Organic SEO vs Local SEO: The Differences and What’s Best for You

Difference between Organic SEO and Local SEO

While we could write a very long article on this topic, the difference between organic SEO and Local SEO is fairly straightforward.  To make something complicated as simple and succinct as possible, it comes down to page placements.

Let’s start with organic SEO.  When people think of SEO this is typically what they are thinking of.  Organic SEO is simply a set of activities that are put into place to work on gaining organic traffic from search engines.  These activities are intended to gain search visibility via the links that we are used to seeing in a Google search.  For example, if you search for something like “what is SEO” you will get one set of results, as is shown here.  Whereas if you search for “SEO company near me”, you will get a completely different set of results.  Both have organic results but look a little different from one another.

So what is the difference?  In the “near me” search you are triggering local results or the “3 pack”, which is a product of local seo.  That “3 pack” is actually your Google My Business profile being served for the search rather than your website.  The organic search results sit just beneath the local search results in this example, whereas in the previous example it is just the organic search results.  For the most part it will be a website served in the organic search results and a Google My Business profile served in the local search results.  I hope this makes sense!

Is Organic SEO or Local SEO best for your business?

Not unlike a lot of things we talk about the simple answer to this question is it depends and sometimes both are best.  When determining whether Organic SEO or Local SEO is best you must start with the question of geography.  Do you serve a local market (or multiple local markets) or is your focus National or International?  If you are in the first example of serving a local market you will then want to focus on both local and organic SEO.  The idea behind search engine optimization and search based marketing is to garner as many page placement as possible on relevant keywords so that your web site or Google My Business profile is awarded with as much RELEVANT organic traffic as possible.  This is why a local business really should work on both in tandem with one another.

On the other hand, a business that only focuses on National and International markets or traffic, really has no use for local SEO.  As a matter of fact, there are many out there that argue these types of businesses do not need a Google My Business profile at all.  They should just simply be focused on organic search for this type of marketing.


Hopefully now you at least understand the difference between organic and local SEO.  Even more importantly, we hope you understand which is best for your specific type of business!  As always, if you have any questions at all feel free to CONTACT US and we will be happy to help with any of your questions regarding SEO or digital marketing in general!