SEO vs Local SEO: How to Know Which You Need for Your Practice

Health & wellness professional at her laptop trying to decide between SEO and local SEO to market her business.

As a health or wellness professional with big dreams for your practice, you already know the power of the digital world. You’re no stranger to terms like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – a magic key that can open doors to better visibility on search engine giants like Google. But have you heard about Local SEO? And faced with SEO vs Local SEO, do you know which one is the golden ticket for your practice’s growth?

Well, it’s not as simple as picking one over the other. The practice of SEO is a spectrum, from broad, national efforts to strategies targeting your local corner of the world. Each has its place, its perks, and its role in ushering potential clients toward your business.

Don’t worry, we’re going to make this as easy for you as possible. We’ll look at what each brings to the table and how to choose the right approach for your practice. Whether your aim is to welcome more local clients into your brick-and-mortar location or reach out to a broader audience, we’ve got you covered.

The Power of SEO

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO as it is popularly known, is more than just a buzzword. It’s an intricate process designed to elevate your online visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs), thus driving more organic traffic to your website.

SEO is all about communicating with search engines in their language. It involves optimizing your website with specific keywords derived from rigorous keyword research. This enables search engines to understand your site’s content better and deem it relevant for individuals searching for those keywords.

Pause for a moment to think about the potential impact…

More visibility in organic search results translates to more visitors to your website. And more visitors mean a higher probability of converting these digital window shoppers into actual clients.

However, SEO isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Its effects are far-reaching, and it primarily targets a national or even international audience. This makes it a powerful tool for businesses aiming to expand their reach beyond their geographical boundaries.

Imagine standing on a virtual stage, speaking to an international audience, and making a lasting impact. That’s the power of well-implemented SEO. But is this broad reach what your practice needs, or could the key to growth be a little closer to home?

Local SEO: Focusing Closer to Home

While SEO opens the gates to a global audience, Local SEO brings the focus closer to home. Think of it as a spotlight, focusing its beam on a specific stage – your local community.

Local SEO strategies prioritize promoting your services to local customers in real time. It’s all about ensuring that when someone in your area is looking for the health and wellness services you offer, your practice is top of mind, appearing prominently in local search results.

You can do this by optimizing your online presence to attract more traffic from relevant local searches on Google and other search engines. From ensuring your business listings are accurate and up-to-date, to optimizing your website and content with location-specific keywords and phrases, local SEO uses digital marketing to target a very specific place.

Imagine the convenience for a potential client who searches for a service you provide, and there you are, at the top of the local search result, complete with reviews, business hours, and even a phone number to make an appointment. Local SEO transforms your online presence into a beacon for your local business.

But does this mean local SEO is the superior choice? Not necessarily. It’s about aligning your SEO efforts with your business goals. So, let’s look at the critical factors to consider when deciding between SEO and Local SEO for your practice.

SEO vs Local SEO: Making the Right Choice for Your Practice

Understanding the distinction between SEO and local SEO is only half the battle. The key lies in knowing when to use each approach in your digital marketing strategy. So, how do you make this decision? It all boils down to your practice’s specific goals.

Broaden Your Reach with SEO

If your practice offers services that help clients beyond your geographical location, then a broader SEO strategy may be the way to go. Perhaps you offer telehealth services, online wellness coaching, or other digital products that remove the boundaries of a physical location. In this case, SEO can help you reach a national or even global audience, maximizing your potential client base.

Stay Local with Local SEO

On the other hand, if your practice is a brick-and-mortar location primarily serving clients in a specific region, local SEO strategies should be your focus. This approach is especially beneficial for practices offering in-person services. Local SEO will make sure your practice shows up in relevant local searches, making it easier for people in your community to find and access your services.

Why Not Both?

Remember, SEO and local SEO aren’t mutually exclusive. It’s all about understanding where your clients are and how best to reach them. In many cases, a hybrid approach can bring the best of both worlds, optimizing your online presence for both local and broader search engine rankings.

As you can see, it’s essential to align your SEO strategy with your business growth goals. Whether you want to reach out to the world or focus on your local community, SEO is an important part of taking your practice to the next level. When you find the right balance between SEO and local SEO for your practice, it will thrive.

Actionable Steps Towards SEO Success

If you’re ready to take the leap into the world of SEO, we’ve got some actionable steps to set you on the right path.

Perform an SEO Audit

The first step to improving your SEO strategy is knowing where you stand. Conduct an SEO audit to evaluate your current search engine performance. This audit should review several key areas, including your keyword usage along with your website’s mobile-friendliness, page load speed, and backlink quality. This will give you a solid base to improve upon and help identify areas of weakness in your current strategy.

Update Your Business Profiles

Ensuring that your business profiles on Google, social media, and industry directories are accurate and consistent is a small step that can have an enormous impact. Regularly review and update these listings with your current address, contact details, operating hours, and any other relevant information. This is an easy way to boost your local SEO efforts.

Create High-Quality, SEO-Friendly Content

Creating engaging, valuable content for your audience should be a cornerstone of your SEO strategy. This means incorporating relevant keywords naturally into your content, but also ensuring that this content is informative and useful to your readers.

(Want to know more about content marketing and SEO? Read more here.)

Commit to Consistency

Neither SEO nor local SEO are one-and-done marketing tactics. If you want to achieve and maintain high search engine rankings, you need to be consistent in your efforts. Regularly update your website and blog with fresh, SEO-friendly content. Monitor your keywords and adapt as necessary. Keep up with the latest SEO best practices and trends.

Your SEO Strategy

As you undertake this journey, remember that SEO isn’t an overnight success. It requires patience, consistency, and the right strategy. But the results can be transformative for your practice, helping you significantly grow your practice.

The truth is the digital world can feel like a maze at times. However, with the right strategies, you can navigate it successfully to grow your practice. As a health and wellness professional, understanding the difference between SEO and local SEO, and how each can benefit your practice, is a crucial step in that journey.

Remember, the choice between SEO and local SEO isn’t actually a competition. It’s really about creating a balance that aligns with your business goals. Want to shine your beacon for a global audience? Embrace the power of SEO. Prefer to become a well-known name in your local community? Local SEO has your back. Better yet, consider a hybrid approach that draws on the benefits of both.

As you step into the world of SEO, you’re not alone. We’re here to guide and support you. Feel free to reach out to us with your questions and concerns, and let’s make your practice’s online presence something worth talking about.

Schedule a conversation with one of our SEO experts.


Karen Finn, PhD