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So what’s the difference between SEO and local SEO? And should you care? Hi, I’m Dean Mercado of Online Marketing Muscle and that’s a question I’m often asked. Let’s take a look at the framework and the difference between the two. When we talk about SEO, that’s how we’ve always heard it being called, we’re really referring to Organic SEO. That’s kind of like the keyword research, your website, the linking strategy that we’re putting forward, it’s the social metrics on the social media side of things that are effecting how you’re ranking. It’s the Google analytics and the reporting that you’re putting into place. It’s the social bookmarking going on. All of these things are inherent to what we traditionally think of when we say SEO. Now the difference between SEO and Local SEO, and this is unfortunate but not really, it’s Local SEO encompasses all of that from the traditional Organic SEO and more. That’s the challenge. So Local SEO still needs to focus on those same things. It might put a little bit of a different spin on some of them, but it’s still the same areas of focus. However local SEO adds three, I call it three critical other components that really need to be addressed. And the first one is the local search engines. Your Google+ , your Bing, your Yahoo. Having your company listed properly on those local search engines critically important. Now Google+ in my opinion, no offense Bing and Yahoo, they’re the player. And everything’s gone towards Google+, so getting your listing on Google+ for your business really, really done properly, accurately, thoroughly is really, really going to help you in the search engines now and beyond. Those local search engine listings are critically important. That’s the first difference, big difference we see. The second big difference are what we call citations. Citations. This is when very simply, when another reputable site lists your company’s name, your company’s address, your company’s phone number. Now it doesn’t need to be a link. It just needs to list that information. That’s a citation. Getting citations, accurate citations coming back to you are very important. Making sure your citations all say the same address, the same business name, the same phone number, critically important. Critically important. Can’t stress it enough. So citations are the second big differentiator there. And the third big differentiator are the reviews. Getting those online reviews. Those are the stuff that really distinguishes the local SEO from the Organic SEO. Again, the local search engine listings, the citations and the reviews. All things being equal, sorry to tell you if you serve a local audience you kind of have to do both. You have to do all the organic SEO stuff you know maybe with a little bit of a different spin, but you also have to handle these other three things to make sure your local SEO is being done right. Hopefully that answers your question and gives you a little insight on how you need to approach SEO going forward. If you are a local business and serve a local community, yes you need to go after the local SEO. It’s critically, critically important for your business. OK, for Dean Mercado, Online Marketing Muscle, here’s to your success!