It’s well known in Today’s business world that being on the front page of Google and Bing is gold. When a person searches for the type of products or services a company offers, the online search engine is usually the first and often only place consulted. Similarly, as with other technical industries and terms, the SEO field has become cluttered with words that often confuse ordinary people like ourselves.

Today, one of the biggest misunderstandings is the difference between Local SEO versus Conventional SEO. First, it is essential to know that the term SEO has become a catch-all for any effort to improve search engine results position. The different types of SEO are necessary for understanding why some companies and websites show up first and others don’t.

What Is Conventional SEO?

Most people gravitate to the conventional or standard SEO practice. The typical SEO term usually causes people to think of the on-page effort of making search engines happy.

    • Effectively Using Keywords and Phrases 
    • Page Load Speed (*within reason)
    • Internal and Higher Authority External Back Links
    • Number of Words Per Page
    • Standard HTML and CSS
    • Appropriate Use of Header Tags
    • Domain and Page Names

Listed above are a number of the different Conventional SEO practices that most people think of when thinking about SEO. In conjunction with others not mentioned, these efforts are called On-Page SEO. The terms basic, standard, and even advanced SEO may also exist on many websites that perform these services.

What Is Local SEO?

The new buzz phrase is Local SEO. Thinking this is just a new way to grab the attention of others would be wrong, and Local SEO is an entirely different type of service than standard or conventional SEO. Search engines like Google focus on providing the most relevant results that match the intent of those performing the search. How Google and other search engines accomplish this is where the action of Local SEO marketing creates a difference.

    • Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business)
    • Bing Places for Business
    • Local Citations (Yelp, Chamber of Commerce, Yellow Pages, etc.)
    • Reviews (high impact)
    • Social Media Pages/Profiles (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)
    • Local Business Links (authority not significant)
    • Locally Directed Content

An interesting side note is that many businesses show up on the front page of Google that doesn’t even have a website. This mind-boggling feat is not surprising when you consider Local SEO. Google Business Profile and other Citation sites list business information such as business location, business hours, products, and reviews. Having a website is not a prerequisite to listing on websites like Google, Bing, Yelp, etc.

The prospect of Businesses on the front page of search engines without having a website and not paying per click to be there may beg the question, what’s the use of SEO? The answer is that it is excellent Local SEO that secures their position. These businesses show in the Local and Map Pack due to their presence in primary Citation sites.

This fact is pointed out to show the effectiveness of good Local SEO and not suggest that a business should opt out of having a functional website. 

Conventional SEO versus Local SEO Summary

Hopefully, this information gives a new perspective on SEO. The question isn’t a versus question, and it is what type is best suited for my business’s needs? The different kinds of SEO serve entirely other purposes. Conventional SEO focuses on website standards and something that should come with the design and maintenance automatically. Local SEO practices address the different algorithms used depending on the search type. 

Combining the different types of SEO is key to performing the best in all areas of search results. Local SEO makes it possible to be on Google’s front page without having the biggest and best website.