An inside look at the differences »Small Business Fire

Local businesses need to rely on SEO just like larger national companies. While local and national companies use several similar SEO strate

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Local businesses need to rely on SEO just like larger national companies. While local and national companies use several similar SEO strategies, their functionality has significant differences.

National companies use SEO to target clients across the US, while local SEO uses optimization techniques to bring clients from exact locations. When targeting national SEO, you want your site to appear near the top of the search results, regardless of the user or company’s location. Local SEO targets users in the same geographic region as the client company.

Ultimately, all SEO should attract traffic to business websites by ranking them above or near the top of a Google search.

While local and national SEO are not mutually exclusive, one or the other may be a better strategy for your business if you have limited resources for a campaign. Here’s an insider’s look at the differences between the two.

Local SEO Benefits

Local companies need SEO services because customers use the internet to search for products and read reviews before making a purchase. 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.” Those statistics suggest that business owners who neglect local SEO can throw away potential clues.

So if buyers can get the product and information they want from your site, most will 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 buyers want to buy a product at a specific location rather than waiting for shipping or travel.

National SEO Benefits

A common SEO marketing approach can benefit you if your business sells nationally. With national SEO services, you can attract clients where you never dreamed they would be.

The broad customer reach can increase your ROI, especially since you will have to spend more to attract customers in the US.

The best national SEO techniques include building a user-friendly website that runs 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 important local SEO feature is NAP or name, address and phone. Search engines trust sites that have consistent NAP in their listings. Local businesses should regularly check their Google My Page, sites and content to ensure compliance with NAP.

National SEO relies on content

National businesses rely on content to attract customers. SEO provides value for customers, and the best content contains interesting information in 1,500 to 2,000 words.

Content should not be a lot of fluff, but provide how-to information, suggestions for product use and other valuable topics.

Quality content should include SEO keywords, but not too many of them. For example, blog posts, videos, and web pages require title tags, meta descriptions, internal links, backlinks, and a variety of headlines to improve SEO rankings.

Domain Authority and National SEO

Along with useful content, national companies need to develop domain authority. The top sites have a domain ranking close to 100, while brand new sites without any power have scores close to zero.

The highest ranking sites are reputable businesses and organizations like Target or the University of Michigan.

When Google ranks sites based on domain authority, the search engine relies on each site’s reliability. Businesses become more reliable when they create content that other sites share.

When other sites 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 do not have to worry about reviews because customers buy online.

Customers do not visit national companies like 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 store if your reviews tend to be positive. 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 of more than 4.0 on Google rank higher than businesses below that threshold.

If your business receives ratings of 4.5 or higher, your Google rankings will improve dramatically.

Quality Websites Provide Quality Rankings

National and local companies have similar goals – to rank high on Google. The complicated algorithm uses several criteria to determine where to place websites on the search results page.

One thing national and local companies can do to help their rankings is to build a quality website that delivers an exceptional product that customers like.

While creating your quality website, remember SERP attributes that improve your rankings and conversions. These features include snippets, reviews, site links, videos, and upload speeds.

While national and local businesses use slightly different SEO techniques to attract and retain customers, they all need to provide an excellent user experience with reliable content, domain authority and consistent NAP.


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