I took a poll on my stories the other day and I found a huge problem with my messaging. I hadn’t clarified the difference between SEO + Local SEO.
So, here I am, clearing that up.
Here’s what they both are:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
A strategy to help you focus on improving your rankings on search engines
Organic SEO (traditional SEO):
Focuses on improving your ranking nationally over even globally
Any business sector can get value from traditional SEO, but it’s best for businesses who aren’t needing to bring in foot traffic (think e-commerce, digital products & services)
The strategy typically includes: researching and targeting keywords, creating optimized content, speeding up your website, streamlining code, creating reputable backlinks
Helps you to rank and optimize for local searches
Helps you to show up on Google Maps
Typical strategies include: claiming and optimizing Google My Biz, managing and gaining positive reviews, targeting local keywords, location-specific web copy, adding your NAP (name, address, phone number) to local directories, and earning backlinks (here's a link to a great overview of local SEO)
These are both similar strategies, but for businesses who need local leads, local SEO is the way to go.
If this sounds like the strategy for you, book a free discovery call here.
If you're still not sure, check out the form below to take a Local SEO discovery quiz to find out today.
Why choose local SEO as a strategy?
Paid ads, social media, affiliate marketing, content strategies, local SEO. With so many options of what we choose to do for our marketing strategy, why choose local SEO?
Facebook ads are a great way to push your leads down the sales funnel.
Social media does a fantastic job of nurturing your leads until they’re ready to take the next step.
Affiliate marketing is amazing for gaining trust with your audience.
A solid content strategy is the key to gaining authority.
But Local SEO is the foundation for all of this.
Local SEO & The Dating App
For the purpose of this analogy, we’re going to pretend that you’re business is asking your audience out on a date from your dating app of choice (probably Tinder, right?)
What’s the first thing we all did when we were asked out by someone we didn’t know?
We Googled them.
What did you see? Could you find them?
Do they live 100 miles away? Have they robbed an old lady? Have they committed a felony?
Or can you find where they got their education? Can you see where they work? Did they save a puppy from a burning building?
This is precisely what a local SEO strategy (or lack of one) does for your business.
Having a solid SEO strategy means that your business shows up in local search when keywords related to your business are searched. This could mean any of the pages on your website, backlinks (other sites that link to yours), PR, your socials, etc.
Not having a solid SEO strategy means that when we search these same keywords, all we see are your competitors, literally causing you to lose out on revenue.
Local SEO is the foundation of all of these strategies. If your business is not showing up in local search when they search “[insert your type of business here] near me” or [insert what you sell] in my city,” then you’re honestly losing out on so many opportunities.
Paid ad campaigns typically only run for short periods of time, meaning that once they end, you’re stuck with your organic local search results.
Social media is great for nurturing leads that already know you exist. Again they are likely going to find us through a quick search on Google rather than on Instagram.
Affiliate marketing is also for the leads that already know you exist, not gaining new leads.
A solid content strategy can definitely be a vital piece to your local SEO strategy, but again it’s only one piece.
Brightlocal has a brilliant guide to local SEO basics if you’d like to learn more about how it can help your business.
My question is, would you rather your business show up as someone who steals from old ladies or someone who saves puppies from burning buildings?
If your answer is the latter, then I’d suggest you download my guide to optimizing your Google My Business profile (33% of the reason you rank in the local pack) today.
Local SEO Gets You More Leads: Here are the 3 Top Ways
Local SEO gets you more leads in a few different ways, but here are the top 3 ways.
Improve your Reputation
If most of your marketing has been word-of-mouth in the past, you know how important your reputation is. A solid Local SEO strategy helps you improve your digital reputation.
Reviews on your website are a great tool, but we need to get people to your website. To do this, make sure you have reviews on your Google My Business, Facebook, Foursquare, wherever your leads are finding you. Search engines have to see reviews from reliable sites, and they use this as a signal to boost your business up the results page ladder.
Reviews count for 16% of signals that put you in the Local Pack on Google. (The Local Pack is the results that show up on the map when you search for something like ‘hairdresser near me’). That means if you aren’t getting consistent, positive reviews, Google isn’t going to be getting those review signals.
Work your way up to the Local 3-Pack gets you more leads
The more you focus on implementing your local SEO strategy, the more you will be working your way up to the Local 3-Pack. Being in the tops 3 search results means getting a combined total of 48% of clicks.
Remember: Google My Business accounts for 33% of signals. This is by far the tactics with the most significant percentage of signals being sent. You can find my Google My Biz Optimization Guide here. This gives 11 tips on using your Google My Business profile to use it to the best of its ability and get amazing results from the signals you send to Google.
*Remember the local 3-pack is the first 3 organic results when you do a local search on Google.
All of the signals you send to Google through a local SEO strategy help you build trust with Google. You’ll hear me speak a lot about becoming BFFs with Google. You really want them on your side and to push you to the top of Google rankings.
Think of all these signals as traits that Google is looking for in a friend. Do other people like you (reviews)? Do other people know you (link building and citations)? Are you easy to read (on-site SEO)? Are you easy to reach (Google My Biz)?
All of this helps Google better understand why they should push your business to the top of their Google search results and get you more leads.
Your Business Isn’t Making Enough Money: Here's 4 Reasons Why
You’ve set up shop in your town, you’ve sent out all the flyers, you’ve tried your hand at Facebook ads, but your business isn't making enough money.
It’s frustrating, it’s overwhelming, and you just do not know where to start.
I get it, there’s so much information out there, and it’s hard to know who to trust and what strategies to try.
Here are 4 reasons to think about why your business isn’t making enough money.
1. Can your audience find all the information about your business in 1 or 2 clicks?
As a society, our attention spans have shrunk significantly. We scan articles, the trendiest app right now has a time limit of 60 seconds, and the best length for a YouTube video is 15 minutes.
Take this into consideration when you're looking at your business's online presence.
When you search ‘hair salon near me,’ does your business show up in the local 3-pack? When you click on your business’s profile from Google, would you visit you? Can you book straight from Google?
You should be making it as easy as possible for your audience to click and buy or click and book.
Easy Fix: Get your Google My Business optimized with my free guide here.
2. Does Google even know you exist?
One of the biggest goals I have for small businesses (other than helping them make more money) is to make them BFFs with Google.
But first, Google has to know you exist. Otherwise, they can’t rank your website. To check if Google already knows you exist, I want you to search ‘site:[enteryoursitehere.com].’ If the links to your site show up, great! Google already knows you exist. If not, that’s okay too. You just need to send your site off to Google.
Easy Fix: Let Google know you exist by submitting your sitemap by following Yoast’s instructions here.
3. Is your information up to date everywhere?
So, now that we know a secondary goal of yours is to become Google’s best friend, we wouldn’t want to send them mixed signals. This means making sure your business’s key info (name, address, phone number, and website) are the exact same everywhere your business is found.
Not only does an error in your key info confuse Google, but it can also confuse your audience. Have an old phone number attached to your Facebook? You’re missing out on calls. Have an old address on Foursquare? You’re sending hot leads to the wrong address.
Easy Fix: Head to the 5 most significant places you can get leads (Google, Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare, Yahoo!, etc.) and triple-check that all of your info looks the same on all sites.
4. How many reviews do you have from the last 6 months?
Good reviews are like mini recommendations to Google, saying, “Hey, this business is well-loved. You should show them to more people.”
On average, your audience wants to see at least ten positive reviews from the last 6 months and a star-rating between 4.7 and 4.9.
This increases the trust with your leads as well as Google’s confidence in your business. Google is always going to favor more trustworthy businesses.
Easy Fix: Ask every single client that walks through your door (or that you walk through their door) to leave a review. This can be done in person, by text, or by email.
This year has changed how people are searching for businesses like yours. They expect more information to be readily available to them online. So, be there, be online waiting for the leads to roll in. If your business isn't making enough money you can book a free discovery call with me here.