What are Local and National SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the practice of improving your business’ ranking in online search results, comes in two flavors: national and local. Most regard national SEO as the default because it covers the bases for all SEO whereas local SEO requires extra steps. However, national SEO strategies often require local SEO tactics as well. This page explains how to navigate the world of difference between the two.

As our “What is SEO?” page explains, all industries can benefit from SEO. Keyword research and link building are the two building blocks of SEO that put your business on the map, and they vary with regional scope. Using the right words and getting backlinks from the right sites makes all the difference in the world for your business’ ranking.

At ioCreative, we offer both local and national SEO services. We consider your business’ particular needs to determine which kind you should seek out. We implement the proper strategy with your input, considering regional scope in our SEO, branding, and site design services.

How to Determine Your Business’ SEO Strategy

Your SEO should be as local or national as your business. If you’re a brick-and-mortar bookstore, then choosing local SEO is in the books; if you’re an online retailer, you should put yourself out there with national SEO. If you’re a local-national hybrid like a regional grocery chain, however, you’ll require a hybrid strategy.

In sum, local SEO is for businesses grounded in their local community and national SEO is for businesses serving a broader one. Both have benefits to weigh, such as national SEO’s greater influence against local SEO’s lower cost, competition, and timeframe. We weigh such costs and benefits for each client, and choose between the strategies detailed below.

Genius Loci: SEO Strategies with Local Spirit

For a local business, local SEO is not a matter of if but rather how. After all, 86% of consumers use local searches (46% of Google searches) to find local businesses. Benefitting from that means knowing how local search works.

Local search follows the trail of information you and independent sources provide about your business. Signing up your business with Google and its “Google My Business” (GMB) listings lets you provide such information. Your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) can awaken even the sleepiest of towns to your web presence, on your site and in directories like Yelp and your local Chamber of Commerce. NAP listings on other sites are called citations, and businesses often add their own. The same goes for map listings.

Local SEO is often driven by “long tail keywords” — these are highly specific keyword phrases such as “Greek restaurant in Albuquerque, NM” instead of just “restaurant,” that address users’ distinctly local needs. Link building can connect you with the local community through strategies such as guest blogging. Social media campaigns supplement citations well, getting your information out there alongside engaging content.

We can walk you down the right path, with your streetwise advice, no matter where you’re based. Local SEO takes 3-6 months, and customers drive 23 minutes tops on average, and our optimization strategies take all of this into consideration..

The Road to Success: Driving National SEO

National SEO runs with the same tactics as local SEO, but with key differences. Keywords can be broadly relevant and link building need not rely on local connections. Social media can be a higher priority, requiring content that uses keywords seamlessly.

What really matters to national SEO is branding. The national scope lets you compete with big names in your industry, so your own name is everything. It also means more competition, since you’re not limited to one area. National SEO still requires local elements such as NAP listings for all individual locations.

As our page on Content Marketing explains, engaging content can increase brand awareness exponentially. It’s among the services we provide. We also provide more direct branding services so that your business can make its mark wherever it goes. If you’re unsure about whether your business is local or national, our collaborative approach will reveal all of the variables needed to make that determination.