A Simple Guide to Local vs. National SEO for New Businesses

Peter A. Liefer II | Posted: October 7th, 2022 | Updated: November 7th, 2022

You can serve the best coffee in town, but if search engines like Google don’t know which town your coffee shop is in, they won’t be able to tell people where to find you, and your business will remain in the shadows of large coffee chains in your location. The same applies to national and global businesses. If you have an e-commerce site that anyone around the nation or world can purchase from, but Google thinks you are solely based in Phoenix, Arizona, then you are losing thousands of potential buyers due to your lack of online presence.


Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) bests 50 other systems for many reasons. Paying attention to your local and national SEO is crucial because Google categorizes your business. If you don’t share your location with the king of search engines, Google will figure it out on its own. However, with 5.6 billion searches per day, even with Google’s high AI level, it won’t always be right. This is where local SEO or national SEO for your business comes to the rescue.


What Is Local SEO and How Does It Benefit Your Business?

Local SEO tells Google the location of your business, which is important for brick-and-mortar businesses. For example, when somebody searches “dentist near me,” you want Google to know that your clinic is near them. With Google My Business set up, you can navigate potential clients directly to your dental office.

You can use local SEO keywords on your homepage, blogs, and product pages to help Google determine your precise location. For instance, if you’re servicing Newport Beach and Orange County, use these locations as keywords in your content. You could also use the keywords “OC” or “Southern California.”

Some local SEO statistics relevant in 2022 include:

  • 97% of people looked online to find a local business
  • 70% of consumers visit a store because of information found online
  • 86% of consumers use Google Maps to find local businesses


What Is National SEO?

National SEO informs Google that your business is available to provide products and services to a nationwide audience. For example, if your business is based in Ohio and a user from New York searches for a product or service that you offer, Google can still show them your business.

National SEO allows anyone who searches for – let’s say, “durable iPhone cases” or “web design services” – to see all of the options available in and outside of their city. As such, for businesses with e-commerce and digital services, national SEO is your ticket to success.

With national SEO, you are no longer competing for a top-ranking spot with businesses in your location. Rather, you are competing with businesses that offer similar products and services to yours on a national scale. Your SEO strategy will completely differ from a brick-and-mortar business trying to appear on the first page of Google’s search results.


Should You Use Local SEO or National SEO?

If you solely offer your products and services in a physical or brick-and-mortar store, focusing on local SEO might be best. Even if you have stores in several cities in different states, having an effective local SEO strategy will help you target the right keywords and ensure your Google My Business pages are properly set up with your address, contact number, office photos, products, services, menus, and reviews.

On the other hand, if your business is online (whether by selling products or providing services that do not require any form of physical contact or labor), national SEO may be more beneficial to you. Though having a Google My Business page can also improve your search rankings, your main priority is to rank for keywords that will bring search engine users to your website. A robust SEO strategy is necessary to thrive with national SEO, which you can achieve by hiring a full-time Google strategist or working with a top digital marketing firm like PrimeView.

The bottom line is while a traditional brick-and-mortar hair styling business should focus on local SEO, an e-commerce store selling quality hair extensions and hair care products will attract more success with national SEO.


The Importance of Patience With SEO

Expecting to see immediate results as soon as you launch your SEO strategy may set you up for disappointment.

Make “patience is a virtue” one of your business mottos because any SEO strategy requires time to have an attractive return on investment (ROI). Think of SEO as a money tree: you need to plant the seed and give it time to sprout and grow into an adolescent tree before bearing any money for you to harvest.

Expect to hear different timescales for a local or national SEO campaign to begin showing results. You might begin to see improvements in organic ranking and a small increase in traffic for keyword topics with little competition within a few weeks. However, realistically, according to the Search Engine Journal, comprehensive SEO campaigns using moderately competitive topics and highly competitive phrases could take several months or even years to show signs of life. 

The reason for the long wait? Google wants to give its users the best possible results, and a site that launched yesterday – or one that only had a single activity throughout the past month – is, by Google’s high standards, unlikely to provide the most informative content. Yes, Google is that smart. A consistent and sustained effort is necessary to build authority in your area.

In due time, Google and its fellow search engines will assign your website the rank and authority it deserves. However, the process of earning a top spot on Google’s search results takes several factors into account, including the quality of your content compared to other websites targeting the same topics as yours.


How to Start an SEO Strategy for Your Business in 2022 and Beyond

Setting up your Google My Business page, keyword research, and content creation are only three steps in a successful SEO campaign’s long list of objectives. Search engines want accuracy for their users, which means you need to work hard to prove that you are the correct result for search queries. This is where a good SEO strategy comes in.

For SEO campaigns that attract new customers and qualified leads to your website, PrimeView is the award-winning company for the job. Our team of SEO specialists will analyze every aspect of your business, site, and clientele before customizing a strategy based on hard data, ensuring you get the best results and the highest ROI possible. Contact us today to get started.