Looking to implement SEO into your marketing plans? Unsure as to whether local or national SEO is best for your business?
Well, you’re like millions of other business owners who want to learn more about the difference between local and national SEO. The truth is, the two can often come hand in hand. It all depends on your business’s needs and the audiences you aim to target.
So what are the key differences between local and national SEO? How are they similar? And what differing results will each provide you? You can find the information here.
Let’s take a look at what type of SEO strategy is best for you and how you can make the most of them.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a form of SEO that specifically targets potential customers in the local area or region that your business is situated in. This is certainly the way to go if you’re a business owner who wants to target the close-by local community in which you serve. Local SEO strategies are typically used by small business owners who are yet to expand to national status.
What is National SEO?
National SEO is a form of SEO that isn’t limited to just targeting the local community. The SEO work carried out on a national strategy works on a nationwide scale and targets potential customers across the entire country, rather than just one specific area or region. National SEO strategies are typically used by online businesses or giant chains.
What’s the Main Difference Between Them?
The biggest difference between local and national SEO is their sole purpose. Any SEO work aims to expand your business’s visibility and grow your customer base by targeting and reaching audiences. But while local SEO solely focuses on increasing visibility in a local market, national SEO works by increasing visibility in a broad range of markets, sometimes even on an international scale.
They Are More Similar Than You Think
Despite differing by the audience they aim to target, local and national SEO plans are still vastly similar in how they get Google on your side. For example, all SEO work will include the following processes and tactics:
- Content marketing (blogging, video creation, social media content).
- Guest posting on similar, relevant blogs.
- Link building with trusted domain authority sites.
The overall goal here is to improve a website’s ranking on Google, right? The bigger the increase of traffic that SEO brings, the better it’s worked. It’s just a matter of whether you want to bring in more local website visitors or nationwide visitors.
The Use of Keywords
The biggest difference in how local and national SEO attract their visitors is the type of keywords that are used in the optimization process.
Bigger companies using national SEO are able to use more generic keywords with higher search volumes because they are targeting a much wider audience. Although these keywords are harder to rank for, bigger companies can afford to do so because their authoritative brand name will work in their favor.
On the other hand, local SEO evolves around using location keywords. In addition to the generic keywords with relevant search intent, local SEO will also need to incorporate the locational name of the business’s region, town, city, or state. That way Google will rank them on local searches and they can be found by local audiences. It’s all about making sure you’re found online by those who want or need to find you.
For example, an independent sweet shop situated in Liverpool that wants to be found online by local searchers will need to incorporate location keywords, such as:
‘Sweet shop Liverpool’ or ‘Confectionary Liverpool’ or ‘Sweet shop Merseyside’.
Do you get the gist? There can be all sorts of variations when it comes to selecting local keywords, but the overall aim is to help Google learn more about your business and choose you when deciding the rankings of relevant searches.
How To Know What’s Best For Your Business
Both national and local SEO can be beneficial to any business, no matter whether you operate on a local, national, or even international scale. However, the majority of small independent businesses will benefit most from local SEO when first finding their footing in the local area. Eventually, once the business expands, a more generic national SEO strategy can be used.
To help you know what’s best for your business, here’s 3 pros to local SEO:
- It’s easier to target local customers because they are looking specifically in your area.
- There’s less competition so there’s a better chance you’ll rank higher.
- There’s more chance they’re looking specifically for your types of services/products.
Alternatively, here are 3 reasons why national SEO might be for you:
- The target market is wider and broader. Therefore there’s more chance of you converting customers.
- Appearing on generic national searches establishes you as a trusted expert brand.
- Becoming a national brand can eventually lead to international status.
Common Mistakes Business-Owners Make
Whether you opt for local SEO or go down the route of national SEO, you must know how to execute the work properly to see actual results. To do so, make sure you always:
- Create top-quality content that’s genuinely valuable to your target audience. An optimized blog is pretty much useless if it’s neither entertaining nor informative.
- Display your contact information clearly and visibly. Your customers need to know how to reach you!
- Use appropriate and relevant keywords. You need to understand search intent and make sure you’re targeting the right audiences who are likely to click on your site. Don’t be too broad or specific with the keywords you use.
In a Nutshell
Knowing what SEO strategy is best for your business can be tough, especially when there are various audiences you want to target and all sorts of content you want to create. So take some time to research your competitors and find keywords that you can easily rank for.
Overall, both local and national SEO should be about creating unique, SEO-driven content that is genuinely useful or helpful, or entertaining for your audiences. That way you’ll always see results!