Global vs Local SEO: The Challenges of Getting Results Locally, Nationally, and Globally
Part of planning your SEO campaign is recognizing the scope of the project. While the scope entails a number of different things, one thing it should include is a recognition of the reach of the company the campaign is for – local, national, or global, and where in that reach the SEO campaign will target its efforts.
There are different challenges associated with each kind of campaign, and of there are benefits to each as well. So, let’s take a look at what you should expect when endeavoring to increase your online presence within a given space.
Planning a Local SEO campaign offers some benefits and, of course, challenges. On the plus side you’re dealing with a smaller pool of competition (typically speaking of course). While there may be some national players in your market, you generally don’t have as much competition to deal with and can achieve results at a faster pace.
The challenges of local SEO, however, can be those national chains with a local presence. Local business, naturally, have a smaller pool of customers to draw from, and if a national chain with brand recognition is trying to grab from that same pool of customers, it can be a daunting task to overcome them. So what is a local business supposed to do?
Focus on local, and possibly even super-local. For example, you may be a business in New York City, which qualifies as a local area. However, it’s a large city with a lot of business competing for the same market share, so by focusing on the small area your business is located in, say the Upper West Side, you can eliminate some of your competition and make sure to focus on those customers most likely to visit your business or use your services anyways.
Also, make sure that you have accurate, verified local listings in all of the search engines. Google, Yahoo, and Bing use these as indicators of where your business is and it can influence how you show up in searches done by local residents. By letting the search engine know that you’re located in the Upper West End, you increase your chances of being found by somebody searching for your services in the Upper West End.
The most obvious challenge with a national campaign is that you’re competing against other national companies, as well as local companies. While there is a larger pool of potential customers when you’re dealing nationally, you have a larger pool of competitors trying to eat up market share as well. So, what are your options?
First of all, be patient. Everybody knows that SEO doesn’t happen overnight, but national campaigns can take time to find their footing and to find the right combination of techniques to give you an edge over the competition. While nobody likes to admit it, trial and error is a part of SEO, but so long as your SEO company is keeping you abreast of their efforts, there’s nothing wrong with that.
Also, think local, even if you are national. Major retailers use this approach by running both national campaigns that target a wide audience in general, but also smaller campaigns aimed as a certain area of the country. You don’t see Macy’s running many sweater adds in Florida no matter what time of year it is. You can create targeted campaigns for specific areas of the country where specific products or services that you offer are better received.
Creating a global SEO campaign is particularly challenging because different countries must be approached differently, not just from a marketing standpoint, but from a technology one as well. For example, while we take for granted being able to get a .com URL here in the United States, getting a .ca domain (one for Canada) requires being able to prove that your business is either located or does business in the country. This can be an extended process that can slow your campaign.
One approach to the global campaign is the same as the national campaign – think local. Obviously the difference here is that the “local” is a country instead of a state or city. Many companies build separate websites for each country that targets the specific needs and desires of that country. This obviously takes more time, and money, but it allows you to create a tailored experience for each country that increases the chances that the customers there can find you, and, more importantly, will interact with your business.
Find the Right SEO Company
Finding the right SEO company that can manage the needs of your SEO campaign is critical to ensuring your online success. Be sure to lay out the needs of your company with any potential SEO’s that you work with so that they are aware of potential challenges and so that you can be sure that they’re up to the task.
Ask them what approaches they would take for your particular needs, and beware of cookie-cutter answers – your business isn’t like anybody elses and the needs you have, be they local, national, or global, will be unique to your business.