Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of website traffic through search engines. In a previous post, we talked about SEO basics, but here we are going to take things further. Let’s explore two particular types of SEO: Organic vs Local.
Organic traffic is simply any unpaid non-ad results that come up when you search for something. Effective SEO practices make your website rank higher on search engines like Google and Bing. By using SEO best practices, you can rank higher on the Search Engine Results Page (or SERPs). Organic SEO is built through the use of keywords and links by focusing on the specific words and phrases people search for. The advantage of organic SEO is that you don’t have to pay for ads, and done effectively, SEO will bring in even more clicks than ads ever would. And even better, those clicks will be more valuable.
Organic searches usually take the form of a question that needs answering.
This search provides a simple answer based on the top-ranking SERPs. This is followed by the People Also Ask section, video results, and then the standard SERPs.
Local SEO is still based on organic SEO but is geographically focused on a particular area. It makes local brick-and-mortar businesses appear higher in location-based searches. Local SEO has a major impact on driving foot and digital traffic to your store. Here is a local search example, “restaurants in grand rapids.” The key here is the subject + a location. The map pack at the top presents the top three search results and their locations on the map. Most clicks will go to the map pack results so getting top rankings in local results is important.
Tips for Improving Organic SEO
Ranking is based on the relevance of the search, and a higher ranking can be achieved by focused keywords and how trustworthy your site is. Trust can be gained through backlinks from other trustworthy sites. Whenever other sites link to you, Google’s algorithm assumes this means you are trustworthy and your content is good and will rank you higher.
Tips for Improving Local SEO
- Include your business name, address, and phone number – and make sure they are accurately listed – in directories such as Google, Bing, Yelp, Trip Advisor, or Yellowpages.
- When you receive reviews and comments, make sure to respond to them.
- Start a backlink campaign to receive links from other trustworthy sites.
- Research local-specific keywords to include on your site. Include references to your city, local landmarks, or phrases that locals would use. For example “overlooking the Grand River” for Grand Rapids-based businesses.
- Create content relating to local events and news stories.
- Create a Google My Business Account and make sure you keep your information up to date. Searchers like to easily be able to look up your address, phone number, what hours you are open.
- Include a map of your location or directions on your website.
Which Type of SEO is Most Important to My Business?
If you are a brick-and-mortar business operating in a specific location, you want to rank in local SERPs. If your business is not location-based and you want your business to show up for specific search terms, you want to rank organically. Brands and businesses with multiple locations should focus on both, as you’d want your locations visible, but continue to increase your brand awareness. But overall, both organic and local SEO is important to continue building your online presence.