The digital marketing landscape is constantly changing as new techniques and strategies become evident.

With that being said, it’s important to remain informed about what changes may impact your business moving forward. Local and organic search engine optimization (SEO) are two of the most influential factors when it comes to a brand’s presence online.

If you’ve yet to dive into these areas, now is the perfect time to begin exploring them. Read on to learn more about the difference between local and organic SEO, which one you should prioritize, and how you can implement them individually to improve your business’ online presence.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is the process of increasing a brand’s presence and visibility on search engines that are specific to a particular city or region. This type of SEO is designed primarily for businesses that operate locally, such as restaurants, real estate agents, dentists, etc. as it allows them to be discoverable by potential customers in their area.

In order for a brand to rank on local search engines, it must be listed on local business directories, have accurate and consistent business information, and have a valid location address that is detailed on its website. Local SEO is critical for a brand to rank higher in SERPs (search engine result pages) where the majority of its competitors are also listed. The goal is to beat out the competition and be listed above them to receive as many organic clicks and views as possible.

Local SEO is focused more on the geographic standpoint of a business. Location plays a key role with this type of SEO. If a person searches for “Thai food near me” or “Thai food in San Diego,” for example, the search engine knows that the primary intent behind the search is an effort to find a Thai restaurant near the user’s location.

By optimizing local SEO, local businesses around a certain geographic area have a better chance of being seen on Google or other search engines. (And even if you type just “Thai food” into Google, it will assume that you are searching for a nearby restaurant). There are probably multiple restaurants similar to yours nearby, so if a user is doing a general search for a Thai restaurant, you want to be sure that your business listing comes up in their search results.

What is Organic SEO?

Organic SEO, on the other hand, has less to do with nearby business locations and more to do with general information that Google takes into consideration. What if you are suddenly feeling inspired and feel like trying to cook your own Thai food instead of ordering it? You would Google search something along the lines of “pad Thai recipe” (or another Thai dish). You would then be shown organic results based on what the search engine has deemed to be most valid. That particular search doesn’t really have anything to do with location of a specific business; rather, you are trying to find a good recipe for a dish and want to see the most relevant results.

In the digital world, organic SEO is a type of SEO that doesn’t involve the use of paid or sponsored links. This form of SEO is done entirely for free by brands to increase their online presence and generate more organic traffic. Organic SEO is essentially the process of optimizing a brand’s website and content to rank higher in SERPs for long-tail keywords.

These keywords are long phrases that are used by customers and potential leads when searching for products and services online. Organic SEO is critical for all brands to rank higher in SERPs since there is no way to pay for a spot. It can be a competitive field, especially for brands that have been established for years. The goal is to beat out the competition and be listed above them to receive as many organic clicks and views as possible.

The Difference Between Local and Organic SEO

While both local and organic SEO are important factors when it comes to a brand’s online presence, they have a few key differences. First, local SEO is a part of the broader category of SEO, whereas organic SEO is its own category. Local and organic SEO are both important when it comes to increasing a brand’s visibility and presence on search engines, but they are approached in different ways.

Local SEO involves optimizing a brand’s information and data to be listed on local business directories. This can be done by purchasing ads from these sites and paying to be listed higher on the page and receive more views. In contrast, organic SEO has nothing to do with paying for anything.

Which Type of SEO Should You Prioritize?

All businesses should strive to rank higher in SERPs for their target keywords and long-tail phrases. The question is, which one should you prioritize? Local SEO can be quite challenging for smaller, newer businesses as they don’t have as much authority. When a visitor is searching for a specific product or service, they expect to see brands with a high authority ranking above them. Organic SEO can be done entirely for free and doesn’t depend on your location. Once you have optimized your website and content, you will see an increase in organic traffic and clicks, no matter what city or country your customers are in.

Bottom line: local and Organic SEO are both important

Marketing is essential to the success of any business, but it shouldn’t be the first thing you think about when you launch your company. Instead, it should be part of your company plan from the very beginning. Create a marketing plan early on, and outline how and when you plan to invest in marketing. This will help you understand the costs involved, and will also give you a timeline to follow so you don’t get caught up in the buzz of launching your business and forget about marketing completely.

The bottom line is that both local and organic SEO are crucial for online visibility. The difference is that local SEO only works for businesses that are listed in the city you are targeting and ranked in that city’s search engine. Organic SEO works for all brands, no matter where they are located. Brands that invest in local and organic SEO will see more visitors to their website and ultimately an increase in sales, leads, and revenue.

Keep in mind that SEO takes time to be effective. It’s important to stay consistent and implement these strategies as often as possible to see results. With consistent effort, your brand will be well-positioned to succeed online. The process starting your SEO journey can be quite daunting if you don't have the expertise to know where to begin. Luckily, ParkWest Solutions offers SEO management. If you’ve been trying to figure out whether organic or local SEO is the right avenue for your online marketing efforts, we have a solution. We can help you find what works best for your company with our comprehensive marketing and web design services. Is one of these options more appealing to you? Reach out to us today to get started on improving your online presence. Whether you're a new business that's just starting out, or an established company that wants to enhance your online presence, ParkWest Solutions may be a good fit. Reach out to us at [phone] or send us a message either on our Contact form or email at [email].