National SEO VS Local SEO: Which Is Right For Your Business?

Jan 4, 2022
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Table of Contents

What is National SEO?
What is Local SEO?
National SEO Keywords Vs. Local SEO Keywords
Advantages of National SEO
How to Perfect Your National SEO
Advantages of Local SEO
How to Perfect Your Local SEO
Similarities ​Between National and Local SEO
SEO Platforms for National SEO and Local SEO
National SEO Platforms
Local SEO Platforms
Measuring National SEO and Local SEO
National SEO
Local SEO
National and Local SEO Services
Which is Right for Your Business?
How to Optimize for Local SEO?
How to Optimize for National SEO?
Conclusion

SEO is one of the top online marketing channels that is the primary source of relevant organic traffic for many brands.

Around 97% of people learn about a local business by searching online on search engines like Google. Additionally, SEO drives 1000% more traffic as compared to social media.

Businesses that have a sound SEO marketing strategy significantly drive more targeted buyers because most searchers research online before they decide on a product or service.

SEO

These days, there are many discussions about the best way to approach SEO for your business – should you do national SEO or focus on local SEO? The answer to this question depends on a few factors, including the size and reach of your business, as well as your target audience.

Also, it's essential to keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Companies serving different locations at a national level should take the help of both local and national SEO to get the best results. 

This article will discuss the differences between national SEO and local SEO and help you select the right SEO marketing option for your business. 

What is National SEO?

National SEO is an organic marketing strategy used to increase the national exposure of a business by targeting keywords across multiple locations countrywide. It optimizes a website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for keywords that do not contain location-specific phrases.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is a marketing strategy used to improve the visibility of a business in a specific geographic location. Local SEO focuses on optimizing the Google  Business profile of the company to rank higher in local search results.

National SEO Keywords Vs. Local SEO Keywords

The keywords you use for National, and Local SEO marks the difference between these two organic marketing strategies. 

National SEO keywords are typically broader, highly-searched terms, focusing less on location. They are suitable for businesses with a wide range of product or service offerings and are useful for targeting customers in any part of the country.

Air conditioning systems national SEO

Local SEO keywords are more specific, less-searched terms focused on a particular business location. It consists of keywords related to the city, town, or region the business is targeting. 

Air conditioning systems local SEO

Advantages of National SEO

Here are the significant benefits of National SEO:

  • Your business gets increased online visibility across the entire country. Since National SEO optimizes your site for rankings across the country, you can target more competitive searches and drive lots of organic traffic. 
  • Your website is optimized for relevant searches for different locations countrywide. The scope of National SEO is much broader than Local SEO.
  • Your business is ranked in the top three organic search results, which gets over 75% of clicks
  • Not just clicks, the user experience of your entire site is improved, which leads to more conversions.
  • Since more people can find your business online at a national level, the chances of your brand receiving more endorsements on social media increases.
  • You also receive increased footfalls in different retail outlets across the entire country as most online searchers can find your brand online.

How to Perfect Your National SEO

Here are things you can do to improve your National SEO campaign:

  • Boost the user experience of your website by ensuring it loads faster and accurately on different mobile devices. 
  • Optimize the internal linking structure so that any link on your site is no farther than three clicks. 
  • Perfect the overall SEO of your website by optimizing the meta tags, heading tags, URL structure, CTAs, and other crucial things that can impact organic rankings.
    Sunglasses for men
  • Add high-quality content on your site regularly since Google prefers sites that keep their site updated with fresh and accurate content.
  • Leverage the power of SEO copywriting to optimize the content relevance score of your target landing pages.
  • Engage in link-building activities to acquire links from websites with your target country-level domain extension. For instance, you should get links from .co.uk domains if your target market is the UK.
  • Take the help of PR agencies and publish articles featuring your business in prominent national publications.
  • Use major social media platforms to engage with audiences and build relationships. 
  • Develop partnerships with other businesses in your industry that have a national reach.
  • Participate in or sponsor major national events and activities relevant to your business.

Advantages of Local SEO

Here are the top benefits of local SEO:

  • Improved rankings in search engines for keywords relevant to your specific location.
  • Higher click-through rates from local searches result in more traffic to your site with higher conversions.
  • Increased trust in your business when customers see your brand in the top three results for location-based queries. 
  • Less advertising costs as your business starts to rank organically so that you don't need to invest in costly PPC campaigns.
  • Decreased threat from local competition since Local SEO aims to optimize your GMB listing to acquire high local pack rankings. 

How to Perfect Your Local SEO

There are several things you can do to improve your local SEO. These include:

  • Claim and verify your business listing on major online directories like Google My Business, Yahoo Local, and Bing Places for Business.
  • Use NAP consistency on all the pages of your site and across the web. NAP consistency refers to the accuracy of your business name, address, and phone number on different local directories such as Google My Business, Bing Local, Yelp, FourSquare, Superpages, etc.
  • Engage in social media marketing activities that target local audiences within your target city.
  • Participate in or sponsor community events and activities within your target city to improve branding. 
  • Collect lots of customer reviews for your Google Business listing because more positive reviews help to boost trust. 
    Google Business Reviews
  • Leverage the power of content marketing to create content based on local events because your target audiences are more likely to interact with them.
  • Gain high-quality backlinks and take the help of local influencers to improve your business reach and authority. 

The Similarities ​Between National and Local SEO

The two types of SEO have a lot in common. Both have a goal of helping your business rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), and both use lots of similar strategies to achieve that goal.

Here are the top similarities between National and Local SEO:

  • Both share a common goal of improving the visibility of a business in search results.
  • Keyword selection remains a primary strategy because the entire SEO strategy is based on the type of keywords selected.
  • Press release and link building are crucial for National and Local SEO since search engines track brand mentions across regional and local newspapers.
  • The primary KPIs for both these SEO types are ranking and lead generation. 

SEO Platforms to Use for National SEO and Local SEO

National SEO Platforms

Five platforms that are commonly used for national SEO:

Google Search Console - The best platform to manage your entire website. This is a free service provided by Google that helps identify and fix all the SEO issues in your website to improve its organic presence.

Google Search Console

Google Analytics - A popular analytics platform offered by Google that helps you measure the performance of your website.

Google Tag Manager - A tag management system that allows you to add and manage tags on your website.

Moz Pro SEO - A comprehensive suite of tools that help you research, track, and analyze your SEO efforts.

SEMrush - A widely used SEO software that helps with keyword research, rank tracking, SEO auditing, content optimization, link building, and other activities to boost your overall SEO strategy.

Local SEO Platforms

Here are some of the top platforms you can use for Local SEO:

Google Business - Google Business is the most popular platform for local SEO. It allows you to manage your business presence on Google.com. You can create, claim, and optimize your listing to perfect your Local SEO strategy. 

Bing Places for Business - Bing Places for Business is another popular platform for local SEO. It allows you to manage your business presence on Bing.com. 

Bing places

Brightlocal - Offers a suite of tools to generate more traffic and leads from local search. The robust citation tracking and citation-building tools help elevate your Local SEO strategy drastically. 

Whitespark - Another popular local SEO tool that offers three useful software - local rank tracker, reputation builder, and local citation finder to help your business get found locally.

Measuring Both National SEO and Local SEO

National SEO

The most popular tools for measuring your national SEO performance are Google Analytics and Google Search Console. You can also use the Bing Webmasters Tools if you are targeting Bing along with Google.

Here are some tips for measuring the National SEO performance of your website:

Identify your top organic search terms: You can use Google Search Console to identify the top organic search terms that bring traffic to your website. It will help you determine the most important keywords for your business.

Track your website rankings: You can use tools such as the SEOptimer keyword tracking tool to track your website rankings on different keywords. Rank tracking will help evaluate the progress of your SEO strategy and find the keywords that are moving up or down in the rankings.

SEOptimer keyword tracking tool

Measure your organic traffic: You can use Google Analytics or other analytics platforms to measure the amount of organic traffic your website gets. This will help you determine how your National SEO campaign impacts your site's organic traffic.

Measure the number of organic conversions: You can use Google Analytics to set goals and track the number of organic conversions happening on your site. This will help you identify the actual ROI of your National SEO campaign. 

Local SEO

Here are some tips for measuring the Local SEO performance of your business:

Track your business rankings on local search: You can use tools such as SEOptimer to track your website rankings on local search. Rank tracking will help evaluate the progress of your Local SEO strategy and find the keywords generating the maximum GMB impressions and website clicks.

Track the traffic your website receives from local directories: Apart from the traffic your website receives from Google, Yahoo, and Bing, you can use Google Analytics to filter the traffic you are getting from popular local business directories such as Yelp or Hotfrog.

Measure the number of organic conversions: You can use Google Analytics to set goals and track the number of organic conversions from local keywords. This will help you identify the actual ROI of your Local SEO campaign. 

Google Analytics Goals

Find the number of clicks you are getting from your GMB listing: You can use the Google My Business Insights tool to measure your website's impressions, clicks, and engagement of your GMB listing.

National and Local SEO Services

National SEO services

National SEO firms offer a broader range of services than local SEO companies. National SEO services comprise a wide range of offerings such as keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, content marketing, PR marketing, SEO reporting, etc., to rank a business website on the first page of the search results.

Local SEO Services

Local SEO companies are much smaller than National SEO service providers, but they offer dedicated local SEO experts. Local SEO services consist of keyword research, GMB profile creation, GMB optimization, content marketing, citation building, link building, SEO reporting, etc., to optimize the business presence on local search results.

The best way to determine which type of SEO is right for your business is to evaluate your goals and objectives. If you want to expand your business beyond your local market, national SEO is the right choice. Local SEO may be suitable for you if you focus on attracting customers in your local area.

No matter which type of SEO you choose, optimizing your website for search engine visibility is vital. It includes making sure your website is coded correctly, has a strong backlinks profile, and has high-quality content.

How to Optimize for Local SEO?

To optimize your website for local search, you'll want to ensure that the company name and address are listed accurately on every page of your website. 

Additionally, it is crucial to ensure that your business information (phone number and email) is consistent across all the other websites on the web where your business listing is present.

Carmelina's Google Listing

Carmelina's Yelp Listing

Your site must also use content marketing to create and distribute content relevant to the area where you want to attract customers. Local SEO is all about local search, so you'll want to create pages specific to the place where you'd like your business to be found by local searchers. 

Here are the steps to optimize your site for Local SEO:

Step 1: Identify the keywords and search engines where you want to rank your business on local search results.

Step 2: Create, claim and optimize your Google Business, Bing, Yelp, Yahoo, Hotfrog, and other prominent local listing directories that customers use to find and research businesses similar to yours.

Step 3: Set up Google Search Console and Google Analytics so that you can track and measure the success of your SEO strategy.

Step 4: Optimize for NAP consistency to avoid discrepancies in your business name, address, or phone number across the web.

Step 5: Acquire high-authority backlinks to your site from relevant local websites. 

Step 6: Get more reviews and citations for your business. Persuade customers to leave a review about your business. 

Step 7: Measure the progress using Google Search Console and Google Analytics and fix the bottlenecks to perfect your Local SEO strategy.

How to Optimize for National SEO?

Optimizing your website for national SEO is similar to optimizing for local SEO, except that you'll want to target broader keywords that are relevant to your business. 

Sporting Goods Store SERP National SEO

You'll also have to make sure your website is coded for optimal user experience and that you have a strong backlinks profile. Additionally, it is crucial to ensure your website is mobile-friendly so that your customer can find your business using mobile devices.

Here are the steps to optimize your site for National SEO:

Step 1: Research keywords that can bring new customers to your business. You can take the help of SEO keyword research tools such as Ahrefs to find the best keywords to target.

Step 2: Set up Google Search Console and Google Analytics so that you can track and measure the success of your SEO strategy.

Step 3: Optimize the technical SEO of your website, such as meta tags, heading tags, URL structure, internal linking structure, page speed, content, schema data, etc.

Step 4: Acquire high-authority links from relevant sites to improve the reputation of your domain.

Step 5: Gain positive PR for your brand from reputed national and international publications. 

Step 6: Measure the progress and fix the bottlenecks to perfect your SEO strategy.

Conclusion

SEO is an essential part of any business marketing strategy. By optimizing your website for better search engine visibility, you can reach more potential customers and increase traffic to your site. 

More traffic to your site means more customers, ultimately leading to increased sales and growth.

As discussed in this article, both National SEO and Local SEO are crucial for businesses.

If you are running a company serving customers countrywide, you should invest in National SEO. If you are a local business owner serving customers in a particular city, you should opt for Local SEO. 

Selecting the right SEO strategy is essential to give you the best returns on your marketing investment.