Aren’t you using the internet to find the best restaurant in the town or make a hotel reservation? The majority of internet users rely on Google to find information, products, or services they need. But have you ever wondered how Google most of the time gives you the exact information you need? The simple answer to the question is search engine optimization. Businesses optimize their website for search engines with the help of an SEO consultant. SEO is the key factor responsible for your business’s online growth. But do you know what type of SEO you need? 

Search Engine Optimization is a broad concept that includes local SEO, e-commerce SEO, international SEO, and more. Small businesses typically rely on general or local SEO to increase their traffic.  But what’s the difference between regular SEO and local SEO? How to determine which one will better suit your business?

Traditional SEO

Traditional SEO often refers to the broad concept of search engine optimization that focuses on increasing the organic traffic to a website. Also known as national, organic, or regular SEO, this digital marketing technique drives organic (unpaid) traffic. It means that your content will appear on the search- engine-results-page (SERP) without paying advertising costs. It includes techniques that make the website search engine friendly, resulting in increasing the visibility of your website. SEO is for all types of businesses- small or big alike. The search engine results are delivered in form of a featured snippet, search-related images, or answers. 

The most common strategies of regular SEO include on-page and off-page optimization such as link building, consistent content posting, optimizing URL, meta tags, and more to attract natural organic traffic.

Local SEO

Local SEO is a subset of traditional SEO that focuses on optimizing sites for reaching local searchers. For instance, a web user planning a trip would look for “best hotels in Toronto.” The hotel owners in Toronto need to optimize their websites for such keywords to ensure that their hotels show up at the top of the local results for that search. Local SEO is for businesses that have a physical location or operate in a particular geographic region. When a user types a local search query with local intent, Google shows results in form of Map Pack results. This type of search query has keyword and local intent such as:

  • [term] + city
  • [term] + near me/nearby
  • [term] + closest to me

Organic SEO Vs. Local SEO 

From the above explanation, it’s clear that though organic and local SEO are similar, there are some differences. Organic SEO is for the searches performed on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! While local SEO strictly focuses on geographic or location-based searches. While regular SEO utilizes on-page and off-page optimization tactics, local SEO makes use of local keywords, and positive reviews, optimizing Google My Business account, using online directories, rating on Google Maps, Citations of NAP, and so on. The main ranking factors for local searches are relevance, prominence, and distance. Based on the business information, location, and other details, Google determines how relevant your site is for the user, how far it is located from the user, and how popular it is based on positive reviews and ratings.