Understanding the difference between Local SEO and Organic SEO is vital to ranking high across all the major search engines. Today, we’ll cover the differences between the two and how you can rank high with each, ensuring more potential customers see your business.

First off, let’s define SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization. Essentially, these are a set of practices that allow search engines to find your site, and display it to relevant searches. It’s done primarily through the use of keywords, link building, and quality content that ensures return visits.

Say, I want to find a new pair of shoes. So, I go to my favorite search engine (Google every time) and type in “shoes”. I get 510,000,000 results in half a second. The first ones on the list are local shoe stores followed by other links Google thought were relevant. The results shows the nearest local businesses to my location selling shoes.

Local vs Organic: What are the differences?

When we talk local vs organic we aren’t talking about where the searches come from, but whether or not they have one key component: a location. Local searches can be for things like “home furniture store in Van Nuys” or “polish food near me”, which has a specific location in the search itself. Often the search engine will detect an implicit location in a search, like “mexican restaurant” or “movie theatre”.

Organic results are not tied to location and appear after local results. They are listed by a number of factors including relevancy, number of links built, keywords, and more. Ranking here is ideal for brands who primarily do business over the internet, or have a service or product not linked to a location.

For example, pizza is only relevant to one location: my belly. Especially that delicious margharita pizza…mmm. But, if you sell an information product or a service performed online, you want to show up no matter where the searcher looks.

Which set of results you want to rank with depends on a few factors of your business. If you own a physical business, or have a service you want locally available, it is important to rank high on local SEO. This allows potential customers to see your business first, and 50% of those who search for a business end up visiting them in twenty-four hours. This is doubly important if your brand is available in multiple locations.

How to Rank Your Website?

Ranking locally is best done by registering your business with each of the search engines search directories. This will also build a link for your site, a vital step to ranking high. Maintain consistent information across all directories, so searchers know where to find your business. You can also start a blog with a location-based focus, further telling searchers and the search engines that you are relevant to a particular location. Businesses with multiple locations especially want to rank high in a local search so each location will show up in a local search.

The most important thing to remember for ranking is this: ensure that your site has relevant, current, and engaging information so that it can be found and shown to the right searchers. Quality content ensures return visits.