Without an SEO strategy, your business could be missing out on valuable traffic, so it’s important to consider how you’re going to structure your SEO strategies and campaigns.
Many factors come into play when you’re looking to do SEO for small businesses, particularly if you’re looking to attract international, national or local customers. The type of customer you’re trying to attract will play a role in deciding whether you should focus your SEO efforts on a general SEO campaign or a localised SEO campaign.
To help you decide on whether a localised or general SEO campaign is right for your business, let’s take a look at some of the common factors to keep in mind if you’re weighing up whether to run a localised or generalised SEO campaign.
Local SEO vs Generalised SEO: What Are the Differences?
Both general and local SEO focus on improving your search ranking in online search results so more people can find, contact and buy from your business. While both types of SEO have similar aims, there are subtle differences.
The main difference being that general or traditional SEO is the process of increasing both the quantity and quality of organic traffic to your website, not specifically from a particular area. While local SEO focuses on specialised solutions that help you connect you with searchers in your local area and attract local traffic to your website, but also physical locations if your business has them.
Should You Focus on General or Local SEO?
The first question you should ask before deciding on whether you should run a general or local SEO is making sure that your website is optimised with SEO best practices in mind.
After you’ve done this, you can decide on the type of traffic you want to attract to your website. Ask yourself these questions before deciding whether you should focus on local or general SEO:
- Is your business located in one particular town or region?
- Does your business serve customers locally, nationally or internationally?
- Does your business have one or multiple physical locations?
If you run a local business, then your primary focus should be on ensuring that your local audience can find your website. If your business is national/international or you don’t have any particular location requirements for your business, then focus on a more generalised SEO campaign.
Getting Started With Local SEO:
As we’ve already mentioned, Local SEO is the process of optimizing a website to generate leads, traffic and brand awareness from local searches.
Local SEO works particularly well for small businesses that aim to target its customer in a particular location or specific area. Local SEO also works well for brick-and-mortar businesses with physical locations, like supermarkets, dentists, a local electrician or a local cleaning company.
If you’re looking to get started with local SEO, then it’s good to be aware of some general Local SEO tips.
Here are three Local SEO tips to get you started:
Optimise for Google My Business
Google My Business is Google’s tool to help verify a business as authentic. Through Google My Business, you can claim and update your business information which increases your chances of showing up in Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps and organic search results.
You can get started with Google My Business here.
Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
Research by SlideShare indicates that up to nine out of ten smartphone users conduct local searches on their devices. With stats like this showing the importance of a mobile-friendly way you want to make sure it’s easy for prospects and customers to navigate your website.
An effective way to see the mobile-friendliness of your website is to drop your website’s URL into Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool. Google will then provide you with a quick answer on whether or not your website is mobile-friendly. You’ll also be provided with a screenshot of how your webpage looks on a smartphone screen and a list of recommendations on how to make the mobile experience better.
Add Location Pages To Your Website
If your business has more than one physical location, then you can create unique location pages for each physical location your business is in. Remember to include your business location address, phone number, opening hours, parking information and reviews/testimonials from previous customers in every location page you create.
For more guidance on creating SEO friendly location pages, check out this guide from Search Engine Journal.
What Is General SEO?
General SEO refers to using traditional SEO methods to increase the amount of organic traffic to your site. If a business has an international customer base or is looking to attract customers nationally, then local SEO is probably not too much of a concern.
If this is the case for your business, then you’ll want to take a look at running a more generalised SEO campaign.
Before you launch any type of SEO campaign, it’s important to keep in mind the type of customer you’re trying to bring to your website and the geographical area you’re looking to target.
While you may not be targeting a specific geographical area, it’s still important to be aware of national and international SEO best practices. After you’ve decided on the type of customer/traffic, you’re looking to bring to your website; you can begin the process of carrying out a more general SEO campaign.
Here are some General SEO tips to get you started:
Evaluate Your Existing Website
The first step to any general SEO campaign is to evaluate where your website currently stands in terms of SEO and how your website is currently found from a search engine. The best way to do this is by using a few different SEO tools.
Free tools such as Google’s Search Console and Google Analytics allow you to maintain your website and check it’s presence. Other tools such as Screaming Frogs SEO Spider and Moz Pro can help you get an understanding of how your website is ranking and what improvements you can make.
SEO tools can take a little while to get the hang of, so take your time to get used to each tool.
Start Thinking of Relevant Keywords You Want to Rank for
After evaluating your website, you can start thinking of ideas and researching relevant keywords to create highly valuable content for your customers and audience. To carry out keyword research:
- Define relevant topics related to your business.
- Check keyword volumes and see what your competitors are ranking for.
- Start planning your content.
To carry out your keyword research use tools such as Ahrefs and Google Ads Keyword Planner.
Is a Localised or Generalised SEO Campaign Right for Your Business?
The most important factor that will decide whether you should focus on local SEO is if you want to grow local traffic to your website or physical business. Local SEO can be hugely effective for local businesses, and if a local business can get their local SEO strategy right, they may not have to compete with businesses from all over the internet in local searches.
If your business is not location dependent or your customer base is widespread, then a general SEO campaign will be more effective for your business. A more General SEO campaign allows you to focus on traditional SEO practices to ensure you’re attracting as much quality traffic to your site as possible.
There may well be some overlap between local and general SEO practice in your SEO strategy. Most likely, your business marketing plan will include a variety of different tactics, so don’t be disheartened if you need to test and optimise your SEO and wider marketing efforts as you move forward and find the best strategies for your business.
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