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What Local SEO Can Do for Your Business

A term Internet search engine users are starting to see more and more often is “local SEO”. How does Local SEO differ from traditional SEO? Who does Local SEO benefit the most?

Traditional Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a practice that helps websites of all types rank higher in the listings generated by a traditional web search. Say, for example, you have a website about Betta fish. If someone searching for information about pet fish types in the keywords “Betta fish” in a search engine (such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo!), the search engine will return listings of websites in which those two keywords have been found. Now, Betta fish are a pretty popular species of pet fish, so there are likely to be hundreds or even thousands of websites that mention them. Because of the way the various search engines’ ranking mechanisms work, your site may be visible on the first page of the search results, or perhaps on the 15th page of the search results, or even way back on the 127th page of those search results. It all depends on algorithms over which you have no control.

With traditional SEO, an SEO professional works to elevate your page in those search results listings. Everyone wants to be on Page 1 of that keyword search for Betta fish, of course, and the SEO professional will do his or her best to put your website on that first page.

So, how does traditional SEO differ from Local SEO?

Local search engine optimization doesn’t just help a website get higher in the rankings overall; it also works to elevate that website’s rankings when someone in a particular city or region is looking for a product or service located in that area. Say, for example, that you don’t just have a website about Betta fish. You also sell them at your pet store located in Boston, Massachusetts. Because you’re running a business, you don’t just want to inform people about Betta fish. You want them to come to your store and buy Betta fish.

With local SEO, an SEO professional works to elevate a website’s rankings in listings for a particular area-in the case of the example above, Boston, Massachusetts. Local SEO also helps elevate a business’ rankings in a somewhat new feature of most search engines: local listings. In Google, these are known as Google Places. In Bing and Yahoo!, these local listings also appear, either as a result of keyword searches for businesses in a particular area, and/or as a result of the area in which the web surfer’s browser is located (generated by their IP address).

Local listings bring up a list of business locations that match the keywords specified in the search. So if someone in Boston, Massachusetts types in the search term “Betta fish,” not only do websites about Betta fish appear, but a separate list of businesses that sell Betta fish, supplies for Betta fish, etc., also appears on the first page. These local listings feature the business name, address, a brief description of the business, and often a visual location on a map. It’s fairly obvious that if you own a business, you want your website and your location to be prominent in related search listings for your area. It’s a winning scenario. Professional Content Writing Services

Another benefit of having Local SEO performed for your business is that it synchronizes with the Google places, Bing, and Yahoo Listings, increasing your overall ranking. You don’t necessarily have to have a website to get listed in the local search listings. Because local listings like Google Places require a physical, brick-and-mortar address, you can get your business listed even before your website is ready to go. If you’re like many small business owners, you may not have the time or extra cash lying around to create and maintain a website, or to have traditional SEO services performed. Local SEO is a less costly alternative.

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