• Learn SEO

Local and Global SEO: Strategies for an Interconnected World

  • Felix Rose-Collins
  • 5 min read
Local and Global SEO: Strategies for an Interconnected World


Local and global SEO both apply the same principles. SEO, in general, can improve your digital visibility and draw more people from your target audience to your brand. However, there are a few fundamental differences between the two.

Depending on the type of business you run, you’ll want to utilize either local or global SEO to its fullest potential. For example, if you run a small coffee shop in your community, you’re probably not going to benefit as much from marketing your lattes to the world. However, if you’re a small local business that always fulfills online orders, it’s worth it to go global with your marketing efforts.

So, how can you make sure your marketing strategies cover the “right” kind of SEO? What should you do if you need to cover both? Most importantly, how can you identify your local and global audiences?

Let’s take a closer look at some of the differences between local and global SEO. Once you have a better understanding of the basic principles of each, you can apply crossover strategies that will boost your business’ presence and appeal to your target audience(s).

What Are the Major Differences Between Local and Global SEO?

The biggest difference between these two SEO types is also the most obvious. Local SEO is used when you’re a business that only needs to market to a specific location. Maybe you’re a small-town clothing shop or restaurant with one brick-and-mortar spot. In those situations, you don’t need to spend as much time or money branching out to the world with your marketing. Rather, you should hone in on your local audience and get the most out of the surrounding areas as you can.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t utilize SEO, no matter how small and centralized your business is. It’s estimated that 63% of all shopping begins online, even if the customer ends up making a purchase in the store. They’ll want to research your business, see what you have to offer, and learn more about you before they come in for the first time. Having a strong digital presence can make their decision easier.

What Are the Major Differences Between Local and Global SEO? (Source: Ranktracker)

When it comes to global SEO, you have to think about a broader audience. You’re likely to have more competition and a bigger fight to get to the front page of Google. It’s common for those utilizing global SEO to implement strategies like:

  • Keyword research;
  • Speeding up website load time;
  • Earning backlinks from other reputable companies;
  • Streamlining code.

We’ll dive a little deeper into the best strategies for both local and global SEO. However, they both start with one important detail — understanding the target audience.

How Can You Find Your Target Audience?

Discovering your target audience requires data collection. Obviously, that’s going to be on a smaller scale when you’re a local business, but it’s just as important. No matter the size of your business, data collection strategies are similar. The easiest way to get started is by conducting market research. Take a look at your competition and look at industry trends. What are people responding to? Which products are selling quickly? Which marketing strategies seem to work the best?

It can also help to have a clear picture of who your audience isn’t. There are certain people who might be in your general demographic, but who won’t respond to your message. That’s why it’s so important to whittle down your audience using details. For example, not all men will respond to your marketing efforts, but men under the age of 30 will. Narrowing things down can make it easier to collect data that your marketing team can work with, rather than having an abundance of information that’s difficult to weed through.

If you do end up having a lot of data, especially from analyzing your current customer base, one of the best ways to work through it is by doing some “data cleaning”. Using clean data makes it easier to hone in on your audience with accurate information that will allow you to push more effective strategies.

Data cleaning helps to get rid of any corrupted, inaccurate, incomplete, or duplicated data within your system. Some of the biggest benefits of data cleaning include:

  • Getting rid of errors and duplicates after combining multiple data sources;
  • Less frustrated employees;
  • More accurate functions;
  • Faster decision-making.

Data collection and cleaning are both essential for not only creating your target audience but also implementing effective marketing strategies that speak to them. It’s not a one-time process. Rather, it’s something that should be continuously gathered, cleaned, and monitored. Trends change and the desires of consumers change with them. It’s never safe to assume that your audience wants the same things for years at a time.

The more you know about your audience and understand their buying habits, the easier it is to build an SEO strategy with them in mind.

Best Local SEO Strategies

One of the biggest mistakes small local business owners make is assuming they don’t need to invest a lot of time into SEO practices. After all, you’re not trying to expand your business to different communities, so why not rest on the idea that your local audience will find you on their own?

You certainly can, but you’re likely going to experience slow growth, sluggish sales, and not much brand recognition.

The best local SEO strategies don’t have to blow your budget. You might not have a big marketing team targeting your audience, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create strategies that beat out your competition and help people recognize you as a household name. Some effective marketing strategies for small businesses with limited budgets include utilizing Google My Business. It’s a great, low-cost way to tell your customers who you are, where you are, and what you have to offer.

Not only can you post things like store hours and basic information, but you can also post specials and upcoming deals to keep people coming back.

It’s also important for local businesses to take advantage of social media. Your audience might be smaller than a global corporation, but it’s just as essential for them to feel connected with you. Designate someone on your team to monitor your social media accounts daily. Post relevant content, answer questions and talk to your audience to establish trust and build relationships.

That doesn’t mean strategies like keyword optimization are obsolete, especially if you have local competition. Take the time to research popular keywords and related words to determine which ones are most relevant to your business and your growth efforts.

Best Global SEO Strategies

Many of the best global SEO strategies are just large-scale versions of local efforts. However, your audience is broader and you might need to segment them to effectively get your message across. Google My Business is just as essential for global companies, and utilizing social media helps your audience know there’s a real person behind your business. Humanizing your brand as much as possible will build both trust and loyalty.

It’s also a good idea to make sure your SEO strategies are consistently effective, especially as a global business. If you’re not sure how to start, consider doing a website audit.

Best Global SEO Strategies (Source: Ranktracker)

Doing so can help you find issues with your site or any existing campaign. If you’re simply not reaching the first page of Google and you’re not sure why, an audit can help you identify the issues almost immediately.

It’s often easier for global businesses to connect to others within their industry, or even to work with similar businesses with a common goal. When that’s the case, you can utilize backlinks as often as possible in your SEO efforts. Backlinking is a fantastic way to build authority on your site. Using backlink-checking tools can help you see what backlinks your competitors have, and how you can improve upon their strategies.

As you can see, there’s plenty of overlap between local and global SEO. While your target audience might be different depending on your type of business, many of the basic principles remain the same. Collect clean data, learn as much as possible about your audience, and ensure you’re connecting with those individuals through relevant content and active engagement.

SEO strategies never stop. Once you have a strong SEO practice in place, don’t assume that you never have to worry about it again. If you want to remain at the top of every search engine, build trust with your audience, and grow your brand on a local or global scale, make SEO a continuous effort.

Try Ranktracker for FREE