Understanding the Difference between Local SEO and Global SEO and Why It Matters

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

seo-local-seo-globalWhen you log onto the World Wide Web, the lines between close and far grow pretty gray. The location of a website is a URL, so what does location matter beyond that? As it turns out, it matters a whole lot. Your website is an extension of your company, and your company has a specific location. Whether you are a brick-and-mortar storefront, a home office or a service based company without any need for a physical location, the place where your business is most likely to thrive depends on where you are running it from.

This is where local and global SEO come into play. These two types of SEO are exactly what they sound like. Local SEO focuses on building online presence in a local area, while global SEO focuses on building topical presence anywhere in the world. Both types of SEO are valuable in their own way. The most practical type of SEO for you to pursue depends on the services you are marketing for and the competition level within your industry.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO concentrates on building keyword placement in a particular area. This form of SEO focuses on location based strategies like Google Places, reviews, local listings and directories to build your company’s brand within your area. This type of SEO is great for companies who have brick and mortar offices where they want to direct their customer base.

For example, an interior designer in Atlanta won’t benefit from top placement for their industry in the search results in Los Angeles—not unless they plan on expanding their business to that area.  Instead of moving their placement outwards, the designer would benefit more from gaining top placement for more keywords in the location where they want their business. Local SEO is a more practical way to build placement in situations like that.

What is Global SEO?

Not all companies are limited by physical proximity when searching for their customer base. In certain situations, it makes more sense to fight for placement across state and even international borders. National SEO is similar to Global SEO, but focuses solely on improving the rankings of a particular website within the confines of the United States.

A Global SEO campaign attempts to gain topical placement for certain keywords despite location. This type of campaign will often incorporate local SEO tactics, but instead of pushing deeper into local markets will focus on expanding presence outwards. This is most practical for companies who are interested in targeting clients outside of the area where they are based.

Global and local SEO programs both play a valuable role in the world of web marketing. The ideal form of SEO program depends on the goal of a web marketing campaign and the type of customer base your website is attempting to reach.


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