Local SEO vs National or International SEO – What’s Right for Your Business?

Emma Grant

Head of SEO

Results-driven Emma heads up our SEO team. A champion of best-practice SEO strategies for search engine success that lasts and delivers best value, Emma’s work focuses on boosting clients’ online visibility with the ultimate goal of increasing sales. Emma applies her extensive skill and experience to create strategies that pay off quickly for faster results. She knows precisely what to do to reduce clients’ paid ad spends for greater profits, and how to boost organic leads for better long term return on investment. After close of business, when she’s not organising exciting travel adventures, you may hear Emma strumming classical guitar tunes or working on her jazz riffs.

What is local SEO

Who ever knew there were so many different types of SEO? From local SEO to regional, national and international SEO, each has its place, and you can even use multiple approaches if needs be. But what’s the difference between all these various types of SEO, and which is right for your business?

What is local SEO?

Local SEO optimises a website within a local radius with the aim of driving traffic from online users in your chosen geographical area(s).

Google local SEO is likely going to be right for you if you have a physical location and / or a local audience. It is designed to promote your services and products to customers at the very time they are searching for them.

Local SEO will enhance your local presence, boost enquiries for your services and drive up footfall to your physical location.

Local SEO will help you communicate information such as opening hours, directions to your business and product availability. It will also help you gain trust from customers by displaying reviews and ratings, sharing updates and answering questions. Online reputation management like this is a key element of any local SEO strategy.

Citation building and management are also important. Citations are important or local SEO as search engines are always on the lookout for credible information, which consistent listings across the web will provide. Consistency also helps to create trust amongst customers.

Google Business Profile optimisation is another vital aspect of local SEO. The Map Pack rules when it comes to local search, always sitting at the top of the results, so if you are looking to attract local customers then you’ll want to aim to be in one of the top three positions.

Local landing pages and on-page optimisation for local keywords are further tactics that form part of a local SEO strategy. Both will help Google understand that you hold authority in your local areas.

Finally, for a website to be successful in local search, it needs to be mobile friendly, because the majority of local searches are carried out on mobile devices. And optimising for voice search is another important tactic, because this is increasingly the way local searches are carried out.

We used local SEO to drive highly targeted traffic from a very specific location to our property client’s website. Our campaign, which won us the UK Search Award in the Real Estate and Property category, netted our client an increase in organic traffic of 1678%, and a rise from zero online visibility to 44 top 3 Google rankings and 52 page 1 rankings.


Award winning local SEO

What is national SEO?

National SEO is geared towards driving traffic from across the UK, regardless of location. If your business operates on a nationwide scale, for example you run an ecommerce website that sells nationally, or you have multiple physical locations throughout the country, then national SEO will be more relevant to your business.

The most significant difference between local and national SEO is the keywords. National SEO focuses on non-geographical keywords, whilst local SEO targets local areas.

National SEO tactics include on-page optimisation such as meta tags, site speed, content marketing and code optimisation. And then you have off-page optimisation, which is basically online PR and can include the likes of link building, citation building, online reputation management and guest posting.

Our national SEO campaign for the UK’s number one hoverboard retailer boosted their organic traffic by 36% and increased their online store conversions by 82% giving them the majority share of online sales and sending them above some of the UK’s strongest industry competitors.


Successful national SEO campaign

Sometimes, a combination of both local and national SEO is recommended. Always remember that your SEO campaign should be fully tailored to your business and your growth plans.

What about international SEO?

International SEO is the process of optimising your website to enable search engines to readily identify which countries you want to target, and which languages you use for your business.

If a large proportion of your website visitors come from a foreign country, speak different languages, or both, then international SEO may be right for your business. Your aim here is to create a streamlined experience for your overseas visitors so that they feel comfortable and reassured in buying from you.

International SEO is not too dissimilar in strategy to local SEO. It uses the same geo-targeting concept, but instead of optimising your site to attract traffic from a particular town or region, you are optimising for different countries and languages.

You may wish to create a site that is completely targeted to a particular country and language, then you will need to specify your target country with an international friendly URL structure, use appropriate language tags, and create and maintain content in your target audience’s languages.

Otherwise, if you are only looking to target a specific country or language, then you’ll only need to employ one or two of these tactics. For example, you may want to target French speakers, which could apply to multiple countries. Or your audience may be limited only to France.

Google will be looking for signals such as local language, currency, time zone and contact information so that it knows it’s delivering the right information to the right users. Cultural considerations will also be important, as different nationalities look at things like design, colour, layout and language style in different ways.

Looking for an SEO agency you can trust to boost your business growth in the areas that matter to you?

Whether you’re looking for experts in local London based SEO agency-wide, national, regional or local SEO for small businesses, or specialist SEO for e-commerce, Figment has the expertise and experience to get you the results you need for the success you desire.

Our case studies demonstrate our successes both locally and nationally for a wide range of businesses across a variety of industry sectors.

To discuss your plans for business growth with an agency that cares as much about them as you do, please get in touch.

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