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Local SEO vs National SEO: Strategy Comparison for Startups

local seo vs national seo

Either starting small or spreading nationwide, your business will always be needing online platforms. 

In the time of availability of cellular phones on every hand, you cannot deny the fact that online presence is a mandate.

Alone 2023 recorded, the global internet user count reached 5.3 billion. But that’s a very huge figure. We are not targeting that here.

Let’s talk at macro level. 

As of 2023, recent data reveals that 311 million people in the United States are internet users.

These stats very obviously show how humongous the online market is, with abundant potential customers’ presence. But at a smaller level everyone is confused how to start where to start and at what level they should start.

To those confused bosses there are two important terms – Local SEO and National SEO.

In this blog we will be doing a face off – Local SEO vs National SEO – thoroughly explaining both the concepts.

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a digital marketing strategy tailored to improve the visibility of a local business in search engine results, particularly for queries that have a local intent.

This means when people in a specific geographic area search for products, services, or information, businesses optimized for local SEO are more likely to appear in these search results.

Key Components of Local SEO:

Key Components of Local SEO

  • Google My Business Optimization: Set up your business profile on Google with accurate details like location, hours, and photos. This helps appear in local searches and on Google Maps.
  • Content for Local Audience: Create website content that relates to local topics or interests. This attracts a local audience.
  • Online Reviews: Encourage customers to leave reviews online. Good reviews can make your business more appealing in search results.
  • Mobile Optimization: Make sure your website works well on mobile phones. Many local searches are done on mobile.
  • Local Citations: List your business’s name, address, and phone number consistently on online directories and social platforms. This helps with your search ranking.

What Is National SEO?

National SEO is a digital marketing strategy focused on improving a business’s visibility in search engine results across a larger, national scale, rather than targeting a specific local audience.

This approach is ideal for businesses that operate on a national level or offer products and services that aren’t confined to a single geographic location.

Key Components of National SEO:

Key Components of National SEO

  • Broad Keyword Optimization: Target broad, competitive keywords that appeal to a nationwide audience. These are not location-specific and have a wider reach.
  • Quality Content for a Wide Audience: Create content that resonates with people across the country. This includes informative blogs, articles, and videos on topics relevant to your industry.
  • Strong Backlink Profile: Build backlinks from reputable, national websites. These links from high-authority sites improve your site’s credibility and search rankings.
  • Technical Website Optimization: Ensure your website is fast, mobile-friendly, and secure (HTTPS). A well-structured website improves user experience and search engine ranking.
  • Competitive Analysis: Regularly analyze what your national competitors are doing. Adapt your strategies based on their successes and failures to stay ahead.

Local SEO vs National SEO: What Is the Difference?

Two distinct strategies – Local SEO vsNational SEO – are used in search engine optimization, each targeting different audiences and having unique goals. Here’s a breakdown of the key differences between them:

1. Target Audience

Local SEO is aimed at drawing in customers from a specific geographic location, making it a great fit for businesses such as local shops, restaurants, or service providers who serve particular communities. 

On the other hand, National SEO is designed to appeal to a more extensive, nationwide audience. This approach is best for businesses operating on a larger scale across the country, including online stores that aren’t tied to a specific location.

2. Keyword Strategy

In Local SEO, the emphasis is on incorporating location-specific keywords, like “coffee shop in New York.” This specificity helps in attracting a local audience searching for services or products in their area. 

Conversely, National SEO utilizes broader, more general keywords that are not location-bound, such as “best coffee beans.” These keywords aim to attract a wider audience from across the country.

3. SEO Tactics

The tactics employed in Local SEO include optimizing Google Business Profile listings, focusing on local citations, and garnering reviews. These strategies are crucial for businesses looking to rank higher in local search results and Google Maps. 

National SEO, however, revolves around establishing a robust online presence that transcends local boundaries. This involves creating authoritative content and building a strong backlink profile from national-level sources, coupled with a competitive approach to keyword optimization.

4. Content Focus

Content in Local SEO is specifically tailored to resonate with a local audience. It often includes topics related to local news, events, or interests specific to the community. 

In contrast, content for National SEO has a broader scope, targeting a national audience. It encompasses more generalized subjects that are relevant across the board, pertaining to the business’s industry at a national level.

5. Competition

The level of competition in Local SEO is usually lower, as it is focused on a specific area or community. Businesses using localized SEO strategies are often competing within a smaller pool. 

National SEO, however, faces a significantly higher level of competition. Businesses using this strategy are up against others from all over the country, making it a more challenging but potentially more rewarding endeavor.

6. Link Building Focus

Link building for Local SEO is primarily concentrated on acquiring links from locally relevant websites, such as local business directories, community hubs, or local news websites. This helps to establish a business’s relevance in a specific geographic area.

In contrast, National SEO focuses on acquiring high-quality backlinks from authoritative, national, and international sources. This includes major industry websites, well-known blogs, and high-ranking online magazines, aiming to establish national authority and trustworthiness.

7. Online Reviews and Reputation

For Local SEO, online reviews, especially on Google Business Profile and local directories, play a pivotal role. Positive reviews from local customers can significantly impact local search rankings and enhance trust among the local community.

While online reviews are still important for National SEO, the focus shifts more towards brand reputation management on a larger scale. This might involve public relations efforts, getting featured in national publications, and managing customer feedback across various platforms.

8. Social Media Strategy

Social media strategy for Local SEO often involves engaging with the local community, highlighting local events, promotions, and community involvement. This helps in building a local brand identity and community-based customer engagement.

For National SEO, social media efforts are geared towards reaching a broader, diverse audience. This may include nationwide campaigns, influencer collaborations, and content that appeals to a wider demographic, reflecting the broader scope of the business.

9. Mobile Optimization

Local SEO places a strong emphasis on mobile optimization due to the significant number of local searches conducted on mobile devices. This includes ensuring that local business listings are mobile-friendly and that the local business website performs well on mobile platforms.

While mobile optimization is also important for National SEO, the focus extends beyond just local searches to ensuring that the website offers an optimal user experience for a national audience across various devices and platforms.

10. Measurement and Analytics

Success metrics for Local SEO include local search rankings, foot traffic (if applicable), and local lead generation. Analytics are often focused on tracking location-specific performance and engagement.

National SEO metrics are broader, focusing on national search rankings, overall website traffic from across the country, and nationwide lead generation and conversion rates. The analysis includes a wider array of data points to understand national-level performance.

Here is the brief tabular representation of the difference: 

local vs national What Is the Difference

Which Is Right for Your Startup?

So, if you’re running a startup, you must be wondering which category you should go with, right? When it comes to SEO, it’s all about what you’re aiming for and where your audience hangs out. Let’s break it down:

Got a Local Flavor? If your startup is all about serving the local community – think a cozy café in Boston, a quirky bookstore in Austin, or a tech repair shop in Miami – then Local SEO is your go-to. It’s like telling your neighbors, “Hey, we’re right here, and we’ve got exactly what you need!”

Thinking Big and Wide? On the flip side, if your startup is more about reaching people far and wide – maybe you’re launching a trendy online clothing brand, a cutting-edge app, or a subscription service that ships nationwide – then National SEO should be your focus. It’s like standing on a virtual mountain and shouting out to the whole country.

It’s not just about being seen; it’s about being seen by the right people. 

  • Local SEO connects you with folks nearby, making it personal and immediate. 
  • National SEO casts a wider net, helping you reach a larger, more diverse audience.

So, which path feels more like you? Think about where your ideal customers are and how they search for businesses like yours. That’s your cue on which SEO strategy to embrace for your startup’s success.

Outreach Monks: Experts Providing Best National SEO Services

Outreach Monks, established in 2017, has excelled in propelling businesses into the national spotlight online. Their keen understanding of online visibility as a pivotal aspect of success sets them apart.

A prime feature of these experts is link building service. This involves strategically placing links to your website on other sites – a digital form of creating pathways leading potential customers directly to you. They’re not just randomly choosing sites; they’re doing blogger outreach, meaning they connect with influential bloggers to share your content. This ensures that these digital paths are laid in areas with high visibility and relevance.

Moreover, Outreach Monks offers the service of buying backlinks, further strengthening your website’s presence. This tactic involves acquiring links from authoritative sites, enhancing the credibility and reach of your website. With their expertise, buying backlinks becomes a strategic move in boosting your site’s authority.

Choosing Outreach Monks means more than just selecting an SEO provider; it’s partnering with a team dedicated to carving out and amplifying your business’s presence in the national market. They’re committed to making your business stand out in the digital world.


Think of Local SEO like being the go-to spot in your neighborhood. It’s all about getting your local folks to notice and visit you. It’s perfect if your business is like a cozy café or a local store.

Now, National SEO? That’s like being known all across the country. It’s great if you’re setting up a big online store or a service that everyone, everywhere can use.

In short, if your business is all about your local community, Local SEO is your friend. But if you’re aiming to reach people from all corners of the country, then National SEO is the way to go.

Remember, it’s all about who and where you want to reach. Choose the one that fits your business best and you’re good to go!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Local SEO easier than National SEO?

Local SEO can be less competitive due to its focus on a specific area, making it relatively easier to rank higher in local search results compared to the broader competition in National SEO.

How is National SEO different from Local SEO?

National SEO targets a broader, nationwide audience and uses more general keywords, unlike Local SEO, which targets a specific locality. National SEO is best for businesses looking to reach customers across the country.

Can a business benefit from both Local and National SEO?

Yes, some businesses can benefit from both, especially if they have a local presence and also cater to a national audience. The strategy should balance local and national elements according to business goals.

What are key elements of a successful Local SEO strategy?

A successful Local SEO strategy includes optimizing for local keywords, managing Google My Business listings, acquiring local backlinks, and garnering positive local reviews.

How important are keywords in National SEO?

Keywords are crucial in National SEO. They should be broader and more competitive to appeal to a national audience, focusing on general search terms related to the business’s services or products.

Ekta Chauhan

Ekta Chauhan

Ekta is a seasoned link builder at Outreach Monks with six years in the digital marketing trenches, specializing in the SaaS niche. Professionally, she’s a wizard at navigating multiple niches with finesse. On the personal side, despite her calm and quiet nature, don't be fooled—Ekta's creativity means she’s probably plotting to take over the world.


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