If you’ve done any research online about ways to boost your website’s traffic, chances are you’ve come across a variety of resources designed to increase your search engine optimization. SEO is an important ingredient in any business’ marketing strategy, as organic traffic is a key component in how customers discover and learn more about your business. In fact, over 50 percent of all search engine traffic comes organically, meaning that if your website does not rank high on the first page of search engine results, your company’s web presence could be in trouble.

But there are ways that SEO can help your business both locally and globally. Read on to learn about how SEO can take your local business global.

Understanding local SEO

Local SEO, as you might be able to guess by its name, is focused on your company’s local geography. When launching a local seo campaign, you’ll want to target keywords and phrases that are relevant to your business and also relevant to the area your business is in. According to HubSpot, almost 75 percent of local searchers end up going to a store five miles away from them or less. This means that it’s especially important your company’s website shows up when they search for businesses near them, or else you will miss out on potential sales.

For example, if you operate a smartphone repair store in Pasadena, CA, you may want to target specific phrases to ensure that when a potential customer looks for phone repairs in the area, your business appears in the search results. That may mean targeting hyper local keywords like “fix water damaged iPhone Pasadena” and some slightly broader keywords, such as “smartphone screen repair in California.” Both of these phrases have the same goal: to help boost your local search engine ranking for potential customers near your location.

How local SEO impacts overall ranking

One benefit of targeting local SEO is that it ultimately results in higher web traffic for your website, regardless of whether or not that traffic ends up converting into actual business. This can play a part in increasing your website’s overall ranking, as search engines like Google use a website’s volume of traffic to help determine its page rank. Additionally, if users are clicking on your page after searching for specific keywords, that, too, will offer a slight boost for the non-geographical pieces of your website’s keywords. This can help your local business compete on a broader scale, without forcing you to dive into highly competitive global SEO campaigns right away.

It also stands to reason that as higher quality users wind up on your site, other page metrics will improve, too, including the bounce rate. Continuing with the phone repair example, it’s conceivable to think that some amount of users who end up on your website after searching broader keywords like “smartphone repair” would see your company’s location and immediately leave your website. That could result in a high bounce rate, which in turn would ding your search engine ranking. However, localizing your keywords can counteract and even mitigate this issue, as more of the right people wind up on your website, your bounce rate will decrease. As more customers visit your website, referral traffic may also see a boost, particularly if you encourage social sharing of your website’s content. With Facebook and other social networks implementing features that make them popular for reviews and recommendations, this kind of referral traffic can also offer a huge boost to your organic search ranking as well as your domain authority. The result? A better overall page ranking.

Local SEO is an important part of any business’ online marketing efforts, and its benefits may even go beyond your geographical area. Focusing on local keywords is a great way to begin to increase your website’s overall local and global presence by helping to improve metrics that play a vital role in how your website is ranked. Though this practice may sound simple in theory, it takes continuous effort and may require strategies that go beyond simple targeting, especially if your keywords are competitive and thus hard to rank for. For this reason, it is oftentimes a good idea to consult with a citation building expert to figure out the best course of action that can help your business rank and ultimately see an increase in sales.