Some small business owners seem a bit confused about the difference between local search engine optimization and geotargeting. I can sum up the difference in a single sentence: Geotargeting can take place across any geographic area.
If you build a website, for instance, that targets services toward anyone in Minnesota, that’s geotargeting. But it can hardly be called local search engine optimization. On the other hand, if you engage in search engine marketing where you publish content specifically to address the needs and concerns of people in Wayzata, Minnesota, then that can rightly be called local SEO.
But is local search engine optimization limited to specific cities? Not by an stretch.
In fact, you can conduct local SEO campaigns on a smaller scale by targeting specific neighborhoods within a city or by targeting ZIP codes. In that regard, you could conduct multiple local SEO campaigns to reach people within smaller geographic areas within a single city.
Let’s say you are a business in Manhattan, New York. If you serve all of Manhattan, that’s a larger metro area (Manhattan itself is larger than some Midwest cities). To get truly local results you will want to target specific neighborhoods such as SoHo, Harlem, Chinatown, or the Upper West Side.
To get a good handle on what is considered local search engine optimization, it helps to understand the nature of your own business, the communities you serve, and what the local culture considers in terms of “over here” versus “over there.” Some local areas are divided by natural landmarks like rivers and mountain ranges while others are divided by manmade structures like roads or manmade lakes. Learn your local culture and then base your search engine optimization strategies based on those and the nature of your business.