July 28, 2020
If you’ve put time and energy into marketing your business, you’ve likely come across the terms “SEO” or “local SEO.” We know that SEO, Search Engine Optimization, is crucial for most local businesses to be found online.
In fact, it has become a staple internet marketing service over the last few years for many service industries and brick-and-mortar businesses.
But how do you know which type of Search Engine Optimization is best for your business? What is the difference between the two?
In this article, we are going to walk you through the difference between regular or organic SEO and local SEO. We will also bridge the gap between the two so you understand how they are related.
So, are you ready? Let’s break it down!
What is Regular (Organic) SEO?
As you may be able to assume, Organic SEO typically describes any search.
So for example, you may be searching the web to figure out what tires work best with your vehicle.
In this case, you may look for reviews on different brands and general information about the type of tires you’re looking to buy.
The first few results are going to probably be pretty general, mostly subject focused. Google, Bing, or any other search engine you use will first provide information that they believe answers your question the best or provides the best answer for the intent of your search query.
In contrast, local SEO gets a little more specific.
As the name suggests, local SEO has a great deal to do with marketing efforts specific to centralized geographic areas.
Optimizing for local SEO is the act of optimizing your business’s online presence so that it will beat the competition and show up in local search results. Oftentimes, local results show up first in Google’s Local Pack.
Google’s Local Pack is what we like to call the SNACK PACK!
You probably came across this section of Search Engine Results almost every day. The Local Pack is the section of Google’s search results that show the local businesses related to your query along with the location pins on Google Maps.
Generally, Google will show three local businesses that might answer your query. In the past, Google used to show the 7 most popular local businesses in the area, but as Google is always trying to keep up with growing mobile phone usage, they have reduced their 7-pack down to 3 (and sometimes even 2) results. In addition to this, they have also added paid spots where businesses can advertise their business as a listing in the pack.
Read More: Is It Time For An SEO Audit?
In short, businesses who optimize for local results have a better chance of bringing traffic to their website, getting phone calls, and generating leads online by ranking at the top of search engine results pages.
For example, when consumers located in Tampa search for a tire shop in their area, they are looking for tire shops near them in the Tampa area.
The highest ranking websites will be located in the Tampa area because the search engine knows the user’s intent of the search is to find local tire shops.
So for local small businesses, especially with physical locations, it makes sense that local SEO would be a very important consideration when creating a small business marketing plan.
The only difference between local SEO and traditional SEO is the geographical component. If a user searches for industry + location or industry + “near me”, the search engine will know that the search has local intent.
So, when you’re developing your marketing plan it can be helpful to ask yourself, “Is my business location dependent?”
In some cases, even if your business takes place remotely, without a brick and mortar location, geography can make an impact on how successful your marketing efforts turn out to be.
For example, a large company like Amazon doesn’t have to worry about their website coming to the top of a search engine since they don’t really have a brick and mortar location.
However, with a small dog groomer, it can help their rankings in a major way just by targeting a local audience with their content and SEO efforts. Dog grooming happens in person, so this option makes the most sense.
On the other hand, if you have a small business that sells dog accessories online, you may rather keep your focus on traditional organic SEO to reach a wider market.
There are some instances that you may be competing with bigger fish in a larger pool so local SEO shouldn’t be completely dismissed. A combination of both local and organic SEO could be a great option for some businesses.
We encourage you to try your hand and see what works best for the results that you’re looking for. By working with a knowledgeable professional in the marketing sphere, you can discuss your options and objectives to make the right decision for you and your business.
Questions on what type of SEO is right for your business? Reach out to us!
By: The Mug Creative