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Local SEO vs. Traditional SEO

Did you know that Google treats some businesses differently than others? In this week’s Wednesday Workshop video, we explain how Local SEO is different from Traditional SEO… using pizza. Watch the video and learn an incredibly simple way to demonstrate how Google serves up local search results, even if a city isn’t included in the search query. Since Google treats auto dealers as a local business, this is an incredibly important lesson for every car dealer to learn.

Welcome back to another Wednesday Workshop with DealerOn! This week’s video is a lot shorter than last week’s epically long webinar recording… We’re going to chat a bit about the difference between “regular” SEO and Local SEO.

With “regular” SEO, you’re trying to get a website to rank high whenever someone does a Google search for the particular keywords you’re targeting. With Local SEO, you’re trying to get a website to rank high for users in a specific geographic area.

The best way to illustrate Local SEO is with pizza… stick with me for a minute and you’ll see what I mean. I just wrote a post about this over on Search Engine Land, so you can head over there and read it if you want a little backup to this video, or if you want to send it to someone.

So – if you were to pause this video and open another tab in your browser and type in “pizza delivery”, Google would return a list of pizza joints near your dealership – even though you didn’t include a city in your search query. If you go home and do the same search tonight, you’ll get a list of all the pizza places near your house – again, even without including a city in your search query.

Google knows that if you’re looking for a pizza delivery place, you need something local, so it shows you local results.

I’m not just talking about the map packs here either – that’s the little set of grouped results by the map. We used to have 7 packs, but Google just recently changed to a 3 pack. Even beyond the map pack, the standard organic listings will still be local results.

Google treats several business verticals like this – restaurants, bars, doctors, lawyers, plumbers… and car dealers too. When someone searches for car dealer related terms, Google will return local results, even if they don’t include a city in their search phrase.

Sure, “regular” SEO helps – it’s definitely better than doing nothing at all – but it’s nowhere near as helpful for your dealership as doing Local SEO. Local SEO includes several additional elements that don’t typically get included in traditional SEO. There’s a different spin on optimization, so that local signals are included. There’s additional work in linkbuilding, since a different type of links are necessary. Citations are also important to Local SEO, and they’re typically not a part of traditional SEO services.

If you want to give your dealership the best opportunity for showing up higher in local searches, you need to be doing Local SEO. If you’ve got someone at the dealership doing your SEO, make sure they understand Local SEO, and if you’re using an SEO provider, make sure they’re doing the extra things involved with Local.

Thanks for stopping by to check out this week’s DealerOn Wednesday Workshop. f you’ve got any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! Just pop down below and leave your questions in the comments section, and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can. Don’t forget to check back next week for another DealerOn Wednesday Workshop!

Author Greg Gifford

Greg Gifford is the Vice President of Search at DealerOn. He has over 16 years of online marketing and web design experience, and has specialized in automotive SEO for the last 8 years, helping hundreds of auto dealers thrive while the industry has struggled during the recession. Greg speaks internationally at both automotive and SEO conferences, teaching thousands of small business owners and marketers how to get their sites to show up higher in local search rankings. Greg also spends his spare time doing freelance website design and SEO for local businesses. He graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BA in Cinema and Communications, and has an obscure movie quote for just about any situation.

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