SEO vs Local SEO: Exploring the Variances and Choosing the Right Strategy


When it comes to online visibility and attracting customers, businesses need to implement effective strategies to stand out in the crowded online space. Two popular strategies that businesses often consider are SEO and local SEO. While both aim to improve a website’s visibility on search engines, there are significant differences between the two approaches. In this article, we will explore the variances between SEO and local SEO and help you choose the right strategy for your business.

Understanding SEO and Local SEO

Before diving into the differences, let’s first understand what SEO and local SEO mean. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of optimizing a website to increase its visibility in organic search results. It involves various techniques, such as keyword optimization, backlink building, and content creation, to improve a website’s ranking in search engine result pages (SERPs).

On the other hand, local SEO focuses on optimizing a website to attract local customers. It aims to improve a business’s visibility in local search results and the local pack. With search engines like Google increasingly prioritizing local search results, local SEO has become a crucial strategy for businesses that want to target customers in a specific geographic area.

Differences between SEO and Local SEO

The target audience distinguishes SEO and local SEO as one of their primary disparities. SEO aims to attract a broader audience by targeting keywords that have a high search volume nationally or globally. It focuses on ranking in organic search results, which are not location-specific.

On the other hand, local SEO focuses on a specific geographic area and targets keywords with local intent. By optimizing for local keywords, businesses can attract customers from their immediate vicinity. Local SEO also involves optimizing a business’s Google My Business listing and appearing on Google Maps, making it easier for local customers to find and contact the business.

One other significant distinction between SEO and local SEO lies in the manner in which optimization is carried out.  While traditional SEO strategies can still be effective, local SEO places a stronger emphasis on optimizing a website for local search queries. This includes adding location-specific keywords, creating content tailored to the local audience, and building citations and backlinks from local directories.

Choosing the Right Strategy

Consider Your Business Type and Goals

When choosing between SEO and local SEO, it is important to consider the type of business you have and your goals. If you have a local brick-and-mortar business, like a restaurant or a retail store, focusing on local SEO can be more beneficial as it allows you to target customers in your area.

On the other hand, if you have an e-commerce business that caters to a broader audience, implementing traditional SEO strategies can help you gain visibility nationally or globally. It is crucial to align your optimization efforts with your business goals to get the best results.

Assess Your Target Audience

Your target audience plays a crucial role in determining the right strategy for your business. If your target audience is primarily local, investing in local SEO can yield better results. However, if your products or services cater to a wider audience, national or global SEO may be more effective in reaching potential customers.

Evaluate the Competition

Understanding the competition in your industry and locality is also important when choosing between SEO and local SEO. If your industry is highly competitive in your local area, focusing on local SEO can help you stand out from the competition. On the other hand, if your competitors have a strong online presence nationally or globally, traditional SEO strategies can help you compete more effectively.

Combine SEO and Local SEO Efforts

While there are differences between SEO and local SEO, it is important to note that they are not mutually exclusive. In fact, businesses can benefit from combining both strategies to maximize their online visibility and attract customers.

By incorporating local SEO tactics into your overall SEO campaign, you can improve your website’s visibility in both local and organic search results. This means that you can target customers in your area while also attracting a broader audience.

Consult with an SEO Agency

If you are unsure about the right strategy for your business or lack the expertise to implement SEO strategies yourself, consider consulting with an SEO agency. An experienced agency can assess your business, analyze your target audience and competition, and create a customized SEO strategy that aligns with your goals.

Ultimately, the choice between SEO and local SEO depends on your business type, goals, target audience, and competition. By carefully evaluating these factors, you can make an informed decision and choose the right strategy to boost your online visibility, attract customers, and grow your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

What sets SEO apart from Local SEO? 

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a strategy to optimize a website for better visibility in organic search results on a national or global level. On the other hand, Local SEO focuses on optimizing a website to rank higher in local search results for specific geographic locations.

How does organic SEO differ from Local SEO?

Organic SEO focuses on ranking higher in organic search results nationwide or globally, while Local SEO aims to improve visibility in search results specific to a particular geographical area.

What are some key differences between Local SEO and Organic SEO?

Local SEO involves optimizing a website for location-based keywords, creating and managing local business profiles, and targeting a specific audience in a specific region. Organic SEO, on the other hand, is more general and targets a national or global audience.

How can I optimize my website for Local SEO?

To optimize your website for Local SEO, you can start by creating a local business profile on platforms like Google My Business, optimizing your website’s meta tags and content with location-specific keywords, and getting local backlinks from reputable sources related to your business.

Does Local SEO affect organic search results?

Yes, Local SEO can impact organic search results to some extent. When users search for a business or service in a specific location, search engines take into account the user’s location and show relevant local results. If your website is optimized for Local SEO, it has a higher chance of appearing in those local search results.

What are some local SEO strategies I can implement?

Some effective local SEO strategies include optimizing your website for local keywords, creating and optimizing your Google My Business profile, getting positive online reviews, and building citations and backlinks from local directories and websites.

Should I focus on Local SEO or national SEO?

The answer depends on your business goals and target audience. If your business primarily operates in a specific local area, it is more beneficial to focus on Local SEO. However, if your business caters to a nationwide or global audience, national SEO may be more suitable.

How does local traffic differ from organic traffic?

Local traffic refers to website visitors who found your website through location-specific searches or local directories. Organic traffic, on the other hand, includes all visitors who found your website through non-paid search engine results, regardless of their location.

How does Local SEO relate to my business profile on Google?

Local SEO involves creating and optimizing your business profile on platforms like Google My Business. A well-optimized business profile can improve your local search visibility and provide potential customers with essential information about your business, such as address, contact details, opening hours, and customer reviews.

What are some successful Local SEO strategies I can use today?

Some successful Local SEO strategies include optimizing your website with local keywords, regularly updating your Google My Business listing, obtaining positive reviews from satisfied customers, and consistently publishing high-quality, location-specific content on your website.

Get your FREE Digital Footprint Evaluation

Unlock Your FREE Comprehensive Digital Health Check-Up! Dive deep into every corner of your online presence, from a meticulous website audit to a thorough examination of citations, social footprint, and beyond!

Thank you!

One of our team members has received your message and will send you an email shortly.