What is the Real Difference Between Local and Global SEO?

Jan 22, 2021

Search engine optimization is a field that is growing rather quickly. As more and more businesses realize the utility of using such a strategy, more and more seek ways to improve their rankings in search results. You typically hear a lot of words tossed around when this topic is brought up. Link building, organic visitors, reach, local Seo, and global SEO are all common things to hear brought up when this topic is at hand. But local SEO vs global SEO, what is the difference? Which is better? Today we’re going to give you a breakdown of each so you can decide for yourself.

First Thing’s First, What’s an SEO?

For our readers that aren’t caught up with all the jargon, it’s important to clarify exactly what we’re talking about. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of using various methods and strategies to get a specific domain to the top of the list. Let’s say, for instance, Jackson’s Trouser Kingdom is an online company that sells trousers for gentlemen. They have high-quality trousers for good prices, but they can’t just seem to get off the ground because they don’t appear at the top of the search results. The owner of this company may decide that investing in an SEO campaign to help them reach more of their target audience.

Global SEO, Large Scale Optimization

Global SEO is the act of optimizing your website worldwide, in multiple regions. Doing this means that you’ll need content and versions of your website in multiple languages to make sure that every region you want to reach gets the full effects of your campaign. If you’re an American website and want to market in France, having a .fr domain isn’t enough if it’s still in English, just like a French website would have trouble in the states if their website was in French even with an American domain. Your entire campaign has to be optimized for every region you’re looking to improve your search results in.

So, let’s say that your product is sunglasses. In France, you’d have to use the keyword “des lunettes de Soleil”. In China, it would be “墨镜”. In Finland, it would be “Aurinkolasit”. In Spain or Mexico, it would be “Gafas de sol”, and lastly, in the US, it would just be “sunglasses”. This applies to your website, any blogs you post, and really any posts you do in that particular region. That’s, in essence, how global SEO works.

Local SEO, Optimizing for Nearby

Local SEO is good for optimizing your position for things within your city. This method is useful for any local office that has people visiting a lot in person, so they’ll need to find them online as well. People that use local SEO are primarily looking for locals to be able to find their website, which makes attracting new customers even easier for them. Examples of places that would use this kind of SEO include:

  • Doctor’s Offices that want to attract new clients and have an edge over other doctors in the area.
  • Local mechanics looking to serve as many people in their area as they can.
  • Dentists.
  • Therapists, both mental and physical
  • Restaurants
  • Mom and Pop Shops
  • Local Thrift Stores
  • Historic Movie Theaters
  • Theatre companies
  • Community colleges
  • Local government entities.

Really, any business or entity that operates on a local level would have a vested interest in locals finding them would use this type of SEO to help more people find them. In part, it’s to make things easier with people that already have business with them. Like, let’s say you pawned off your lucky watch and forgot the name of the pawnshop. Searching for “pawn shops in my area” allows Google to pull up your location and find out what companies you fall within their geofence. 

This type of optimization also makes things significantly easier for customers to find what they’re looking for. A customer in Colorado Springs, Colorado would very likely have no use for the contact information for a towing company in Stratford, Connecticut, and as much as the Stratford towing company might want to help the customer they just wouldn’t have the ability to help them the same timeframe that a company in Colorado Springs would be able to.

So Which is Better, Local, or Global SEO?

Down to the big question, which is better. Fortunately, the answer is usually relatively clear depending on the type of company you have. If you’re a multinational company that intends to sell products all around the world, it’s likely you’d need global SEO. If you’re with a local office that only sees people within your town, you’d likely need local SEO.

If you don’t fit either of these you’re still in luck. There are more types of SEO than just these two. National SEO, for instance, is good if you need to optimize for the entire country. This is good for companies that plan to sell their products or services on a national scale but don’t plan on becoming an export. Regardless of the nature of your company, there’s a way to make SEO work for you.

Optimize Your Search Result Ranking, Optimize Your Future

Many people that undergo any type of search engine optimization see good results. In most cases, it is recommended to go through a company because it is a very involved process that can be very hit or miss. On the bright side, no matter if you want to sell in your town, around the country, or even in other parts of the world, you have an SEO option that will work specifically with the wants and needs of your company. Getting to the top of the search results is a big goal of any business that operates online in any capacity, and knowing that you have the ability to meet this goal can bring a lot of business owners a certain level of peace of mind in the long run. 

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