SEO: The Basics

Welcome to our first DirectoryBug blog post! We’re excited to share and learn with all of our readers with a series of new articles over the next few months. For our first post, we thought it would be a good idea to get down to the basics, so that even the most inexperienced reader can get an idea about what SEO is, why SEO and local SEO are important, and how they can start creating an online presence for themselves or their businesses. Let’s get down to it!SEO & Local Search

What is SEO?
‘SEO’ stands for ‘search engine optimization’. Put simply, SEO is getting websites to appear higher in the “organic” (unpaid) results provided by search engines. People utilizing SEO need to understand how search engines work and how the results are ranked in order to improve a webpage’s position within the results.

What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is also concerned with where websites rank in search engine results, but local SEO focuses on geography and geographic keywords. For example, if you own a roofing company that serves Philadelphia, it probably isn’t important where you show up in the results when anyone in the world searches “roofing”. Your small business doesn’t need to be appearing to people in Hong Kong, but you do need to be found by potential customers located near you. What you would instead want is to appear in the first page or two of results for searches like “Philadephia roofing” or to appear near the top of the page when people actually located in Philadelphia search “roofing”.

Why are SEO and local SEO important?
When a website appears higher in search engine results, it generally will attract more visitors. For people who depend on webpage visitors for product sales or to generate ad revenue, utilizing effective SEO techniques can be the difference between business success and business failure. Any business that relies on local customers absolutely needs to be concerned about their local SEO standings, since so many people decide where to spend their money by looking online. You may own the best bakery in the entire state, but if you are relying only on people in the physical vicinity of your shop to stop in, you’re going to be missing out on a huge amount of potential customers. Local search marketing can go a long way in promoting a business to interested potential customers.
We’ll discuss basic ways to improve SEO in a later entry. For more information about understanding local search and how to get started with online marketing for local businesses check out: Where to start with local search.