The Differences Between Local and National SEO
Every business is going to have a unique combination of marketing techniques that work well to bring in new customers, and their unique combination is going to adjust over time to continue being as effective as possible. One part of most marketing plans today is search engine optimization (SEO), but within this, there are tons of variables to consider. When creating an SEO plan to market a business, understanding the differences between local and national SEO are crucial.
What is SEO and How Does it Work?
Search engine optimization determines how high a website appears in search results. Search engines like Google use a sophisticated algorithm to decide which sites are going to place higher than others. The search engines base the ranking on features such as usability and how well a website fits what the user might be searching for.
SEO techniques used for marketing are designed to adjust the ranking for a website, enabling it to rank higher for specific keywords. Users are more likely to discover that website instead of visiting a competitor. Business owners looking to boost the ranking for their website will want to consider whether they want to use local or national SEO. There are quite a few differences they should be aware of before they decide.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is designed to boost the websites’ ranking within a specific area. This is often used for businesses that are within a particular location, such as a small business. This enables search engine users to find a company that’s local to them. For instance, a restaurant in Calgary would use SEO designed to help their website to be seen by people in the same city as the restaurant. People living in Edmonton will likely not be interested in learning about a restaurant they’d have to fly to visit.
The keywords used for local SEO are generally location-specific. Instead of just searching for a restaurant, search engine users would search for a restaurant in Calgary. Businesses can attract people who are more likely to be interested in their business. Folks who are more likely to visit it instead of optimizing their website to reach people who are not likely going to be interested in the business.
What is National SEO?
National SEO is designed to boost a website’s ranking nationally, instead of in a specific area. This is more commonly used for national chains or for places that want to reach customers throughout the nation or the world. A local restaurant may use national SEO if they attract people from all over who might be interested in stopping by. Especially if they’re visiting the city, the restaurant is located in. They might also be selling products online that might be of interest to those living further away.
Keywords for national SEO tend to be more generic and do not focus on a specific location. Using the same restaurant example, national SEO keywords might include the type of restaurant or something the restaurant is known for. National SEO is geared more toward branding and having a much further reach. Allowing businesses to find customers – no matter where they’re located and helping businesses become more of a national brand instead of a local one.
Different Keywords for a Different Focus
One of the most significant differences is what keywords are used for local or national SEO. Local keywords tend to be long-tail keywords. This means they include a specific location, such as a city and province. Users in that location will then be able to see the website in the search results when they’re looking for something the business offers.
National SEO keywords are short-tail keywords, which means they’re generally much shorter and do not include a specific location. Users in any area will be able to find the website when they’re searching, even if they aren’t close enough to visit the business in person. The specific keywords can be similar between local or national campaigns; it’s whether there is a location included that generally makes a difference.
Amount of Competition for Rankings
The amount of competition for the top spots in the search results varies between local or national SEO. With local results, there are far fewer businesses competing for the same place in the search results. This tends to mean a higher ranking is not only easier to achieve but that it can be done more quickly.
National SEO, on the other hand, generally means there is a lot more competition for the highest spots in the search results. The SEO techniques used may be very different as they need to be fine-tuned to ensure the website ranks highly amongst all of the competition for the keywords. Keywords can be adjusted to account for competition. They still need to be carefully chosen to ensure search engine users will be able to find the business.