In the past, we’ve discussed some of the most common terms you’ll hear when you’re learning about best SEO practices. Two of those terms are going to be “organic SEO” and “local SEO.” The terms might seem interchangeable, but there is a difference between the two. In this article, we’ll talk about the basics of both organic SEO and local SEO, and how your business can use these concepts to get better rankings on the top search engines.
Organic SEO refers to the ways marketers and SEO experts get a website to rank high in search engine results. This includes a variety of factors, including optimizing content for specific keywords, obtaining high-value backlinks, and implementing optimized images and metatags. User experience is also important: how long are people spending on your site? Do they get the information they’re looking for? Does your site load quickly? All of these factors contribute to a site’s ranking on a search engine.
Organic SEO is similar to local SEO. However, organic results don’t need to be tied to a location. For example, if you search for “how to change a tire,” you’ll get a bunch of results telling you how you can perform this task. As you can see, location does not matter. You’re not necessarily looking for a store where you can buy tires or have someone change them for you. Instead, you’re looking for information, so this is what the search engines try to deliver: accurate information. But if you search for something like “tire shops in Charlottesville,” then you’re looking to visit a nearby place to obtain services related to your search terms. These results are categorized as local SEO. We’ll discuss this more below.
Local SEO does utilize organic SEO factors. If you’re searching for “Indian food,” then you might get results showing nearby restaurants, or you might get a website showing information about different dishes or even recipes you can make at home. But if you search for “Indian food in Minneapolis,” then you’re going to get specific results: listings for brick-and-mortar Indian restaurants in Minneapolis. Local SEO tries to anticipate what you want by displaying the most relevant results in your area; organic SEO simply tries to answer your questions, whether tied to a location or not.
Local SEO is the goal of most local businesses. After all, while it’s great to be a resource for your customers, it’s even better to have them visit your store and make a purchase. So, you should focus on ranking locally, rather than organically, if you want to get the most out of SEO services for your business.
How Can You Help Your Local SEO Rankings?
There are hundreds and hundreds of factors that search engines consider when ranking websites. In fact, no expert knows the exact algorithm the search engines use. But experts do understand some of the most important factors. Below, we’ll share some of the top tips you should utilize to get your business ranking as highly as possible:
Claim all profiles. Don’t know what this means? Essentially, websites such as Yelp, Google My Business, and travel sites such as Trip Advisor comb through data on the web and try to generate profiles based on what they find. If they find incomplete or outdated information, guess what? People will find your profile on these sites, and the information is going to be incorrect. So, find these sites and make sure your results are accurate—name, phone number, address, website links, and any other relevant data.
Get reviews. We’ve talked about the importance of reviews before, and we’re going to say it again and again and again: get your customers to leave you reviews. Almost everyone who searches for a local business wants to know how others view that business. When you want to try a new restaurant, do you choose the one with no ratings, of the one with 250 ratings and an average of 4.5 stars? It’s too easy—you take the one that has an established track record of providing great service. Customers want the same from you. So work on getting those reviews on a regular basis.
Social media. Make sure you have social media sites with relevant business information and regular updates. You don’t have to be on every social media network, but make sure you choose a few that your customers are likely to use. Regular updates send positive signals to the search engines, and this factor will be taken into account for your site’s ranking.
Want to learn more? Want to get started with local SEO? We can help! Schedule a demo to see how Zoek can get you ranking—or call one of our personal marketing consultants to speak with us today!