Google is becoming more localized in all its search results. Earlier where people put in general and broad-based queries, they are getting more specific and location-based. As a website owner, your site needs to hit the first page results of Google for the keywords that matter to your business; and for branding purpose your site must figure for the long keyword phrases and top the Local SEO results. To remain in the minds of the consumers, you need to figure on the first page results for specific and popular keywords. At the same time, you cannot ignore the localized keywords as these will bring in local customers who will spend on your product or service. Take for example a fast food chain- they would want to be visible on the general results page as that will give it brand recognition, but to get actual hungry consumers who will buy its fast food, it has to target the Local SEO results. So, best option is to go for a combination of both- Local and Traditional SEO.
As a business owner you need to first figure out if you need visibility on handheld devices like ipad or smartphone which give weightage to the local results or the laptop or desktop which display broader results. Any enterprising business owner would want to be visible on as many mediums as possible. Ideal would be to go in for both, local and traditional SEO to gain visibility on handheld devices and computers at the same time.
Traditional SEO depends a lot on trustworthy and high quality content whereas Local SEO places lot of importance on trusted location. e.g. a link from a local high quality site would find more credibility for you on the local search front. Local SEO can be enhanced by including positive reviews from your customers, include links from local high quality sites and most importantly by including the name of your company, address and phone number on the significant pages of your site.
It would help for you to know that as a localized business, it makes no sense for you to try and aim for the global result page as you may not be searched for there. On the other hand, if you go for the local result page, then you have more chances of topping the results page for your niche as competition will be lesser there as compared to the national level.
If you have a physical address and want people to get there, then Local SEO is your best option. Like if you are into restaurant business, it makes more sense for you to figure on the local search than the global one; Local SEO can help you with this. But if you are a retailer of branded clothes, then you need to be visible on the Global search results page and only traditional SEO can help you get there. Hope that kind of sums up the distinction between traditional and local SEO.
How To Do Local SEO