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Local SEO vs. National SEO, which is right for your Website?

Understanding the difference between Local SEO vs National Search Engine Optimization

What is SEO?

The SEO definition is: “The process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.” (source: Oxford Languages Dictionary on Google)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become a crucial component of digital marketing. As the competition in the online space keeps growing, businesses are relentlessly looking for ways to improve their website’s ranking on search engines.

SEO is a strategy that’s effective in increasing your website’s visibility, which in turn drives more traffic and leads. However, Search Engine Optimization isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution- what works for one business may not work for another.

National and local SEO are two common strategies that businesses use. In this post, we will explore the difference between the two, including suggestions on when and how to use them.

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National SEO: What is National Search Engine Optimization?

National SEO targets the entire country and aims at giving a website a more nationalized appeal. This strategy is best suited for businesses that depend on the Internet to reach a broader audience.

National Search Engine Optimization involves comprehensive marketing efforts, including optimizing website content, creating high-quality backlinks, and utilizing social media platforms. It requires a broader approach because there is no guarantee that the keywords that rank high in one location will perform the same in another area.

The goal of National SEO is to achieve a high ranking on search engines for the entire country. It’s more general and doesn’t take into account geographical nuances.

Table of Contents

What is SEO?

National Search Engine Optimization

eCommerce and SEO

Localized SEO

Difference between National and Local SEO


Pro tip

Content is King! Good content is the most important aspect of Search Engine Optimization. Technical SEO doesn’t matter without good content.

eCommerce and SEO

SEO for e commerce is usually a national strategy. E Commerce sales of products and/or services are trying to attract a national market for their goods. The first step is to make sure you have a good website that uses SEO for ecommerce strategies.

Your website copy needs to tell visitors your products are offered across the U.S. and be sure to use long-tailed keywords that express details about your products.

Localized SEO: What is Local Search Engine Optimization?

On the other hand, local SEO mainly targets potential customers in a specific geographic area, like a city or region. This strategy is suitable for businesses that rely on foot traffic or serve a limited geographical area.

SEO for local businesses focuses on optimizing the business listing on Google My Business, optimizing content with local keywords, getting listed on local directories, and getting local reviews. The goal of local SEO is to get the business to appear in the top three Google Maps rankings.

There are significant differences between national and local SEO.

1) National SEO requires a more extensive content strategy that targets the entire country’s audience, whereas local SEO needs geo-specific targeting.

2) National SEO requires an extensive brand-building element, while local SEO requires a more individualized approach.

3) National SEO requires high authority links, whereas local SEO focuses on improving local citations.

A good SEO strategy should align with your business needs and goals. National and Local SEO are not mutually exclusive, and they can both be used together.

For example, national SEO can be used for building brand awareness, while local SEO can be used to improve foot traffic. Suppose a national brand is looking to target people in specific locations, then local SEO can be a perfect supplement to national SEO. This will enable you to advance your brand in the specific area you are trying to target.

Pro tip

Good Website Design is vital to successful Search Engine Optimization. Use local-based content for Local SEO, and content designed for national audience for National SEO.

Local vs. National Search Engine Optimization

Have questions about Local vs. National Search Engine?


In conclusion, National SEO and Local SEO are two essential Search Engine Optimization strategies that businesses can use to grow their online presence and increase their visibility. By understanding the difference between the two, businesses can make a more informed decision on which strategy is most suited to their needs.

Although National and Local SEO are different, they both share a common goal, improving website rankings and driving leads, which can be achieved by using a combination of the two strategies where necessary.

Key Learnings

  • National and Local SEO has key differences depending on the target audience.

  • National SEO is more competitive than local SEO

  • The best practice for Local SEO suggests adding a unique landing page for every unique local market you service.

  • Good website design is vital for both Local and National SEO

SEO Content is King

More Search Engine Optimization Resources

Forbes: National SEO vs. Local SEO

Words on the Rise: SEO isn’t a Plug-In

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