Local search engine optimization or local SEO comprises of a series of measures taken to help your business get a dominant virtual presence in a given geographic location. It could be a state, city, town, district or even a neighborhood. Any area larger than a state is not considered within the ambit of local SEO.
General search engine optimization treats the whole galactic network or worldwide web as one un-fragmented world. Local search engine optimization considers the virtual world split into actual places, areas or regions. It is not very dissimilar from search engine optimization as a concept but as a practice, they are substantially different.
Local search engine optimization is relevant for businesses, people and search engines. The primary objective of local search engine optimization is simple. From the business perspective, a company gets to reach out to people based in an area. From the perspective of search engines and users, the search results become relevant. Local SEO is simpler than general SEO because the competition is not as daunting and companies get to gain exposure exactly where it matters.
Local search engine optimization gets a business listed on search engine result pages for a given place, town, city, district or state. The company gets listed in the exact category or nature of the business it runs. The local search results also include information in addition to the website link, such as business address, phone numbers, and descriptions. Local search result information can also include operating hours, special offers and reviews.
Holistic Approach to Local Search Engine Optimization
Local search engine optimization begins with getting businesses listed in local directories. There are dozens of local directories or websites that can help your business become locally relevant. There are Google Places and Google+ Local. There are sites like Yelp, Yellowpages.com, Local.com, Manta, CitySearch, City-Data, Yellowbook.com, Mapquest, and Yahoo Local. There are numerous such sites and even specialized directories for certain types of businesses.
Social media pages and social network profiles must also be optimized for a collective impact. From maps of Google to geo-targeting locations on apps, local search engine optimization needs to be holistic so there is a degree of omnipresence.
The purpose of local search engine optimization is to dominate the local search results for a given set of keywords and type of business. To achieve that, the strategy needs to be holistic. From accurate information about the business to ensuring positive ratings or reviews, everything matters. Even the content on every web page must target the location where you want the website to gain priority ranking.