Global SEO VS Local SEO: What’s the Difference?

By May 2, 2022Digital Marketing
global SEO

You’re an ambitious small business owner who’s trying to get your business off the ground and in front of the eyes of thousands of potential customers, right? You need a stellar marketing strategy. As a matter of fact, poor marketing is one of the top reasons that small businesses fail. 

A well-rounded marketing strategy in 2022 includes traditional marketing, social media marketing, and SEO (among other things). Did you know that not all SEO is the same?

I’m here to talk about two types of SEO: global SEO and local SEO. What are the differences between the two, and how do you know which one you should focus on? 

Read on to learn everything that you have to know about global and local SEO for small business owners. 

First: What Is SEO? 

SEO is shorthand for search engine optimization. It’s what brings your site up the ranks of various search engines (most often Google).

Have you always wondered how some business pages always show up on the first page of search results? It’s because of SEO

Search engines use bots and algorithms to browse websites and index them. They use information from the sites to determine where they will show up when someone inputs a related search query.

Organic SEO doesn’t rely on ads. Instead, it relies on the user experience and the content on the page. If a page doesn’t have high-quality or valuable content, or if it’s difficult to navigate, it will have worse SEO.

People input trillions of search queries every year, and those are all opportunities for them to see your business (if it’s related to their queries). 

The more people click on your website, the better your SEO gets. It builds upon itself. 

What Is Global SEO?

Global SEO is like the “default” form of SEO. Some people refer to this as international SEO, but international SEO could still be restricted to several specific countries. True global SEO is not restricted at all. 

When you run a global SEO campaign, it means that you rely on keywords that have nothing to do with specific locations. Instead, the keywords relate only to your product, service, or niche.

For example, if you were running a clothing store that shipped worldwide, your keywords may include things like “clothing for women,” “clothing for men,” “stylish clothing,” and so on because they have no indication of location. Anyone looking for clothing could come across the website. 

Who Needs Global SEO?

Global SEO is a good idea for anyone who’s running a business that isn’t restricted by its location. Even if you have a brick-and-mortar storefront, if you’re willing to ship your products or offer your services to people in other states and countries, you can benefit from global SEO. 

Keep in mind that global SEO is more competitive than local SEO, so you may have a harder time getting your campaign running. 

What Is Local SEO? 

Local SEO relies on keywords that revolve around specific locations. Most of the time, local SEO is within a single city or state, but national SEO (within a specific country) may also qualify as local SEO. 

While local SEO campaigns should include keywords about the business’s products, services, and niche, they should also include location keywords. Let’s use the clothing store example again. They have a brick-and-mortar location in Nashville, TN.

Alongside the normal keywords, they’d also use phrases like “women’s clothing in Nashville,” “Nashville clothing boutique,” “boutique in Tennessee,” and so on. This way, they’re targeting potential users nearby.

Local SEO is also fantastic for attracting mobile users. Google Maps also relates to local SEO, so when users are looking up “[business type] near me” on their phones, your business will pop up. 

Mobile phones generate almost 55% of total web traffic, so this is going to be crucial if you’re trying to attract local customers. Imagine your own experience when you’re looking for a local business when you’re out and about. You search on your phone, right?

Who Needs Local SEO?

Local SEO can be valuable for all business owners. Even if you have a global business, targeting specific communities can make your website more visible.

With that in mind, it’s most effective for small business owners who target local customers. When you run a business that people outside of your local area can’t take advantage of (such as a small local ice cream shop or bakery), you won’t benefit from people around the globe seeing your website. Those aren’t potential customers. 

Because global SEO is so much more competitive than local SEO, you may also be throwing money away if you don’t actually need that international visibility. Focusing on local SEO, at least at first, will have a greater return on investment. 

Global vs Local SEO: Is One Better?

At the end of the day, both global and local SEO will benefit your business in different ways. One isn’t better than the other. They just serve different purposes.

If you’re trying to attract an international audience, global SEO is the obvious choice. If you’re trying to attract people in your local area, local SEO is going to be more effective. 

Global SEO or Local SEO: Which Is Right for You?

Have you already started a strong SEO campaign? Whether you’re using global SEO or local SEO (or both), you’ll be helping your business grow and thrive. Increase your visibility by taking advantage of the benefits of SEO.

I want to help you get more eyes on your website. Contact me so we can start working together on your digital marketing strategy today.