You may have heard the terms local SEO and national SEO, but you might not have realized the differences between them. Although they are both a form of SEO, they do serve different purposes.

You can always consult our Tampa SEO agency for advice about which strategy is best for your business, but keep reading for now to understand how they differ.

Local SEO Vs National SEO At A Glance

When you think of traditional SEO, you’d typically think of national SEO. The goal is to improve your website’s visibility and traffic everywhere in the country, not just from a specific location or city. National SEO focuses on a larger scale; it revolves around broader keywords that aren’t tied to a specific area

Local SEO, on the other hand, is centered around specific areas. The keywords involved will usually be tied to a geographical location. Local SEO drives local traffic to your site and aims to drive traffic to your site from your city or town.

Local vs. National SEO

To see how local and national SEO compare, here is an in-depth comparison.

Choosing Your Target Keywords

When choosing keywords for local SEO, your primary goal will be to use keywords tied to a geographical area. This helps drive local customers to your website by letting them know that your business is nearby. The keywords you use may be very specific such as a city or suburb name, or they may include the state.

National SEO keywords won’t have any location included in their keywords. The keywords chosen should be more general and related more to a product or service than a location. With national SEO, you don’t target a specific area.


National SEO will use slightly different platforms than local SEO. Some of the top platforms used for national SEO include Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google Tag Manager. Each platform serves a different purpose, but they make it easier to manage and track a national SEO campaign.

When it comes to local SEO platforms, there are a few that you’ll use every day. These include Google My Business, Yelp, and Yext. These will help local customers find your business information in one easy-to-find place.

Your Target Audience

National SEO and Local SEO have drastically different audiences. When you launch a national SEO campaign, your target audience is anyone interested. It doesn’t matter where they’re located geographically. The only goal you have is to reach anyone interested in your product or service.

Local SEO has a much different focus. Local SEO is all about finding customers within a certain radius of your business. You’re looking for customers who live and work nearby and within a specific reach. Your goal with local SEO is to ensure only those within your specified area can find your business.

Levels of Competition

Local SEO often has a much lower level of competition than national SEO will. The market is smaller, and if there aren’t any other local businesses that offer the same product in your area, your only competition is yourself. Even if there are some local businesses like yours, the level of competition will be much lower.

In national SEO, you’re competing with every other business out there. Your business is trying to convert customers all over the country, but so is every other competing business from the same industry. So it is much more challenging to keep your business afloat.

Different Benefits

Local SEO is particularly great for small businesses. It helps them find their place in the local market without straining their budget. While larger companies focus on a bigger target audience, small businesses can put all their effort into local SEO and reap the benefits.

With more targeted campaigns and cheaper opportunities, local SEO is excellent for those just starting and wanting to target customers in their local geographical area.

National SEO works best with a dedicated marketing team and a larger marketing budget. This makes it an excellent option for larger businesses that want to expand their reach. It’s more complex and can help you reach new customers from anywhere.

Different Strategies

Because national SEO and local SEO are so different, you’ll need to employ different strategies for each of them.

For national SEO, you’ll focus on keyword research, creating quality website content, speeding up your website, and earning backlinks from other sites. These all work together to help you rank high on search queries.

Local SEO uses some of the same strategies as national SEO. In addition to that, however, local SEO will focus on their business’s reviews, optimizing their Google My Business page, providing contact information for the company, and earning backlinks from local sites

How Do Local SEO and National SEO Affect Each Other?

It’s tough to divide both local and national SEO into two different boxes. After all, they do overlap in specific ways, and they often do complement each other.

If you’ve launched your national SEO campaign, it’s not difficult to make minor adjustments to start gathering local traffic.

All you have to do is add content and keywords that are more specific to your location so you can reach your local customers. Adding local-specific content and keywords will also help your national SEO strategy as you’ll start ranking in more relevant organic search results.

Improving Your Local SEO

To gain the most out of your local SEO strategy, you must meet all SEO standards while beating out the competition. Here are a few local SEO tips to follow if you want to improve your local SEO campaign.

1. Claim Your Business

If your business is mentioned on the internet, but you haven’t claimed it, you’re already behind. It’s your business, so you should have control over it, no matter where it shows up. Whether it’s listed in an online directory or on a website like Yelp, you should claim it. This makes it easier to catch and correct errors while also keeping your business easy to find.

2. Organize Your Contact Information

Your local business needs an easy way for potential customers to contact you. This means that you’ll need to organize it all and make it uniform. Your business’s name, address, and phone number should be the same, no matter where they’re listed. This includes all abbreviations and whether or not you include +1 before your phone number.

3. Update Your Google My Business Page

One of the most crucial business pages you can have is a Google My Business page. If you have one, great! If you don’t, make this your priority. Your My Business page should be up to date and include a link to your website. You should even have a short description.

4. Create Useful Content

Good content should contain internal links and specific keywords to draw customers to your website. In addition, it needs to provide value, encouraging users to stay longer on your website and making your business relevant to them.

5. Connect With Customers

Linking social media to your business can significantly improve your reach. It provides an easier way to encourage customers to check out your business and make it more relatable.

Additionally, you should ask customers to leave reviews. If your business has several reviews, it tells potential customers that you can be trusted. With that in mind, you must handle any negative reviews in a professional way. Responding to them tells people that you care and are willing to do something if their experience is less than perfect.

How to Choose Between Local and National SEO?

Your business can benefit from both local SEO and national SEO, but it’s alright if you only want to use one or the other. Here are a few tips on choosing the right one for your business.

Choose Local SEO If…

If you’re a smaller business or new to the area, using local SEO can help you reach new customers in the area. For businesses that have limited flexibility or can’t work as far away from home, focusing on local SEO is a great idea as well.

Local SEO is great for businesses that have a smaller budget. There is less competition, so your resources can be spent on attracting more local customers.

Choose National SEO If…

If your business is more extensive or can easily reach customers that are far away, national SEO is a great way to find new customers. With a much bigger target audience, your business will be discovered by everyone interested in your goods and services rather than just those nearby.

National SEO is best for businesses that are hoping to have customers all over the nation. If you can compete with hundreds or thousands of businesses at a time, then national SEO is the best option.


Local SEO and national SEO both have their place. Your business can benefit from both, but it’s essential to understand that they are not the same. By determining your business’s primary goal, you can launch a successful SEO campaign, whether it’s local or national.

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