Local SEO vs Global SEO: What You Need to Know to Improve Visibility

  • March 1, 2024
  • 5 min read
Local SEO vs Global SEO: What You Need to Know to Improve Visibility

For businesses looking to improve their search engine visibility, search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial strategy. However, not all SEO is created equal. The tactics and best practices for local SEO, which targets customers in a specific geographic area, differ from those used for global SEO, which casts a wider net to attract customers worldwide.

Understanding the local SEO vs global SEO is key for developing an effective strategy tailored to your business goals and target audience. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss local SEO vs global SEO approaches and provide actionable tips to boost your search rankings at both levels.

Overview of Local SEO vs Global SEO

Defining Local SEO

Local SEO is optimized to make a business discoverable by potential local customers searching for products or services in their city, county or state. The goal is to appear prominently in search engine results for queries containing geographic intent, such as:

  • Plumber in Portland, OR
  • Florist in Albany, NY
  • Italian restaurant in Houston, TX

Ranking well for these types of searches depends heavily on solid local SEO foundations, including:

NAP consistency. 

Name, address and phone number should be consistent across directories, websites and other listings.

Locally-optimized content. 

Blog posts and pages target geographic keywords and answer locally-focused customer questions. 

Positive local signals. 

Reviews, check-ins, backlinks and mentions from local sources strengthen relevance. 

Responsive site design. 

Mobile-friendly, fast load times and click-to-call functionality creates user-friendly experience.

Google My Business page. 

Complete and optimize your free business profile on Google to improve local visibility.

Defining Global SEO 

Global SEO casts a wider net to help businesses surface in search engine results for high-valueinformational and commercial keywords with global search volume, such as:

  • Email marketing strategy
  • Best lightweight laptop
  • Booking hotels online

Success with global SEO requires excelling at traditional organic SEO best practices like:

Keyword research and targeting. 

Identify high-value global keywords and optimize content.

Technical site optimization. 

Ensure fast speeds, responsive design, schema markup, etc.

Link building. 

Earn backlinks from authoritative niche websites.

Content marketing. 

Produce regular educational blog content that ranks for non-local terms. 

Social media engagement. 

Links and exposure from platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. 

Local SEO vs Global SEO

Key Differences

Understanding the Local SEO vs Global SEO strategies is critical so you can allocate time and resources appropriately within your approach:

Geographic intent. 

Local SEO centers around geographic search terms while global SEO targets informational keywords. 

On-page optimization. 

Local SEO may reference cities within content to optimize for geo-modifiers. Global SEO focuses solely on topic relevance.


Local SEO values local citations and directories. Global SEO values high domain authority editorial backlinks.


Local SEO may track foot traffic while global tracks overall site traffic and conversions.


Local focuses on GMB, maps, and location pages while global prioritizes blog, social media.


Local targets nearby searchers. Global attracts a national or worldwide audience. 

Developing an Effective Combined Strategy

For many businesses, an effective search strategy requires a presence at both local and global levels. Here are some tips for optimizing across both areas:

  • Perform keyword research to identify your most valuable local and global terms. 
  • Produce locally-optimized location pages as well as globally-relevant blog content.
  • Get listed on relevant local directories and aggregators.
  • Build locally-flavored backlinks from neighborhood sites.
  • Maintain and monitor Google My Business and social profiles.
  • Invest in technical site enhancements for performance and security. 
  • Develop content pillars targeting your global niche or industry. 


Delivering site visibility for both local and global audiences often requires separate efforts. Local SEO relies on strong foundational signals relevant to geographic intent queries. Global SEO lives in excellent off-page and on-page optimization for informational search terms. Understanding the nuances of local SEO vs global SEO of each approach allows companies to develop an effective consolidated search strategy.


What’s the difference between local SEO and global SEO?

Local SEO focuses on optimizing your online presence to attract customers in a specific geographic area. Global SEO aims to rank your website for broader, international keywords.

What are some examples of local SEO keywords?

“Plumber in Seattle,” “Best coffee shop near me,” “Italian restaurant in Chicago.”

What are some examples of global SEO keywords?

“Best email marketing platforms,” “How to choose a laptop,” “Top travel destinations in 2024.”

Which SEO strategy is better for my business?

It depends! If you have a brick-and-mortar store or serve a local clientele, prioritize local SEO. If you offer online products or services with global appeal, prioritize global SEO. Many businesses can benefit from a combination of both.

How long does it take to see results from SEO?

SEO is a long-term strategy, and results can take several months to appear. Be patient, consistent, and track your progress to measure success.

Do I need to hire an SEO expert?

It depends on your budget, expertise, and desired level of control. While SEO best practices are available online such as at Biztex, an expert can provide tailored advice and manage your campaign for optimal results.

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