Local SEO and traditional SEO have a lot of overlap. Search Engine Land tells us that SEO is developing website content to make for more relevant search results. SEO ensures that the people who get your website after a search are the ones who want to be there. In the early days of the internet, the quality of results wasn’t nearly as important as the amount of them. However, with time, businesses that used websites as their primary interface with clients realized that having qualified searchers coming to their pages resulted in better bottom lines. Those buyers already wanted to be on the website, and it was more likely they’d buy something they were already searching for. SEO forms the backbone of most website marketing strategies today, but local SEO and traditional SEO differ in some aspects. Here, we examine the details of those differences.
What is Local SEO?
The best way to think of local SEO is optimization that’s geared around a particular geographic location. When someone searches a city or a state, they get localized search results along with their keywords. Google has developed a way to give users relevant search results near their current geographical position. Local SEO is a marketing method that allows businesses to list themselves on a local directory and get their businesses featured on Google Maps. However, it can be much more than just this simple update. Local SEO has the power to link a particular enterprise with a locale, ensuring that they show up when any of the company’s keywords are searched within that town or city.
What About Traditional SEO?
Traditional SEO is more wide-ranging than local SEO. Instead of focusing on a location, traditional SEO looks at intent and keywords. The aim is for the business to rank within the first page of search results in google for a particular keyword. As WebFX mentions, 68% of website search results clicks go to the top five results. Because of this, traditional SEO is a significant factor in many businesses ‘ marketing strategies. However, it can be pretty costly to reach a point of ranking for a particular keyword. Some keywords have more competition than others, and the research and content production necessary to maintain that top-five result spot can be overwhelming for smaller businesses.
More Similarities Than Differences
Immediately, most readers would notice a glaring overlap in local and traditional SEO. Since both are focused on building the online presence for a particular term or keywords, the similarities between their methodologies are apparent. Both local and traditional SEO focus on the same basic ideas – relevant content marketing, keyword-focused web pages, and white-hat link building, to name a few. The only significant difference between the two comes from their area of focus. Traditional SEO doesn’t seek to limit itself to a geographic location, but local SEO depends upon that limitation.
Businesses that want to rank for local SEO can rely on Google My Business or Yahoo Business to list their business locations. Those directories also offer great backlinks to build the local SEO authority they need to rank highly on search results. Local SEO backlinks can also be developed through outreach with other local businesses for guest posting and features. Similarly, traditional SEO can range further afield with the same goal. A business could create a relationship with a related company to post content to benefit both businesses’ SEO services.
Success Starts With Understanding
SEO isn’t a complex field, but it requires a lot of work to get right. Search engines are finicky, and as the algorithms for ranking become ever more complex, business owners may need to hire others who specialize in SEO to help them rank on local results. For local or traditional SEO to work on any level, the business owner needs to understand what it does and how it does it. This basic understanding level offers them the benefit of making decisions for their local SEO strategy to help their business grow using the internet as a springboard.