Understanding the Difference Between Organic and Local SEO

Conversion Metrics uses a combination of organic and local SEO to drive engagement to your site, increase search rankings, and achieve the ultimate goal of getting you more customers. Here is an overview of the key differences between organic and local SEO, as well as areas where they overlap.

What is organic SEO?

Organic SEO refers to optimization efforts that result from natural engagement of users and other sites with your page. This is in contrast to pay-per-click (PPC) strategies and so-called “black hat SEO” methods, which can be penalized by search engine algorithms and actually hurt your rankings. Organic SEO consists of:

  • SEO content strategyExtensive research goes into developing an SEO content strategy that identifies the relevant key terms for your niche. From there, an effective content marketing plan can be developed, including latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords and effective topics. Content marketing efforts must provide value and engagement to the reader in order to adhere to Google quality control standards.
  • Local organic search resultsLocal organic search results are local listings that appear mixed in with organic results. To rank here, organic SEO has to be solid in addition to having your business location established. This type of SEO involves national, state, county, and city level geo-modified keywords.
  • On page optimizationThe content and structure of your website needs to be arranged in a way that makes it easy for Google and other search engines to understand what your page is about. This includes appropriate titles and headings, the right key phrases, and effective structure, such as pagination.
  • Link building - Through our link building service, we increase the number of high-quality backlinks to your site to increase both your reach and your trust flow. These two factors are major determinants in improving your organic search rankings.

Local SEO tips

Local SEO is reserved for businesses with brick-and-mortar locations and is an excellent way to generate local leads. When properly optimized, local search results, like Google Maps and the exclusive Google’s Local Three Pack, increase the likelihood that the potential customers in your locale will come to you instead of lower-ranking competition. The following tips are important to consider when aiming to improve local rankings:

  • Your on-site content must be properly optimized with relevant search terms.
  • Take advantage of all local business profile opportunities, especially Google My Business.
  • Share your business profile on social media sites to increase reach.
  • Engage regularly with your audience through your local listings.
  • Encourage satisfied customers to provide reviews.

Benefits of local SEO

Local SEO is all about increasing your visibility among customers that are geographically in range of your location and looking for a business of your type. These searchers are highly likely to become customers. The goal is to get your business into Google’s Three Pack, the top 3 locally ranked search results. Previously Google displayed seven results, so the competition for the top three spots has become even more rigorous. Our local SEO company prides itself helping websites become authoritative in their niche.

Google My Business (GMB) optimization

Your Google My Business profile is a free resource every building with a physical location has access to. These profiles are an effective way to improve local search rankings if they are properly optimized. This is determined by the accuracy of the information on your profile, the right keywords and links being present, and ongoing two-way engagement by means of daily postings and reviews from customers.

Business citations

When your business and address information is listed on a site other than yours, this is known as a business citation. As mentioned above, GMB is essential; but other listings, such as yellow pages, chamber of commerce directories, and others are all opportunities to increase your business citations. The more citations you have, the better your local rankings, so long as they are accurate, consistent, and part of a larger SEO strategy.

Google Plus reviews

Reviews are a powerful tool, not only for boosting local search rankings, but also for gaining customer trust. Having a strategy to obtain regular, positive reviews from customers is essential, and all employees of your company that interface with clients should be informed of that strategy and process.

Google My Business daily posting

Your GMB profile is not a static resource. Businesses need to be posting inside of GMB with relevant content linking back to your webpage on a daily basis. These posts can be shared on social media pages, increasing your reach as well as your backlinks. These efforts will help to push your site in local search results.


While organic SEO focuses on your webpage and its rankings, local SEO centers on getting your business to appear in the top three local search results on Google. These efforts work independently and interdependently. The synergy of organic and local SEO, when implemented properly, is what sets your business’s online presence apart from the competition.

Contact us for guidance on organic SEO vs. local SEO for your business

Conversion Metrics has extensive knowledge in all levels of on page SEO. Our experience gives us an understanding of how much of each businesses need. To find out more, contact us online or by phone at (908) 655-6949.

Previous reading
Understanding the Difference Between Organic and Local SEO
Next reading
Understanding the Difference Between Organic and Local SEO