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Understanding Key Differences between Local SEO and Traditional SEO

Understanding Key Differences between Local SEO and Traditional SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential component in digital marketing as it ensures the company’s website reaches its target audience. Various SEO strategies are available to businesses and marketers. The most common are local and organic SEO. This article looks at the differences between local and organic SEO as well as how they improve your visibility online.

What is Traditional SEO?

Traditional SEO, also called national or organic SEO, involves increasing the quality and quantity of organic traffic to a website. Organic results refer to unpaid content showing up on the search- engine-results-page (SERPs), while quality traffic denotes the visitors searching for what you offer to them. SEO is essentially the art of increasing organic traffic by making the website search engine friendly.

What Is Local SEO?

Local search engine optimization focuses on geographic components of the search. It involves optimizing your website for local search engine results to increase traffic, visibility, and foot traffic to physical stores. Local SEO focuses on local keywords, building citations, and generating positive comments or reviews.

Local SEO vs. Organic SEO: When to Use Them and the Approaches They Take

Although both local SEO and organic SEO target improvement of your ranking on search results, there are fundamental differences between the concepts. To help you decide on the best, here are key approaches to the strategies.

1) Location

Websites that employ organic SEO can be influenced by location, even though they are not linked to brick-and-mortar businesses. The pure organic result includes social media profiles, articles, and blogs. Additionally, it’s independent of locations. However, local SEO is connected to physical stores with the geographical component.

2) The Target Audience

Local searches are by people that are actively looking for services or products in their area. Usually, they include types of service, product, or business and the “near me” phrase or name of their town or city. They intend to select the business and purchase products.

However, organic searches are performed by an audience that needs answers to questions and concerns. They research but do not necessarily complete a transaction as they need information and facts to help them solve current challenges. Consequently, they may download PDF guides or sign up for newsletters.

3) Search Results and Rankings

Local SEO doesn’t aim for similar positions or results as organic SEO. They rank high in local search engines like Google Maps, Bing Places, and Yelp searches. Their search results include links to contact information and websites with images of the local store, together with the business category.

However, you employ organic SEO to rank high on Bing, Google, Yahoo, and the primary search results of other search engines. It may include information on websites like blogs and guides or your home page.

4) Citations and Backlinks

In local SEO, backlinks are similar to citations as they are essential components of SEO optimization strategy. Local citations happen when companies are mentioned online. Usually with the company phone number, address, and name. Citations are requests on review websites and local business directories.

On the other hand, backlinks are from other authoritative and relevant websites. For organic SEO, relevant and quality links increase the authenticity and relevance of your site to search engines.

5) The Methods

Organic SEO majorly aims to achieve the top SERPs position. To attain this, many off-page and on-page optimization tasks are completed on the site, such as title tags, heading tags, meta descriptions, quality content, optimizing anchor texts, and effective link-building strategies. On the other hand, local SEO seeks to penetrate locations that display localized search results. Besides optimizing keywords and title tags, it involves creating Google Listing.

How Successful SEO Campaigns Impact Site Traffic

In SEO, you optimize your content and web pages to rank high on search engines. Ideally, you need the content to top search engine results for specific keywords relevant to your services or products. Below are ways successful SEO campaigns impact your site traffic.

Higher Keyword Rankings

When users type keywords, search engines give results pages with relevant website links and advertisements. If the website ranks well for a specific keyword, it shows higher in search engine results. It helps with brand awareness and provides more visibility, which, in turn, provides more organic traffic.

SERP Visibility

For each query, Google generates a search-engine-results page (SERP) or an outcome. This consists of organic results, SERP features, and ads. The SERP features include image packs, knowledge panels, and feature snippets.

Search engine visibility indicates the people who see your website in search results are affected by SERP features authority. Higher SERP visibility improves your site traffic.

Conversion Rate

Besides visibility, a successful SEO campaign will convert site visitors to customers. The conversions indicate the visitors that complete your call-to-action, such as purchasing the service/product or signing for a free trial/newsletter.

Higher conversion rates mean the conversion rate optimization practices (CRO) are successful. With this information, you can customize the website content, design or offers to increase visitors.


If other websites link to your site, you will likely rank higher in search engines. However, websites need to be highly authoritative and appropriate. If you have more backlinks, they generate an edge over competitors through higher rankings in SERPs. In addition, it builds credibility and shows your services or products are competitive in the market.

Lower Spam Score

The spam score affects your site’s domain authority and website rankings. It defines trustworthy websites. It ranges from 0-17, with a 0 score indicating the highest credibility.

Your spam score increases when the site has more inbound links from low authority sites. If you link a website with high spam scores, you affect your backlink portfolio and risk penalties from Google. A high spam score is detrimental to site authority as it negatively impacts your traffic.

Higher Click-Through Rate

The click-through rate or CTR represents users that click on your website from SERP. For instance, a 10% CTR rate indicates that your site appeared on the result’s page 100 times, yet ten viewers clicked on it. This indicates the effectiveness of meta descriptions and title tags in attracting user attention.


Organic and local SEO serve critical but different roles in digital marketing. Companies with a local customer base need local SEO strategies. However, if you’re looking to grow and target a broader market, combining organic and local SEO would help improve your business.

Long-term success requires grounded strategies with savvy campaigns, smart analytics, and quality data. Thankfully, Peak Performance Digital is established in digital strategies and marketing. Due to our boutique nature and experience, we have a hands-on approach to each client. Contact us today to build the future of your brand with our expertise.

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