Understanding the difference between local and national SEO

If you have a business with an online presence and are looking at incorporating search engine optimisation (SEO) into your marketing plans, it is important that you understand fully the two main branches of SEO available to you.

These two branches of SEO are known as Local SEO and National SEO.

Whilst both follow similar premises – with both attempting to achieve a similar goal: getting you more visibility and in turn, more revenue – the strategies are notably different for a number of reasons – reasons which we will go over in this blog.

Local and National Similarities

Before we go over where local and national SEO campaigns differ it is important to look at their similarities to avoid confusion. When a company takes on a national or a local campaign, the goal is always the same – to rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs) resulting in increased traffic to said site and increased conversions on that site.

Both approaches share some similar strategies:

  • Link Building – developing healthy links from one site to another healthy site is the backbone of SEO.
  • Guest Posting – A heavily weighted ranking factor for both local and national. Having guests from other established sites write blogs about or for your own site helps establish healthy backlinks that directs more traffic to your site.

Main Differences between Local and National

Now it’s time to take a look at what sets these two approaches apart. When we compare local and national campaigns obviously the most notable difference is the size of the campaign. Targeting local markets is obviously going to contain much less potential traffic than a national campaign. And to approach these two campaigns we must use different keywords in our approach.

Local keywords tend to involve geo-specific keywords, such as “Sofa Upholstery Brisbane”. This is a typical local keyword; it identifies the specific service they are looking for as well as the area they need it in.

With a national campaign keywords can be more generic and don’t require any localisation: “Sports trainers” or “Cheap Holidays” are more typical national keyword structures. National keywords are targeting a much wider audience but will be competing with other businesses on a scale that you don’t get with local.

Budgets are also a major difference. These generic keywords targeted across a national campaign will require a much bigger budget and added manpower than a local campaign which would need to target a much smaller demographic.

With increased budgets for national campaigns, marketers are also able to better utilise social media. Sometimes balancing numerous social media accounts simultaneously to help boost awareness and build more SEO links.

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