As we continue to do a lot of local SEO which accounts for half of our daily work there is a large portion of our clients that sell nationally as well. These clients are already optimized for local search using items like latitude and longitude, local specific words, etc. so the search engines know where they are. Today one asked if they are configured for local SEO how does that help them in the national scene of SEO and if the local SEO optimizations might be hurting or holding them back. Today we look at these questions in a bit more detail.
What is the difference between local and national SEO?
With local SEO, you are targeting keyword terms and phrases that are tied close to your business. These terms include items like local landmarks, cities, using latitude/longitude, and counties. For national (even global) SEO you are targeting a broader set of keyword phrases and terms. Broader terms are generally harder to target for as rather than doing your SEO for say a 20 or 30-mile radius you are going hundreds, even thousands of miles from your centralized location.
When doing national SEO, the costs are most certainly going to be higher as the work that you or your SEO provider has their work increase at an exponential level. If you are doing any paid advertising your costs will further increase due to the larger audience you are trying to reach as well as increased competition for the keyword phrases.
Is local and national SEO the same?
In many ways, the answer is a resounding yes. Local, national, or global SEO is all based on following the search engine best practices. This means providing valuable content that your users are looking for and want to read. You want to answer the questions that they are having now, and you want to be timely in providing fresh content. Locally doing a blog post, updating your site, etc. can be done a few times a month and a blog is often just once per month to move up within the local search engine ranks. For national everything increases. You need to post weekly, often daily, to show the search engines you are not only “the expert” but target many areas so that you have a wider reach. With local SEO, you are worried about a dozen communities around your business (if that many). Nationally you need to be focused on literally thousands of communities and are competing against local companies.
We recently were talking to a company in Minnesota as we were ranking better than the local competition selling the same services. We were and weren't surprised. We post often, cover a wide variety of topics, do not have advertising, and do our best to help educate and inform. These are all great traits to help move up within the search engines.
What can I do nationally to succeed?
As you've read in every blog there is no magic bullet for anything in life. This is true for SEO, digital marketing, or anything related to your business online. What you can do is understand that SEO is critical to the success of your website and business online. We say this as YES this is a core part of our business but we also have a good 10% of our client base works on the SEO themselves to save. We encourage our customers that want to do the SEO themselves not because we know how hard it is but because we know it helps them learn and why we create blogs to help them out.
With local SEO, we know that backlinks are an important part of your local SEO strategy. They are equally important for your national strategy. One way to help and kickoff your national SEO campaigns is to get already existing national companies that are ranking well to link to you. Become involved in forums and groups that are seen nationally.
Social Media is your friend!
Whether you feel your business needs social media when you want to reach your local, national, or global audience social media is truly your friend. This allows you to share your story on more sources. Not your entire story though! You want to entice and tickle a person to want to learn more with a link to your website so they can learn more. Your website should work with social media and social media should work with your website. Both together will help you reach a larger audience across your entire market.
Whether your foucs is on the local SEO market or beyond following the best practices of the search engines will help you achieve success. The main difference to remember is that when you want to push beyond your local market is more time, energy, and effort are required. Stick to what is recommended, don't do anything that is not recommended, and you will get the results you want.