Almost half of the world’s population, approximately 4.57 billion people use the internet today.
Smart marketers know that digital marketing is indeed the future and will remain so for years to come. Take Google, the leading search engine, for example.
That businesses have to be on the internet is undebatable. The only question is how. Enter SEO.
Local SEO vs National SEO: The Basics of SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), essentially means making improvements on your site to increase its visibility. Increased visibility means more drawing more traffic to your website, which then increases your leads and opportunities for conversion.
This is achieved by:
- creating useful content that answers questions, your audience is seeking when doing a local search
- keyword optimization that attracts humans and search engines alike
- crawl accessibility that allows search engines to crawl and interpret your site
- an optimal user experience comprising of excellent UX and good speeds
- content people want to share, link to and cite
- URL, title and descriptions that bring in high Click-Through Rates (CTR)
- snippet markup that stands out in Search Engine Results Page (SERPS)
Is SEO Still Relevant in 2020?
While there is social media, paid ads, and several other means of driving traffic to your website, the bulk of online traffic is driven by search engines.
The main reason why this is so is that a local search gives organic results.
Paid advertisements are open to some interference by the advertiser. And companies can buy likes and followers on their social media platforms to make their brands appear more popular than they actually are.
However, organic search results seem more reliable to savvy searchers. They are also known to garner more interest by way of more clicks.
Research has already shown that only a dismal number of people will click on paid adverts. In a nutshell, relying on these alone is unlikely to support your digital marketing initiatives adequately.
The other thing you notice is that paid advertising is something you need to spend resources on time and time again. On the other hand, when you correctly set up your SEO, your business will reap its benefits over time.
In a sense, good content keeps bringing in traffic, while paid advertisements require constant funding.
While search engine algorithms are becoming more intelligent, they still need to be helped along. Optimizing your site helps give better-targeted information so that your content can be appropriately indexed.
It then helps to understand the basics of both local SEO and national SEO and how each plays into your digital marketing mix.
Local SEO vs National SEO
While SEO should be a staple in your digital marketing strategy, all SEO is not equal.
Local SEO uses local keywords and is useful for businesses with a local vs. national reach. National SEO, on the other hand, is suitable for bigger companies reaching for a national or global audience.
Fundamentally both serve the same function: to rank highly and get maximum traffic. This is important because the more traffic you drive to your site, the more leads and ultimately, the more conversions you can make.
The goals for businesses, is then to rank higher than competitors on Google and other search engines.
The statistics say it all. The first page of Google gets 71% of search clicks; some sources place it at 92%. In the same vein, the first five searches get 67.6% of clicks, with the remaining five getting just under 4%.
What does this say? To remain competitive, you must aim to be in the first page of search engine results, and be among the top picks. SEO helps get you there.
While local and national SEO have the same functions, they differ in many ways as well.
What Is National SEO?
To understand how national SEO compares to local SEO, It’s first important to understand both local and national SEO.
National SEO functions much the same as local SEO; only it’s SEO for national business. These can be businesses with a regional or national or international presence. Think eCommerce store, chain stores, franchises, and law firms.
Here are some SEO strategies to include in your national SEO.
- Create a mobile-friendly site with a smooth user experience for your business
- utilize advanced keyword research to find top keywords for your field of operation
- add keywords to specific pages of your site using keyword mapping
- Use on-page SEO metatags to make your site search engine friendly. You can use meta tags, URL strings, and heading tags
- Build excellent content for your business that you can use for link building
- It’s important to note that content is at the heart of national SEO campaigns.
- The quality of your content will ultimately determine how well you rank among competitors nationally. It will also affect your link building initiatives.
What about Local SEO?
An online presence today is important regardless of whether you are running an e-commerce business or a brick and mortar business.
97% of consumers search for local businesses online before making purchase decisions. Additional studies show that as many as 50% of online searchers will visit a business they found online the same day. You want a local search to surface results on your business in order to get a slice of the market share.
What does this mean? This says that if you are difficult to find, customers will see your competitors, and you can potentially lose a lot of business in this manner.
This goes past Google. People in your locale will also look for businesses in your industry on Apple maps, Bing, Yelp and so on.
Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business account and leveraging reviews also help in building your SEO.
There are several factors to think about when planning a local SEO campaign for your business.
The keys ones are where your customers live and what appeals to them.
With this in mind, use the following SEO marketing strategies:
- Make sure to include the name of the city where your business is consistently throughout your website, so a local search brings you up
- Use the name of the city in your web content, i.e., blog posts, service pages, and so on
- Create multiple pages on your site for the different locations your business is in. This increases the probability of a local search leading the reader to one of your pages
- Include your business NAP and accurate details on social media profiles
Even with the above marketing strategies in place, search engines keep updating their ranking factors. This makes it imperative to keep updating your skills to enable you to keep up with your competition.
Local Video SEO
The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than it does written text.
If video SEO is not part of your marketing arsenal, you are losing out on great opportunities to connect with prospective clients.
Because videos are more entertaining and exciting to watch than reading blocks of text, they are a great way to draw traffic to your site.
This makes a YouTube strategy just as important as a Google marketing strategy.
Here are a few reasons why:
- YouTube gets an average of 5 billion views every day
- Internet users will rather watch a video than reading text, and they indeed spend more time on videos
- there is lower competition on visuals than there is on keywords
- proper video SEO improves your ranking
- Since in-content SEO is just as crucial as video SEO, combining the two gives you both worlds’ best. Better still, this is something you can do before your competitors catch on.
Here are a few tips to get you started.
- Make sure to use keywords in video titles
- Geotag videos, so they are associated with your business location
- Include NAP data to help your content rank highly
- Transcribe and do lengthy video descriptions using relevant keywords
- Provide a link to your website in the video’s description
- Promote videos on your business’ social media platforms
- Embed your YouTube videos on your website
Local video SEO, done properly, is one way to build your brand, connect with customers and improve your local SEO all at the same time.
National SEO vs Local SEO: Key Differences
Understanding both local SEO and national SEO strategies makes it much easier to understand their differences.
The main one is the location. Local SEO is best used when targeting people in a specified area. The premise is that your primary customers will be members that reside in your community.
For this reason, local SEO is the best strategy for small and medium-sized businesses as it allows the business to target a smaller group. Not only is this more effective, but it is also cost-effective.
Regional, national, and international businesses are better off with national SEO.
Essential, a small business will be wasting resources marketing to people in areas it does not exist in. Equally, a national company will be doing itself a disservice by not implementing a national SEO campaign.
Location Based Keywords
Save for geographical coverage, the keywords used are another huge differentiator between local SEO and national SEO.
National businesses do not need to fuss much about location based keywords. The reason for this is simple. A large e-commerce site that will deliver anywhere in the country does not seed to state a location. The same goes for companies with a local presence in most cities. The fact that their clientele can find them at their site negates the need to use location based keywords.
Local businesses on the hand require to include a location if clients are to find them.
If one is looking for a contractor in Bainville, they might search “contractors in Bainville’’ or ‘’Contractors near me’’.
Keep in mind too that Google surfaces results based on the user device’s GPS location.
If you have used keywords in your business name and your content that includes ”Bainville”, your business becomes easier to find than one without the geotag.
Local SEO vs SEO on a national level: Cost factor
Local SEO, by virtue of geographical coverage, tends to be more cost-effective.
On the other hand, campaigns with a national reach take up more resources. The amounts spent are much higher. Aside from finances, national SEO is also time and labor-intensive.
Top Reasons Why You Should Use a Local SEO Company
While the importance of local SEO is undeniable, the devil, as they say, is in the details.
Local SEO entails a lot of processes, metrics, analytics, and even KPI measurement. This can be overwhelming for small business owners with little knowledge of digital marketing.
A better, more effective alternative is hiring a local SEO firm to manage your local SEO strategy.
Here are a few reasons why you should consider this.
1. Better Targeted local SEO strategies
To be successful, local SEO companies invest heavily in metrics. They carry out extensive market research to find out where clients are, purchasing power, demographics, what they respond to, and so on.
This is the benefit you pay for when you bring one on board. When you know who your audience is, content creation becomes much easier.
2. More attention to your business
It takes a lot of time and attention to start and grow a business. Outsourcing your local SEO means you allow a professional to handle your local SEO, as you focus on what you do best.
Instead of learning all the intricacies of local SEO while juggling finances, employees, suppliers, and others, a local SEO company is definitely a great place to put some dollars.
3. Experience and Expertise
You can avoid some expensive mistakes by hiring professionals.
It’s okay to want to be more involved in your digital marketing, and you can do this in good time. However, as you set up your business and are quickly trying to gain some traction, you do not want to waste valuable time leaning and learning basic local SEO.
By hiring professionals, they can get you set up and you can gradually learn a few tips and tricks should you want to take over this function later on.
4. Remain at Par
Think about it. Your competition is probably using an excellent local SEO marketing service.
To remain competitive, you not only need excellent local SEO, but you need to be a step ahead of the competition.
A local SEO company will probably have a firm understanding of who your competition is and what they are doing with their digital marketing strategy. This is information you can use to improve your campaigns, target clients better, and yes-outdo your competition.
Local SEO VS National SEO: Which Is Best?
While the two serve the same functions, they are still incomparable to some degree. The best option ultimately depends on an individual business and its goals.
If you have more questions regarding SEO and what strategy would work best for your business, kindly contact us here.