Ready To Rank: Local SEO Vs National SEO

Are you ready to rank your web pages?      local vs national seo

The search engine optimization (SEO) is an industry that’s growing very rapidly.

This is because more and more businesses are beginning to realize the importance of visibility online.

Increased visibility online typically translates to increased revenue and business owners tend to like increased revenue. Everyone does, actually.

SEO strategies can be applied to virtually any business that has an online presence; however there are two distinct search engine optimization strategies that businesses can employ depending on their type of company.

These two strategies are local SEO and national SEO and although they do share some similarities, but they’re also very different in many ways.


Similarities between Local and National SEO

Due to the fact that the goal of both national and local SEO is to optimize for search engines, it makes sense that they would share some similarities.


Similar Principles

Essentially the principles of local and national SEO are the same as they have the same endgame. The ultimate goal is to rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs) to increase traffic and conversions (i.e. revenue).

Where these two differ is in the ways they reach this end goal of increased rankings.

Although there are some substantial differences in the techniques used to improve SEO in regards to national or local, there are some strategies that can be applied to both.


Shared Strategies

As mentioned before, there are a couple of strategies that are useful for both national and local SEO. The main strategy that both have in common is link building, and in particular, guest posting and acquiring backlinks on resource pages.

Guest posting for backlinks is something that can be effective for both smaller local businesses and larger national corporations as backlinks remain a heavily weighted ranking factor for the SERPs.

Some of the more intricate aspects of guest posting such as which keywords to target or the types of websites to guest post on differ between local and national campaigns, but the basic strategy of guest posting is the same.

Acquiring backlinks from resource pages is another strategy that can be applicable for both national and local search engine optimization.

Typically a site will have a resource page where they list relevant sites or resources and this is an opportunity to acquire some valuable backlinks.

Once again, the basic strategy here is the same although each respective campaign will often be targeting very different sites for different reasons.


Differences between local and national SEO

Yes, there are some basic similarities in the principles of national and local SEO and they both employ some of the same strategies, the two are actually quite different in many aspects.


Keyword Differences

One major difference between national and local SEO is the types of keywords they target and attempt to rank well for.

National SEO campaigns typically have larger budgets and more man-power which allows them to target generic keywords such as “divorce attorney” and have success.

Smaller local businesses do not have the means to conduct these types of campaigns, nor would it make sense for them as a local business.

Rather, a local SEO campaign would be targeting geo-specific keywords such as “Denver divorce attorney” as these would make more sense in terms of their potential customers.

These types of keywords also have less competition, making it easier for a local company to rank for them.


Local SEO Citations

Another major difference between local and national SEO is that the former involves local citations. Local citations are unique to local SEO and don’t factor into national SEO campaigns.

A local citation is simply when your business’s NAP (name, address, and phone number) information is listed on another site. These citations are significant as they are weighted heavily in regards to local search results.

Maintaining consistent NAP information throughout the various citations a site receives is important as any inconsistencies can decrease local SEO value. Here are some examples of where sites can get local SEO citations:

These are just some of the many sites available to local businesses that can provide tremendous local SEO value through citations. Remember that SEO is a fundamental aspect of content marketing. Please read on to get the full gist.


Use of Social Media

Another area where national and local SEO campaigns differ a bit is in how they utilize social media.

As mentioned before, national SEO campaigns tend to have more resources available to them, which means they can better manage their respective social media accounts.

In terms of search engine optimization, social media can bolster link building efforts through social sharing.

In regards to local SEO social media may be more difficult to manage for a small business. However, it is important that they at least create a Google+ business page as it ties in directly to the aforementioned Google+ Local.


Google+ Local

Google+ Local is an internal search platform within Google that is specifically designed for local results.

Unlike other SERPs, which are predominantly influenced by backlinks, the rankings in Google+ are determined by a combination of quantity and quality of Google+ Local reviews.

This is why it is so important to maintain a quality Google+ Business Page, as it is an integral part of garnering those positive reviews.

Google+ Local also includes a map that shows the locations of the top ranking results.

This will further increase the importance of ranking in these Google+ Local SERPs as ranking position could mean the difference between gaining a customer and lost business.

Google+ Local is specific to local searches and one of the many distinctive differences between national and local SEO campaigns.


Local vs National SEO Recap

Although there are some basic similarities between local and national SEO, there are also some stark contrasts between the two as well.

Depending on the business and their specific goals, one strategy may be more effective or applicable than the other.

Regardless of whether it’s for a local or national campaign, businesses continue to realize the value and importance of SEO and as a result the industry continues to grow and develop.

What’s your view on this topic? Share your comments below and meet me at the top!

About the Author – Paul Richardson specializes in small business marketing and local SEO. He currently writes on behalf of LocalVox and spends his free time on the tennis court.

39 thoughts on “Ready To Rank: Local SEO Vs National SEO”

  1. Hello!

    This is such a good post. Thank you for sharing this. Yes, local citations are unique to local SEO and don’t factor into national SEO campaigns.


  2. My recommendation is to learn local citation research like the back of your hand. For local SEO in competitive regions/niches, you’re going to have to find citation sources other than the major Yext and GetListed sources.

    Many of you probably know of Whitespark, but using competitive research together with your own methods to find citation opportunities works great.

  3. It is really an informative blog post on Local SEO and Global SEO. Recently, I am trying to rank for some dry cleaners Keywords for a company and everything is going right. But Today, I know that I am following wrong tactics for local SEO because I don’t have any good knowledge of Google Local Search.

    And It really helps me to get ranking for those keywords for a local country very easily. Thanks for sharing such a good content with us…

  4. Now days, Blogging going tough day by day therefore SEO is main subject. Because Without SEO you never get rank in top in search.

    One of the best strategy is finding keywords because you may get tentative ideas of competition.

  5. SEO is very important for our international and local business, your concepts are clear. Thanks for the shared this post with us. I really enjoying this post. Looking forward new post from you Micheal.

  6. Many thanks a whole lot regarding expressing this kind of information.Thank you very much for this lovely piece of information. I have learned a lot just by reading this article.

  7. Hi Micheal.
    I really appreciate what you provided here.
    I think Local SEO and National SEO, both of them have their own ability and strong way to do their jobs, And the way you explain about them is really attractive and easy to understand.
    I absolutely have to share it to my friends.
    Thanks for your informative article.


  8. all I have to say here is that this article is a nice. SEO when done correctly truly can deliver good results in terms of traffic, leads and sales.

  9. SEO is very important and your concept is good.
    Your style is so unique compared to many other people thank you for sharing the info I found helpful details.

  10. I truly appreciate this local and national search engine optimization information provided by you, Michael. Please continue to providing these types because I’m learning so many new stuffs about free traffic methods.

  11. Hello Michael,
    You have well explain about Local SEO Vs National SEO! Both have their quality in their own ways & I’m really very happy to know come more close about Local SEO Vs National SEO just because of you Michael, Great thanks to you.

  12. This was a great comparison of local and national SEO. The difficult part of local is, in my experience, many small business owners don’t understand it and when it’s explained to them, they get the idea that they either still don’t need it or they can do it by themselves. Sad par tis they never do.

    • You’re correct Todd. Local business owners really don’t understand the importance of running a local seo campaign. They need a lot of convincing to sign the deal. But I believe over time, they’ll seek it.

  13. Local SEO has always been easier to rank for than national SEO. I work on a website for a friend of mine who as a business here in town.

    It’s a lot easier to keep her site ranked than to rank a new niche site. Doesn’t mean it’s not possible but it just takes more time.

    Thanks for sharing these tips, have a great week.

  14. A used to go for National SEO but since I found local seo more effective I left that behind. For local there is not so much competition, so it is much easier to rank. Sometimes I don;t nedd to do anything to get high position. It is all about choosing good niche and keywords.

  15. It’s a very comprehensive article, Michael. I have always heard, read, and acknowledged the importance of SEO and I know that there are 2 different kinds. But I haven’t really went beyond knowing what it is to understanding how both can be effectively used by different kinds of businesses.

    This article changed that. Thanks for the insightful information!

    I found this post on, the IM content aggregator site. I also left my comment there.

  16. hey Fakhri

    Local SEO may be easy nowadays, but it won’t be that easy in the next years, because more and more people are finding about these strategies and competition is getting bigger

    The same happened with general listing SEO and SERPs. Results are nowadays very fluctuating, yet I’ve found ways to thrive with Google… I own a small network of 300+ niche blogs and aged domains, and still make money with my sites…

    If any of you guys are interested to hear about my ranking methods and unique approach to Google and SEO, you could download the free PDF I give to my subscribers…

  17. Excellent contribution Michael – Local SEO tends to be easier to handle. But also, we can use the local ideas to initiate a national campaign and get results.

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