Should you use local SEO or national SEO?
Let’s get one thing straight – local SEO and national SEO both have their place, and it is possible to use both approaches. But what’s the difference? And where should you focus your efforts?
The difference between national SEO and local SEO
Using national SEO practices will help you to drive traffic from online users across the country, irrespective of location. Of course, search engine competition is going to be higher, but ultimately this will yield you a larger volume of traffic and is an ideal focus if you operate on a nationwide scale – for example, a UK ecommerce website delivering products across the UK would be best recommended working on their national SEO, sometimes even international SEO if they are run globally, to get more website traffic.
Alternatively, Local SEO implementation will optimise your website within a local radius and drive traffic from online users in your chosen geographical area.
The biggest difference between local and national SEO is the keywords you will use in each strategy. National SEO focuses on non-geographical keywords. Local SEO focuses on local towns and locations, embedding them as keywords.
Larger corporations tend to focus more heavily on nationwide SEO, but most businesses tend to do a hybrid of both – remember, your SEO strategy should be individual to you and your business needs and goals.
Do I have to implement local SEO?
In short, yes! Even if you are a national company, you most likely should be. 43% of all Google searches are location oriented, and furthermore, around 50% of mobile searches have local intentions. If your business serves areas locally, you’re going to fall way behind your competitors if you are not utilising locally orientated keywords and localised SEO practices.
So, even if you run on a national scale, you are not immune! If you work on a local level across the country – and this applies to you even if it’s just the one local office you have, or if you don’t have physical bricks and mortar – you need to be optimising your website for each geographical area your physical or metaphorical branches are situated in. This is a lot of graft and requires focus on your SEO strategy for multiple individual geographical areas, but you will reap the rewards when it comes to driving local business and standing out over other local competitors. Leave no stone unturned and ensure you are optimising your site for every area you serve consumers within.
How do I optimise my website for local SEO?
It is estimated that 97% of consumers conduct online searches for local businesses to find local, specific products and services before making a purchase decision. For Local SEO, think about optimising your website around keywords that are locally focused, such as ‘solicitors near me,’ ‘solicitors in York,’ ‘solicitors near York,’ ‘solicitors in West Yorkshire.’ Long-tailed, geographical keywords have high conversion rates. Make sure you use the location names themselves, e.g., ‘York,’ across your website. Focus on local link building – reach out to other businesses, directories and newsbrands in your area to arrange credible links in and out of your website.
You should also create pages on your business website for each location you serve. You can visit LOCALiQ’s location pages for ideas on how you can create content around the geographies you serve. Furthermore, if you have physical locations, ensure you create consistent Google My Business profiles for each one – you can find out how to do this here with our GMB guide.
Furthermore, use location names in your URLs, headers, meta titles and meta descriptions. Delve into our LOCALiQ SEO handbook for more information!
Do I need national SEO?
If you would like to reach consumers outside of your target location, then implementing national SEO strategies into your website is a big, fat yes. You need to think about the same principles as you would with local SEO – creditable, organic, reputable national link building.
How do I optimise my website for national SEO?
When it comes to developing a national SEO strategy alongside your local SEO plan, you need to focus on your brand name or a key, priority product or service that you want to rank for.
The key to a successful national SEO campaign is a high-quality website which implementing all SEO strategies – local SEO, basic SEO, on-page SEO, technical SEO and off-page SEO. Yes, there really are that many elements to it! If that’s thrown you, head to our guide to SEO which breaks this down for you.
What are the pros and cons of local and national SEO?
Local SEO is moderately more targeted than national SEO, making it easier for your website to rank in local organic searches. It tends to be quicker to boost your website SERP ranking and optimise your website on a local level than national, because it’s less competitive.
National SEO campaigns will reach a larger audience, but they are extremely competitive. If you are a larger corporation, national SEO strategy will deliver extraordinary organic results in the long term but doing so requires a bigger pocket and a lot more work.
To discuss an SEO strategy that’s tailored and unique to your business, have a chat with us today.