Local businesses should rely on SEO as must as larger national companies. While local and national companies use several similar SEO strategies, their functionality has essential differences.
National companies use SEO to target customers all over the US, while local SEO uses optimization techniques to bring customers from precise locations. When you target national SEO, you want your website to appear near the top of the search results regardless of the user’s or the company’s location. Local SEO targets users in the same geographic region as the client company.
Ultimately, all SEO should draw traffic to business websites by ranking them at or near the top of a Google search.
Though local and national SEO are not mutually exclusive, one or the other might be a better strategy for your business if you have limited resources for a campaign. Here’s an insider look at the differences between the two.
Local SEO advantages
Local companies need SEO services because customers use the internet to search for products and read reviews before purchasing. Most digital consumers go through this process whether they are buying from a local or national company. According to Searchbloom, “…more than half of all traffic to local business websites comes from organic online searches.” That statistic indicates that business owners who neglect local SEO may be throwing potential leads away.
Therefore, if shoppers can find the product and information they want from your website, most visit the store the same day.
Organizing a local SEO campaign costs less than a national campaign. Local marketing has fewer competitors, so it’s easier to earn a higher ranking. The SEO services target geographic regions using long-tail keywords.
Local keywords tend to have higher conversion rates because shoppers want to buy a product in a specific location rather than waiting for shipping or traveling.
National SEO benefits
A general SEO marketing approach can benefit you if your business sells nationally. With national SEO services, you can attract customers where you never dreamed they would be.
The broad customer reach can increase your ROI, especially since you’ll have to spend more to attract customers around the US.
The best national SEO techniques include building a user-friendly website that functions smoothly on mobile devices and traditional computers.
Companies can develop keyword-mapping strategies for meta tags, URL strings, and individual web pages with exceptional keyword research. High-quality content and review strategies also help drive traffic.
Local SEO relies on NAP
One crucial local SEO feature is NAP or Name, Address, and Phone. Search engines trust websites that have consistent NAP in their listings. Local businesses should frequently check their Google My Page, websites, and content to ensure the NAP matches.
National SEO relies on content
National businesses rely on content to attract customers. SEO offers value for customers, and the best content includes interesting information in 1,500 to 2,000 words.
Content shouldn’t be a bunch of fluff but provide how-to information, suggestions for using products, and other valuable topics.
Quality content should include SEO keywords, but not too many of them. For example, blog posts, videos, and webpages need title tags, meta descriptions, internal linking, backlinks, and a variety of headings to improve SEO rankings.
Domain authority and national SEO
Along with helpful content, national companies need to develop domain authority. The top websites have a domain ranking close to 100, while brand new websites without any power have scores close to zero.
The highest-ranking websites are recognizable businesses and organizations like Target or the University of Michigan.
When Google ranks websites based on domain authority, the search engine relies on each website’s trustworthiness. Businesses become more trustworthy when they create content that other websites share.
When other websites trust your content, Google sees it through backlinks, and the search engine rewards you with a higher ranking.
Reputation management and local SEO
Local companies need to pay close attention to local reviews. National companies don’t have to worry about reviews because customers purchase online.
Customers don’t visit national companies like they do local companies. When your reviews start to suffer, customers notice and go elsewhere.
Research shows that half of the customers who do an internet search for a local product visit the business and make a purchase.
Therefore, more customers will visit your brick-and-mortar shop if your reviews trend positively. The opposite is true for companies with more negative comments.
Google uses local reviews in its algorithm but does not share how thoughts affect the algorithm. Businesses with ratings at or above 4.0 on Google rank higher than businesses below that threshold.
If your business receives ratings at or above 4.5, your Google ranking will improve dramatically.
Quality websites deliver quality rankings
National and local companies have similar goals – to rank highly on Google. The complicated algorithm uses several metrics to determine where to place websites on the search results page.
One thing national and local companies can do to help their rankings is build a quality website that delivers an exceptional product that customers love.
While creating your quality website, remember SERP features that enhance your rankings and conversions. These features include snippets, reviews, site links, videos, and loading speed.
While national and local businesses use slightly different SEO techniques to attract and retain customers, they all need to provide an outstanding user experience with trustworthy content, domain authority, and consistent NAP.