local search results. The ultimate intent isn’t to reach as many people as possible with the local SEO. Rather, the ultimate intent involves reaching as many people in the pizza shop’s area. To do this the SEO experts would put resources into areas most likely to engage people in the area. This would include showing up on online maps. But it would also ensure that people looking for pizza through a wide variety of sources would see the pizza shop. Likewise, the company would ensure that addresses and ability to order are clearly presented. The ultimate intent there is to get as much attention as possible from locals.
It’s important to remember that standard SEO techniques are still important to local SEO efforts. Standard SEO often has an impact on overall ranking with local SEO. But there’s also a larger question of growth. A company’s ultimate aim is to grow and expand. One can’t always be sure that the current location will always be the sole consideration. Today’s company might well be the franchise of tomorrow. If a company does expand beyond a local market than they’ll want to be able to leverage standard SEO for the new locations.
In short, standard SEO and local SEO aren’t entities which exist in isolation from each other. To get the most out of SEO one needs to leverage both types into a larger strategy. By doing so one can target local and larger markets. Using both types of SEO also allows for future growth. Both types of SEO should work in combination with each other as part of a unified strategy.