Learn the basics of Organic SEO and Local SEO
Learn the basics of Organic SEO and Local SEO

Organic SEO vs. Local SEO

Raymond Jenkins
 | Published: 
October 9, 2018
 | Category: 


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a culmination of different strategies in a bid to achieve higher ranking in the search engine results. The search engines such as Google, Bing and others look at different factors to rank and index your page.

Search engines put the factors together to determine the relevance of the site to the queries brought forward by internet visitors. It then determines which sites will appear on which page of the search results.

This sounds great! But, what if you are a small business with a focus on a local or regional area of customers. Do you need to compete with Amazon, or find customers in Dubai? Probably not. Sure, you want to rank high in a search, however, maybe ranking in a local search is better for your business.

There are two major types of SEO we can do as a local business, namely local and organic SEO. Here is a quick breakdown of each type and how it affects your business.

What is organic SEO?

What is organic search?

Organic SEO works well on websites that are not necessarily tied to a given location or geographical area. Users visit these sites primarily to get information on a given topic. The content on the site adapts naturally to the information making it relevant for people across the board. Websites that focus on organic SEO usually aim at ranking as high as possible on a given set of keywords or phrases.

Benefits of organic SEO

10 common ranking factors

Types of businesses that benefit from organic SEO

Many types of businesses can benefit from optimizing for organic search results.  If a business has no regional restrictions on where can sell products or services, it should focus on organic results.  Information sites, such as blogs, news, and information sites should also focus on organic search.  Even local businesses can benefit to increases their rankings in organic search results on SERPs.

What is Local SEO?

What is local search?

Local SEO is primarily tied to specific industries in specific locations. The aim is to drive local customers to the business at the time that the clients are looking for the product or service. The business seeks to get a high ranking in the relevant results for a given location.

The benefits of local SEO

Layout of Google SERP

The layout of the search engines results page depends on what the search query is. If you are looking for information or “how-to”, the results page will usually show ads at the top and bottom of the page, with the top ten organic results in between.  When searching for products, services, or information you may also see an additional map box, know as the Google Local Listings Pack. Other types of result can include images, video, and books among others.

Ads on SERPs

On a SERP, the search engines place ads along with the location or website on the top of the page. These ads are from website purchasing keywords to show in the best spot on the page.  Come on, you didn’t think Google was doing everything for free, did you?

Google Local Listings Pack

Businesses make use of Google My Business to add Google Maps, addresses, phone numbers, and reviews of their business on local search results. The search results have a local pack that includes three local listings based on geography and local rankings.

Clients do not have to add the word 'near me to get local results. All the places on the listing can receive organic results from the search. However, the three listed on the pack are most likely to get the highest traffic.  As a local business, this is where you want to be seen.

Organic search results

The organic search results may include local businesses, information website, or any other type of website that search engines see as relevant to the searcher's query.  This is another good place to be seen if you are a local business or service provider.

Most searchers do not look past the first page, so a good SEO strategy can greatly increase your website and in-store traffic.

5 common local ranking factors

Businesses that can benefit from Local SEO

There are many businesses that can reap high rewards from local search results. Brick and mortar stores, restaurants, attorneys, real estate agents, insurance agents, consultants, plumbers…  The list is almost endless.  If you have a business that provides any kind of product or service to customers within a geographic area, you need to be focusing on local SEO. Local SEO helps to drive traffic to the local businesses straight from the SERPs.

What are local citations?

A local citation is a local mention of the local business. The mention includes the phone number, name, and address. It can be done by review sites, apps, and directories.

Local citations also drive traffic to the business as prospects use the details to reach out to the business. They also have an impact on the search engine rankings

Types of citations

Finally, understand that citation building can take time.  There are more than 100 common sites for citations, not including industry specific directories.  There are several places you can go to that will offer citation building for a cost.  If you decide to go that route, do your research.  Ensure the company not only lists your correct information but maintains it on a recurring basis.  Some will also be able to provide analytics on your citation campaign.

Importance of keeping the information updated

You should always keep your website and citations updated for the following reasons:


We have only touched on a few areas related to SEO.  The key was to get you to understand the difference between organic and local search results.  While your particular business may want to focus on one piece or the other, it is important to remember that both exist.  Make sure you take advantage of both and increase your chances of being seen in multiple searches.

If you would like to know more, please contact us at FarsideDev.  Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn to stay up to date on all our latest posts and videos.  Leave a comment below and let us know if you have any questions you would like us to answer in future videos.  Thanks!