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Local SEO vs National SEO

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In today's digital world, companies have to prioritise their digital presence. Investing in ethical SEO services is essential to any business, providing them with the visibility and brand awareness to attract new customers. Despite the importance of SEO, most businesses have little or no understanding of the strategy behind it. Simply throwing money at an SEO contractor isn't enough to increase a company's profitability. Companies must have a specific strategy, ascertaining their overall aims and end-goals. One key question when developing an SEO strategy is whether to focus on Local SEO or National SEO.

Local SEO and National SEO have the same purpose; getting your company as high up the Google SERP as possible. The main difference is where they source their visitors from. Local SEO targets customers who live in the local area, thus benefiting small businesses who rely on local custom. On the other hand, National SEO targets vast areas. National SEO is perfect for companies that deliver goods and services worldwide. So what are the main attributes of Local and National SEO, and how can businesses incorporate them into their SEO strategy?

Local SEO

Local SEO is ideal for small businesses, sole traders and local shops. Through supplying the local area, companies can build a stable customer base. Plumbers, decorators, mechanics, hairdressers, pubs and restaurants are all examples of companies that would benefit from Local SEO.

What are the advantages of Local SEO?

  • Local SEO is affordable
  • Your large competitors are not optimizing for Local SEO
  • Increased visibility on local SERP's
  • More foot traffic into your store
  • Builds a strong customer base
  • Stable, long-term investment


To manage a successful Local SEO campaign, it's essential to focus on your businesses standing in the local community. It's vital to focus on key phrases that relate to your locality. E.g: Decorators in Macclesfield. Through keywords and phrases, you can emphasise your company's geographical position, thus making your business more visible in the local area. Furthermore, Local SEO campaigns are easier to perform than National SEO campaigns due to the lack of competition.

The key to a successful Local SEO campaign:

  • Submit your business on regional directories and Google My Business
  • Add your location and contact details to your social media profiles
  • Include business hours, location and contact details on your website
  • Include your region and locality on the About Us page of your site
  • Include key phrases that relate to your businesses location


Though Local SEO is undoubtedly the best strategy for small firms, sole tradesmen and local entrepreneurs, larger businesses can also benefit. Through targetting a selection of localities, national businesses can dominate trade in a wide variety of local areas.

National SEO

National SEO is perfect for large companies, multi-national conglomerates and e-commerce stores. Through increasing web traffic and reaching a large geographic audience, profit and ROI will likely increase.

What are the advantages of National SEO?

  • Allows your business to survive entirely online
  • Allows your company to compete nationally
  • Removes all geographical constraint
  • Rank highly on SERP's for high volume search terms
  • Markets your company to a global audience


National SEO is considerably harder to manage than Local SEO. With Local SEO, you have to show Google your company's value on a very local level. However, with National SEO, you essentially have to prove to Google that your company is amongst the most valued in the country.

The key to a successful National SEO campaign:

  • See National SEO as a long-term investment that won't happen overnight
  • Optimized user-journey and impeccable site structure. Every page accessed in 3 clicks or less
  • Research related key phrases and semantic words for each page
  • With Google indexing sites based on mobile functionality, mobile optimization is key
  • Link building from trusted, relevant sites
  • Up to date, relevant content to keep Google interested
  • Images, videos and content optimized for both desktop and mobile


National SEO is no easy task. There is no quick fix or easy solution, especially with Google's new algorithm putting a stop to keyword stuffing. It is undoubtedly a long term investment, with tangible results taking months or even years to come to fruition. However, if you do manage to reach the top positions of the SERP's, there will be significant remuneration.

Conclusion


It's important to remember that Local and National SEO are in no way antithetical. Though companies need to prioritise which road to go down, they don't need to categorically choose one or the other. Through starting local, companies can build a strong customer base, building brand awareness and trust. Once this strong foundation is achieved, companies can progress into the national market with relative ease. When done correctly, both local SEO and national SEO can benefit your company greatly. Despite having different overall aims, both types of SEO can help build brand awareness, and increase company visibility.

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