What is the difference between SEO, Local SEO and Digital Marketing

We get a lot of questions about local SEO here because a large part of our client base are local businesses and local business chains where the business owners realize that anyone searching for them is going online. It is crucial for business owners to google a couple of their business keywords and see what shows up in google for these terms. This is how you begin to craft an SEO strategy.

The term digital marketing has caused some confusion with some of our clients. How does it relate to SEO. Well its quite simple actually. The field of digital marketing encompasses any marketing that is not in print or any marketing materials that are online. We asked Brandon Loures from Brandlift Digital Marketing , a top San Diego digital marketing agency, what are the most popular vehicles for small to medium sized businesses to market online? Here is what he said. “When a business is ready to start growing and doing lead generation one of the most powerful forms of marketing is to have a search engine optimization strategy, it is also super important for a business to think of how they are using and growing their email list. Last but not least it is important to develop an online paid media strategy. It depends on the business goals and budget on which channel(s) I would advise starting in”. He also noted that SEO falls under the broader category of digital marketing, now I will attempt to dispel the difference between local and organic SEO.

So what is local SEO? It is essentially building a strategy to drive traffic from online into your store or business. Its seo that focuses on results that can be measured by foot traffic in addition to website traffic. It is not very far off from regular SEO, but it often takes more involvement than just an organic SEO strategy. This is where it can make local SEO difficult to afford depending on the company you are using. Local SEO also is also a term used when the businesses primary customer is one that is in their local areas.

If the business owner is somewhat internet savvy, they can often do several of the painstaking parts that an agency might charge a lot for themselves. Such as setting up your google my business account, uploading photos, filling out information etc. All things that take time but not a lot of skill. If a company is managing your local SEO there are many things that this company should be doing to manage your local profiles like google my business, bing local, yelp, and other niche specific directories. There are many sneaky tricks involving yelps algorithm, and googles local algorithm that can can give you a big advantage over your competition to the tune of higher rankings. This is what your SEO company should be managing for you.

So in short local seo is just a subset of organic SEO and should have components of both organic SEO and your local listing rankings. Here is a great example. We did a search for “hair salon San Diego” The search returns the following results at the top of the page.


Use Logic! Which one would you choose? Your decision is based on a combination of Brand name, creative appeal, reviews (peer validation), and position on the page. If you make decisions in this way you must think that your prospects do the same.

If you notice the first three results are not normal “organic” listings, these are local listings. The profiles that rank in these top three positions have some things in common. They are some of the factors that influence the top 3 ranking positions. All of these business have maxed out the number of photos you can upload, the photos are geo-tagged and they have reviews. One other factor that top ranking profiles have is consistency with other mentions of their business location from around the web. This is hard to believe for some, but yes, while googles spiders are crawling the web they have a few verified sources of data that they compare for consistencies. They do this because it helps them to validate the listings that they are showing and to make sure they are showing real open businesses.

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