Small businesses generally sell things to people who are located within their local environment or city. If they are an online business that has a physical location in a city, then they can sell to global audience and ship their products to their customers, but if they cater only to the local customers who patronize their business in person, then there is a big difference in the types of SEO that a company must do in order to succeed. Too many SEO companies will attempt to perform SEO tasks that are targeting terms that describe the business products and services without localizing them with the city name, zip codes, etc. If you are not careful, the strategy can fail by attempting to capture a market that is too big and competitive, even though you did it completely by accident. Take the example of a dentist that is located in Las Vegas. If the SEO company attempting to get that business rankings for the term “dentist” does not also attempt to get them rankings for the term “Las Vegas,” then there is a good chance that they will not come up in the searches that are performed by people in the local Las Vegas area. If you Google “dentist” from different places in the country, you are going to get a mix of results that have both local dentists and also dentists that are offering information that is not localized. This means that the results might have a few local dentists and also articles and web pages from dentists all over the country that are giving information that is not specific to their location. Articles might be about how to choose a good local dentist, how to decide which kinds of braces are good or bad, or even reviews of toothbrushes. These results will be different than if you were to Google “dentist in Las Vegas” which will give you a more streamlined list of local offices. Google decides which results to put into their searches based upon what they believe people are looking for, and it is always best to make sure that you are not being misunderstood as far as what you offer, and the location that you offer it within. Ranking for the word “dentist” outside of Las Vegas would do this business almost no good.
This is the crux of local SEO and global SEO. You must always think of what Google may deliver as far as the results and then tailor your SEO program to fitting into those results. This does not mean that a business can’t benefit from global rankings, it means that if you are trying to rank globally it is more difficult. Our business is located in Las Vegas and specializes in Las Vegas SEO simply because we know the area and can meet with our customers in person. We can absolutely do effective SEO for any business in any city, but attempting to compete with dozens of SEO firms in each and every local area makes the competition level so high that we would have little to no chance for success. For this reason, we leverage the localization aspects of Google for our programs, Google Maps, Google Places and Google My Business listings, as well as adding a localization aspect to both the website and content generated that involves Las Vegas elements. This tells Google that even though we are qualified to rank for SEO searches globally, our specialty is our local environment. While this may not be the correct strategy for your business, we do not dedicate enough work hours to our programs to effectively compete in that broad a market, so the strategy is not right for us. Our focus on the local Las Vegas area gives us the ability to secure business that finds us using searches for “Las Vegas SEO company” or “SEO service in Las Vegas,” as well as versions of these searches. Our salesmen can meet with these customers in person, which fits into our business model. If someone from outside of the area finds us using Google, we will happily take the account and will do a great job, but it is not our primary sales strategy. The same type of thinking needs to be applied to every small business, first identifying if they are targeting a local or global audience, then crafting the strategy and content that is appropriate for that market.