Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Vs Local Optimization
Until around 2010, there was only one type of optimization: SEO. That all changed when Google introduced Local Optimization and started to display search results for local businesses in a box above the normal SEO or "Organic" results. The Difference:Traditional SEO focuses on the business website. The website is optimized for "keywords" related to the business's products and services and if done correctly, the website would appear near the top of the search results. This put small, local businesses at a disadvantage as they were competing with the "big boys" with huge budgets to spend on optimization tasks. Google's Local results changed all this. Now, the small business didn't even need a website to appear in the Local Search Results. It was a game-changer. To appear in Google's Local Results, all the business needed was an address and maybe a phone number. It had nothing to do with the business's website. Google even made a website of its own for each business in its database. Google introduced Pages for Business, Google Plus and a slew of other programs to persuade people and businesses to move to their social and business platforms. As we all know, that did not work but, Local continues to be the best and cheapest way to appear in the top of the search results. How Local Optimization Works:Google scans Facebook, YELP, and about 75 other local search engines and directories to locate businesses to display on its map and in its local results. It also provides access for business owners to enter data such as Facebook link, images, videos, opening hours, description, keywords and other fields that will enhance the experience for uses of Google's search engine. The more listings for the business it finds, the more confident Google is that the business exists and the higher it will rank the business in its results. If several businesses are competing for the top slots, Google will then take other factors into account, for example, did the owner claim their Google page and input their business hours, links, description, etc. If keywords are entered, this also enhances the business listing for those specific keywords. How to Optimize for Maximum Exposure to the Local Population?The hard way is to go to every local search engine and directory one after the other and suggest the business listing and once verified, enter all the business data. The easy way to do it is to use one of the automatic systems available. We use YEXT, which is considered to be the industry leader in this field and makes the process very easy. It also makes it easy to suppress duplicate listings, deny any suggested changes from 3rd parties that would impact the listing negatively, publish business hours and any one-off closures for holidays, etc. Our Experience:We have been optimizing websites since 1999 when websites began to become popular and there were more than ten websites competing for first page of the results. We have worked with multi-national corporations and taught employees of Consumer Reports on SEO techniques. No matter the size of your business, we apply the same expertise and techniques to provide maximum exposure for your business.
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