Normal SEO and Local SEO: so what’s the difference?
If you want your website to be seen by online customers, you will need to optimize your business’s website for search engines — this where you bring SEO into your marketing strategy. When you don’t have a strategy in place, your brand may be missing out on some prospects who are close to you, but they don’t know you exist. The question now is, how does one make his/her site search engine friendly for local searches and organic searches? What is also the difference?
What is Search Engine Optimisation or Normal SEO?
SEO is the process and method of increasing your site’s organic traffic quality and quantity. The quality traffic is obtained from visitors searching for what you offered them, while organic traffic refers to individuals (visitors) who visited your site through search engines (organic reach). Organic reach refers to visit you get from internet users who clicked on your unpaid content across various search engines. SEO is gradually becoming the tactic of increasing organic traffic by making search engine robots and people happy.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a part of SEO that focuses on a geographical component of search. It is the process and practice of optimizing your website for local search results. The result may not only increase your website visibility and traffic, but it will also increase (grow) foot traffic to your brick and mortar business.
Typically, normal SEO concentrates on improving your website’s search visibility and online presence globally or nationally. In contrast, Local SEO enables you to capture local search territory to connect to local customers.
As you know now, both SEO and local SEO deploy the use of some strategies. Still, local SEO makes use of technical measures to help you connect to a potential customer in your area.
Let’s Talk About SEO
First, we will begin with the definition of traditional SEO, which is popularly known as organic or national SEO.
SEO makes upon and off-page strategies to boost your site’s SEO rankings in search engine result pages also known as SERP’s in the SEO & marketing industry.
Structure of a traditional search result
To understand how SEO works, let us take at the structure of a search result for any random keyword.
Where you perform a simple Google search, you will notice a series of paid advertisements. The ads are PPC (Pay per click) at the beginning (top) of search engine result pages – directly above organic results. They are labelled as “Ads.”
We will not be focusing on these results, but they are an essential part of SEO to take note of.
You must have seen different SERP features; You get different results for every search on Google.
These features are special results intended to provide helpful information to searchers – often without needing to click on search results.
These features include:
- Featured snippets
- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
- And more
When searching for some particular phrases, you will see a featured snippet immediately after the paid ads.
This is a list of unpaid search results.
Studies have shown that 68% of all search clicks go to the first five positions in the search engine result pages (SERP). This is why you need to maintain to ranking to ensure that people have a way to find and contact you.
SEO consists of several rank-boosting techniques to allow you to rank at the top Google search results.
Normal SEO strategy: How To Rank Nationally or Globally
When you are optimizing your site for normal SEO vs. Local SEO, you are likely to use any of the following strategies:
- Creating unique and in-depth content about your services, products, and industry.
- Speeding up your website load time
- Conducting keyword research and targeting keywords that are relevant to your site.
- Earning backlinks from reputable websites to increase your website’s domain authority and relevance to the topic.
- Streamlining your navigation to improve user experience
- And many more
The listed SEO strategy above ensures that your business appears/displays at the top of search results when people search queries or phrases or keywords related to your business or products and services.
Eventually, SEO allows prospects and customers to find, contact, and purchase from your business. This means more sales and revenues.
What’s the best fit for my business?
If you have a local business, you can start with local SEO. If your business relies on a customer base, you need local SEO to start building your authority.
From there, you can now support that with more global SEO efforts once you’re ready for a larger market.
If online or Internet based business is solely your thing – you don’t operate a physical storefront to attract customers to – you may not need to focus on local SEO.
What is Local SEO? And Why Is It Important For Local Business?
Local SEO – is a part of SEO that focuses on optimizing your online presence to reaching more local searchers.
For instance, let’s say you plan for a trip to Perth Western Australia, and you search “best hotels in Perth.”
If I manage a hotel around that area, I want to appear at the top of local search results – and local SEO can help me achieve this.
Studies have shown that 80% of local searches convert, so you need to invest in local SEO to increase sales, foot traffic, and revenue.
Structure of Local SEO
Aside from Ads, organic listings, and SERP features, local SEO also contains some unique features.
Let’s have a look at another example to see the difference between normal SEO and Local SEO.
Local SEO 3-pack
If we search this keyword on Google – “Perth Dentist”
It returns a local SEO 3-pack – a map and list of the top 3 dentists that match what I searched for. Google does pull information from these dentists GMB (Google My Business) profiles, so you need to claim your business listing when running local SEO.
In some cases, like the first example of the hotel we gave earlier, Google draws results from Google Travel so that you can see more than three results on the list.
You will also see the same thing when you search for “best flights to Perth.”
Local SEO strategies
Local SEO makes use of additional methods to help your business reach more local searchers.
These strategies include:
- Getting and managing reviews on local review site
- Claiming and optimizing your business profiles on local listings.
- Adding a name, phone number, and address information to your website and local directories.
- Targeting local and relevant keywords on your websites.
- Earning backlinks from local and reputable websites.
- Creating a location-specific site content.
Ranking Factors of Normal SEO
Techniques such as writing high-quality content, obtaining backlinks, and boosting keywords can improve a website’s search engine ranking.
These Google search ranking factors include:
- Domain factors
- Site-level factors
- Page-level factors
- Backlink factors
- Brand Signals
- User interaction
- Special Google algorithm rules
- On-site webspam factors
- Off-site webspam factors
Ranking Factors of Local SEO
The ranking factor of local SEO relies on three key things, and they are:
What is Relevance?
Relevance is a significant part of Google’s local algorithm. It is also a factor used in the normal SEO algorithm.
On a norm, Google likes to get the job done, but it wouldn’t be doing its job if it surfaced irrelevant search results.
To ensure that search engines view your business relevant enough to surface it, you will want to make sure that you target topics or keywords that prospects will be searching for.
For instance, if you run a pizza place in Mandurah, you will want to ensure that you are targeting keywords or phrases like “best pizza,” “pizza Mandurah” or even “cheap pizza Mandurah” if that is your unique selling point (USP).
Google can get to know about your business relevance through tactics like:
- Making use of title tags and descriptions.
- Including your business’s keywords in your content.
- Creating relevant content that is related to your business.
- Choosing the correct categories for your business on directories.
- Schema markup.
- Obtaining links from local and industry-relevant sites.
What is Prominence?
Prominence is how well your business stands out from the rest, especially your competition.
In this place, you are trying to prove that Google and other search engines can use your brand – trust that the given information is an accurate trust that it exists, and it is worth considering. The more search engines can find and confirm you online, the better.
Businesses with more substantial online prominence appear to be more credible and trustworthy to Google’s local algorithm.
We know that search engines like Google pulls data from across the web. Most importantly, if your business is out there on the web, search engines will try to look for this data and rank your business based on prominence.
If you can’t be found or there are not enough prominence signals, you will be less likely to rank.
Let us see some important ways you can build up and maintain your brand’s prominence:
- Creating relevant and shareable articles and content.
- Building local links
- Getting listed in directories
- Developing a strong online reviews profile
- Having an active social media accounts (verified if possible)
- Getting more mentions of your business online
- Getting mentioned by government sites or local media.
What is Proximity?
Having seen how your business is relevant to the user search query and has a firm prominence, let’s look at Proximity – our last local search ranking factor.
Businesses become relevant to people who are performing a local search.
In case you don’t know, proximity is the most important ranking factor. This type of ranking factor is uniquely local.
There are three ways users perform a local search. They are:
- ‘Near me.’
‘Near me’ searches are searches performed by users who are looking for nearby results. For example, ‘plumbers nearby’ or ‘plumbers near me’.
Geo-modified searches include the neighbourhood, city, or area the user wants to search in the search query itself. E.g., ‘plumbers in Perth’ is a geo-modified search.
Non-geo-modified searches that do not include the name of a city or neighbourhood in the search term. E.g., ‘best plumbers’ or ‘plumbers’.
Though proximity is an essential part of local search rankings, it is also most out of control. Your business remains where it is.
The important here is to show Google and other search engines where your business is so that it surfaces for nearby search queries or terms.
You can use a local search result checker to view and track your current local ranking status.
If you have figured out where you stand, you need to start telling Google about that.
One can do so by using strategies like creating local content, building citations, getting local links, and much more.
Both normal SEO and local Search Engine Optimisation serve important but several purposes for businesses. Both of them are built on similar concepts of optimizing your business to rank on search engines.
Local SEO helps to attract prospects and customers in your area to a physical store. It heavily concentrates on developing your connection to your physical location so that Google is sure that you belong in local searches.
Normal SEO is improved when you focus on your site content, its keywords, and the backlinks. It helps attract people who may be interested in a solution or information that your site can provide.
Local SEO and Normal SEO serve different purposes, but it is important to invest in the two for your business to complement and support each other. When you implement them together, you will get the best of both worlds.