Local SEO or Search Engine Optimization, as most people know it by, is quite simply the process of optimizing a site or a particular webpage for better search engine rankings and organic listings in search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and MSN. Local search engine optimization is comparable to organic SEO in the sense that it’s also an ongoing process affecting the natural rankings of a site or a particular web page on the unpaid results of a search engine called the paid results. Organic SEO is a paid process meaning that one would have to pay to be included on a search result or paid advertisement on a search result.
The two processes have their own advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, it is usually more difficult to get your website included on Google search results for specific keywords because you need to hire professionals who are knowledgeable about the ins and outs of how search engines work. In addition, there are no shortcuts to ranking high in the paid results because the process is rather tedious, time-consuming, and expensive. Local SEO is a cost-effective option for small businesses because they don’t have to pay for listing on the Google homepage or in paid advertisements. It requires relatively lesser money to launch a successful campaign because there are fewer factors affecting rankings.
However, there are certain differences between organic and local search results listings that should be taken note of. When both processes are used for a local business, it is more likely for the business to get a higher placement in the search results because of the added competition. Local SEO is the more preferred method of advertising compared to the traditional vs. local. Since most online visitors are searching for information within a specific area, a business that can provide targeted and useful information to its customers is more likely to get better ranking results than other sites or pages on the internet. This is because most online visitors do not want to waste time on targeted sites.
The first thing to know about the organic search results is that it requires web owners to submit their websites. On the other hand, local listings are easier to submit because they only require a link to the local maps section. Both SEO techniques are usually accompanied by a local map pack. A local map pack is an additional web site which is hosted by the local business and submitted to search engines. Local SEO is less time-consuming than local search, but it gives businesses a higher chance of being included in the organic search results.
Organic search results still require content and original contents, because it will not be rewarded with high placements in the organic or local search results. Most business owners agree with this, so they don’t opt for Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising methods which are short-term solution to their online marketing needs. Instead, they choose to promote their websites with free tools like Google Local. Google Local is a special website hosted by Google, which allows local business owners to submit their website’s listing to Google. Google then calculates the amount of traffic that each site receives and displays the highest ranking sites in its pay per click sponsored section.
This makes Google Local more beneficial than organic search results because it allows business owners to take their sites closer to the heart of the consumer. Consumers are more aware of local businesses now than ever before, and they are ready to do their research before they make any purchase decisions. In essence, Google Local is giving online customers the power to choose when they want to buy. Organic search results are no match for the power of this powerful new feature. Fortunately, many small and medium sized local business owners have already embraced Google Local to great success.
Local SEO is not as advantageous as the organic search results when it comes to cost. Local SEM is considerably less expensive than paid advertising. In fact, there are several local SEM firms that offer their services at no cost. However, the best way to avoid paying a large fee for local SEM is to target specific keywords instead of broad matching general keywords. Local search results offer specific business listings and visitors are more likely to connect with a local business if they understand exactly who is listed under each listing.
As mentioned earlier, local search results tend to be much more attractive to online visitors. A higher ranking in Google Local will ensure that your website receives a greater amount of traffic. In turn, online visitors are more likely to click on links provided in Google Local listings and are more likely to convert at a higher rate. In most cases, it is a lower cost to pay per click to improve organic rankings in organic search results than it is to pay per click to improve local rankings in pay per click listings. Therefore, a small out-of-pocket expense can yield excellent results for your business.