Local SEO vs National SEO – Which is Best for Your Business?

Local SEO vs National SEOWhen it comes to SEO, there are two basic types: local SEO and national SEO. While both types can be important and beneficial, it is important to understand the difference between the two. As the name implies, local SEO is about situating your business, at least to the online world, as belonging to a specific locale or area and being a part of a local community. National SEO, on the other hand, is for businesses that aren’t focused on serving a specific geographic area, but can serve a national or global clientele.

Let’s discuss some of the differences between the two, and you can then determine which approach is best for your business.

Local SEO

Local SEO campaigns are the obvious choice if your business has a physical location and wants to appeal to people within a certain radius or geographic area. If you’re the owner of an Italian restaurant located in Los Angeles, California, for example, you obviously want your restaurant to pop up when people search for “Italian restaurants in Los Angeles” or something to that effect.

A targeted local SEO campaign is the way to cultivate that targeted audience. A local SEO campaign is about determining where your potential customers live, appealing to those customers and establishing your business as a part of the local community.

Local SEO is typically less expensive than a national campaign. In fact, you can typically get some pretty good local SEO results by utilizing the following simple strategies:

  • Incorporate your business’s city name as keywords on your website
  • Include your business’s city names within the website content
  • Create pages on your website for each location and optimize to include resources and information people would search online (for example, if you are a mover include phone numbers for services that others would search when new to the area)
  • Submit and maintain your business NAP on directory and review sites
  • Create social media profiles on key wesites and make sure to include your business NAP and all your contact information

National SEO

For a national or international business, the location doesn’t matter as much. This is often the case with businesses that operate strictly online. When the target audience isn’t restricted to a specific geographic area, then a National SEO campaign is a good aproach.

National campaigns are more complex, more difficult to enact and typically more expensive than a local campaign. It is more challenging to get to the top of search results for “show seller” vs. “shoe seller in Raleigh, NC”. With local SEO, your business is only competing with similar businesses in that local area; however, with national SEO, you are competing with similar businesses all around the world.

Since national SEO is a little harder to tackle, it is usually best to ask for the help of an expert. A digital marketing professional can help you decide whether you need a hybrid campaign, one that combines both local SEO and national SEO, or just a national SEO campaign, and then, can help you build effective campaigns based on your needs.

Whether you are creating a local or national SEO campaign there are some essential elements you must incorporate into your website content.

Elements for Successful SEO

  • Keyword optimized page titles and title tags
  • Incorporation of keywords that flow naturally within website content
  • Optimized images names, with the image title and alt text completed
  • Contact Information, which includes the business NAP and email address
  • Regular updates to the website with new keyword optimized content

Local SEO: The Best Choice

If you focus your SEO campaign locally, especially if you have a brick and mortar location you will get better results in search engine result pages (SERP) and become established in your corner of the universe.

By the way, the higher your website ranks locally, the higher it can start ranking nationally because the more your website is visited, the longer visitors stay on your website and the more they click on your website, the higher you rank authority is with Google and other search engines.

What types of SEO strategies have been working for you / your clients? Discuss below.

Bernadette Coleman

Bernadette Coleman is a SEO, Local Search, Engaging Content Enthusiast & CEO of Advice Interactive Group, an Inc500 Digital Agency.

More Posts

Download Our SEO Guide

Created in a joint partnership with Advice Local, this guide — What You Need to Know About SEO — provides an introduction to SEO concepts, strategies and best practices for optimizing a website. Complete the form below and get instant access.


    Web Design & Development

    Your website needs to be aesthetically pleasing and functional. We build websites for desktop and mobile that are both.


    Your website needs to attract search engines and consumers. We are experts in local search and SEO, and can make that happen.


    Anybody can write words on a page, but can they write content that integrates SEO best practices and converts? We can.

    Here’s What our CLIENTs have to say

    [RICH_REVIEWS_SHOW num="all"]

    Their Local Business Websites Rock

    Rocks Digital knows how to build local business websites that convert prospects to customers. Not only do I recommend them to work on my reputation management client’s websites, but they work on the Reputation Sensei brand, too.
    - Chris Snellgrove

    They Customize Their Solutions

    Rocks Digital customizes to meet their client’s needs. We needed our existing website optimized for search. We are now placing for more industry keywords and continue to improve. They consult with our in-house team on content optimization, manage our GMB listing & more.
    - Greta Valenti

    Highly Recommend

    Rocks Digital manages not only the Association of Directory Publishers website, but our Trusted Local Directory. From helping us get our event information on the website to producing guides, blogs and new content, they have what it takes.
    - Cindi Aldrich



    Is your Google My Business listing helping or hurting you? Is bad data causing consumers and search engines to lose trust in your business? This is information you simply must know.

    To get these answers right now, just enter your business name below to run our FREE
    visibility report.

    Need a facelift
    for your website? More search traffic? Need to blog, but don’t have time?

    Our Digital Services Could Be For You