Organic Search vs. Local Search vs. Social

This page and tool were designed to help you maximize your online visibility by discovering exactly where your business should be putting greatest effort. Let’s start with three simple definitions:

Organic Search refers to search results returned by the mathematical formula traditionally used by Google and Bing to rank websites in order of importance and relevance—regardless of where that search is being performed or whether the searcher is looking for a business near them.

Local Search refers to the results returned by Google and Bing for searches containing geographically related keywords—or queries that a search engine believes have a local intent. Local search engine optimization (local SEO) involves a series of techniques designed to increase visibility for businesses interested in ranking for keywords within a specific geographic region.

Social Media refers to any web-based technology that is primarily designed for communication with—or about—particular topics or businesses. Think of it as analogous to traditional word-of-mouth marketing, but online instead of in the offline world

Marketing Survey: How branches of online marketing fit together

organic_ans_socialThe graphic at the left is meant to represent the influence of both organic search ranking factors (things related to your website) and social media factors (such as reviews left for your business at Google+ Local, Truelocal, Hot Frog, and other sites around the web) on local search results.

In order to truly succeed in local search, you’ll need to participate in both organic search and social media activities. Notice that the green oval for local search extends beyond the blue and yellow circles of organic search and social media; there are some additional tactics specific to local search that don’t apply to the other two kinds of marketing.

Got it. So the point of this questionnaire is, then?

One of the most frequent questions we’re asked after presenting at local business educational series’ is “OK, so I get the idea of how these fit together … but where do I start with all of this?”

The short answer is that not every business should focus on the same mix of techniques to achieve success. Many factors like the age of your website, whether you have someone available in-house to work on your online marketing, and the physical location of your business influence whether local search should be your primary focus, or whether you might be better served taking a look at organic search or social media first.

Simply click on your chosen answers to each of the following questions below, and you will receive our best recommendations for which of these three areas will be the smartest starting point for your online marketing campaign.