Nowadays, every online experience starts with search engines.
When people are looking for businesses, products, and services, they start their quest with a simple online search.
Fortunately, search engine optimization (SEO) makes sure you’re there to meet them at the top of the search results.
But what if you’re a local business looking to boost traffic to your physical store? So how does local SEO is different from traditional, organic search optimization- and which should you use?
Well, Your favorite marketing team is here to answer all your SEO vs Local SEO questions. Just keep reading, or contact us to ask an expert about your burning questions.
What’s the difference between SEO and local SEO?
Traditional and local SEO both focus on improving your rankings in search results so more people can find, contact and purchase from your business
But, what's the difference?
Traditional SEO focuses on improving your site’s visibility on a national or global scale, while local SEO allows you to capture the local search area to connect with searchers in your area.
SEO and local SEO use many of the same strategies. However, local SEO uses specialized measures to help you connect with searchers in your local area.
Now that you know the difference between SEO and local SEO, let’s look at some indications of each strategy.
What is SEO?
Let's start with a definition of traditional SEO, also knows as organic or national SEO.
SEO is valuable for businesses in any sector, it includes on-page and off-page strategies to boost your website’s rankings in relevant search results.
Anatomy of a traditional search results
In order t understand it better how SEO works, let's take a look at the anatomy of a search result for the keyword “rent car”.
When searching on Google, you’ll first notice a series of paid advertisements. Marked with “Ad” labels, these are called pay per click (PPC) ads. They usually appear at the top of search results- above organic results.
We don’t focus on these paid results when talking about SEO, but they’re important to note.
Next, you may see several SERP features, depending on the search.
SERP features are special results meant to provide searchers with helpful information - often without needing to click on a result.
These features include:
- Featured snippets
- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
- People also ask boxes
- And more
Organic search results
Finally, we see a list of unpaid search results- organic SEO results.
Do you know? 68% of all clicks go to the first five positions in search results, its extremely important to maintain top rankings, so people can find and contact you.
How do you rank at the top of the search results on a national or even global scale? The answer is - and it consists of numerous rank improving techniques and strategies.
Traditional SEO strategies
When optimizing for traditional SEO vs local SEO, you’ll likely use the following strategies:
- Conducting keyword research and targeting relevant keywords on your website
- Create quality, in-depth content about your industry, products, and service
- Speed up your website’s load time
- Optimizing the code and making navigation user-friendly
- Earning backlinks from authority websites to improve your domain authority
- And much more!
In short, these SEO techniques ensure your business shows up at the top of search results when people search keywords related to your business, products, and services. SEO allows more people to find, contact and purchase from your business- and it directly increases revenue.
What business should use SEO?
SEO benefits businesses of all sizes in a wide array of industries from eCommerce to tech and more.
Some businesses benefit from a more local approach to SEO.
To learn more, let's take a deep dive into local SEO: what is local search, who is it for, and how is it different from traditional, organic SEO?
What is local SEO?
Local SEO - a partner of traditional SEO- focuses your optimization efforts on reaching more local searchers.
For example, let's say I'm planning a trip and search, “best hotels in Rishikesh”.
If you own or manage a hotel in the Rishikesh area, you want to show up at the top of the local results for that search- and local SEO can help you get there.
Since 80% of local searches convert, it's very important to invest in local SEO if you are a local business looking to boost foot traffic, sales, and revenue.
Anatomy of a local search results
In addition to ads, SERP features, and organic listings, local search results contain some unique features.
Let's take a look at another example to understand the difference between traditional and local search results.
Local SEO 3-pack
If I search “best restaurants in Rishikesh”, google returns a local SEO 3-pack - a map and list of top three hotels that match my search criteria. It looks like this:
Google pulls the business information from the restaurant's Google My Business profiles, so it's extremely important to claim your listing when optimizing for local SEO.
In some cases, like the hotel example above, google pulls results from Google Travel, which is why you may see more than three options.
You’ll see the same thing when searching, “flights to Mumbai” with a list of available flights and prices from Google Travel.
Google Local Services Ads
These ads appear at the top of local search results and they operate similarly to PPC ads. Again, these paid ads aren’t part of organic search results, but the do appear in local searches.
Currently, Google Local services are only available to selected industries and cities, so you’ll need to confirm your eligibility.
Local SEO strategies
In addition to traditional SEO strategies, local SEO employs some additional tactics to help you reach local searchers.
These local SEO strategies include:
- Claiming and optimizing profiles on local listing sites like Google My Business
- Earning and managing reviews on local reviews sites
- Targeting relevant, local keywords on your website
- Creating a location-specific website
- Adding a name, address and phone number information to your site and local directories
- Earning backlinks from reputable, local websites
What businesses should use local SEO?
Not sure if local SEO is right for you?
If you work in these industries, then you should definitely go with local SEO.
- Local consumer services
- Heavy equipment
- Real estate
- Medical and health
- Home and Repair
- And many others
For companies looking to attract and convert more local traffic, local SEO is essential.
Do SEO and local SEO affect each other?
It's impossible to draw a solid box around traditional vs local SEO- and there s some overlap between the two strategies.
That sais, your traditional SEO efforts will likely end up helping your local SEO and vice versa if done correctly.
If you already have an SEO plan in place, it may just require a few teaks to start driving more qualified, local traffic.
For instance, adding location-specific keywords and content vs more general information allows you to appeal to a local audience. Adding these pages will also help your organic SEO strategy. As you’ll have more opportunities to rank in relevant search results.
When navigating the waters of traditional vs local SEO, it's helpful to consult experts, - like the team at Vivid Techno.
We’ll help in answering all your traditional SEO vs local SEO questions, so you can rest assured you’re getting the best business results.
Get started with traditional or local SEO today!
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