The importance of SEO (search engine optimization) for businesses can’t be overstated. Good SEO can mean the difference between obscurity and being the first result on Google, which can translate to a huge boost in traffic (and customers).
A lot of SEO comes down to location-specific terms and tactics, but what does that mean for a company like yours that is nationally based? Are you forced to abandon all hope of ever ranking on Google?
Of course not! National SEO is a real and viable option for businesses like yours.
What is National SEO?
National SEO is the process of optimizing your website for Google searches that are not location-specific. So, instead of targeting keywords like “best pizza Atlanta,” you would target keywords like “best pizza.”
This might seem like a small change, but it makes a big difference. When you optimize for national SEO, you’re no longer competing with just the pizza places in your city–you’re competing with every pizza place in the country.
How is it Different from Local SEO?
The main difference between national SEO and local SEO is, of course, the location element. Local SEO is about ensuring you appear in Google searches for your specific city or region.
On the other hand, National SEO is about making sure you show up in Google searches that are not location-specific.
Here are a few more key differences between national SEO and local SEO:
National SEO is about targeting a national audience, while local SEO is targeting a specific city or region.
With national SEO, this means you don’t need to worry about optimizing your website for specific locations. You can simply focus on ranking for your chosen keywords.
On the other hand, local SEO requires you to optimize your website for specific locations. This means adding location-specific keywords (like “pizza Atlanta”), as well as your NAP (name, address, and phone number) to your website.
Since national SEO is about ranking for national keywords, you’ll need to research national keywords. This means finding the right national keywords to target that will bring traffic to your website.
On the other hand, local keyword research is all about finding the right local keywords to target. This means finding keywords that are specific to your city or region.
For example, if you’re a pizza place in Atlanta, you might target keywords like “best pizza Atlanta” or “pizza Atlanta.”
Link building is an important part of both national SEO and local SEO. However, the type of links you’ll need to build are different.
For national SEO, you’ll need to build national links. These are links from national websites that are not specific to any particular location.
For local SEO, you’ll need to build local links. These are links from local websites specific to your city or region.
National links are more difficult to get, but they’re also more valuable. This is because national links show Google that your website is relevant to a national audience, which can help you rank higher in national search results.
Local links are easier to get, but they’re not as valuable. This is because local links only show Google that your website is relevant to a local audience, which won’t help you rank higher in national search results.
SEO Site Structure
Another important difference between national SEO and local SEO is the way you structure your website.
For national SEO, you’ll want to have a national website structure. This means having one website that targets a national audience.
For local SEO, you’ll want to have a local website structure. This means having separate websites for each city or region you want to target.
This difference in structure can be a major advantage for national SEO. A national website structure makes it easier to show Google that your website is relevant to a national audience.
However, it’s important to note that a national website structure can also be a disadvantage. This is because ranking a national website in local search results can be more difficult.
How to Do National SEO?
If you’re a multi-national company or looking to target a national audience, national SEO is the way to go.
Here’s how you can do national SEO:
1. Create A Plan For Your National SEO Campaign
Strong foundation = successful national SEO campaign
National SEO is all about creating a strong foundation. This means having a plan for your national SEO campaign. Your national SEO plan should include your target keywords, target locations, and the steps you’ll take to rank for your chosen keywords. You should also research your competition and make sure you have a realistic chance of ranking for your chosen keywords.
Your plan should be targeted at addressing these questions:
Whom are you trying to target?
This should include all stakeholders: customers, clients, employees, and management.
What are your business goals?
Establishing clear objectives or goals is critical for the success of national SEO campaigns.
These may include:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Increasing sales
- Increasing web traffic
- Improving customer satisfaction
What are your primary geographies?
You need to identify the countries or regions you want to target.
What are your priorities?
You need to establish what your national SEO priorities are. These may include:
- Ranking for national keywords
- Ranking in national search engines
- Ranking for local keywords in national search engines
- Building national links
- Building local links in national search engines
2. Do Your Keyword Research
Selecting keywords, especially when trying to rank nationally, can be daunting. While there are a lot of factors to consider, the most important thing is to choose keywords that are relevant to your business and have a realistic chance of ranking.
To choose the right keywords, you need to understand your audience and what they’re searching for. Once you know this, you can begin to research keywords.
There are a number of ways to research keywords, but the easiest way is to use Google’s Keyword Planner. This tool allows you to research keywords and estimate how much traffic they get.
You should also research your competitors’ keywords. Use a tool like Moz’s Keyword Explorer to see what keywords your competitors are ranking for.
3. Build Your Website Architecture
Your website architecture is the foundation of your national SEO campaign. It’s important to get it right from the start. Here’s how you can build a national SEO-friendly website:
Start with a national landing page
Your national landing page should be the starting point for your national SEO campaign. It should be designed to target national keywords and be the foundation for your other national SEO pages.
Create country-specific pages
You should create country-specific pages if you’re targeting a specific country or region. These pages should be optimized for national keywords and linked to your national landing page.
Create city-specific pages
If you’re targeting a specific city, you should create city-specific pages. These pages should be optimized for local keywords and should be linked to your national and country-specific pages.
4. Optimize Your Website Content
Once you have your website architecture in place, it’s time to start optimizing your content. Here are some tips for optimizing your national SEO content:
Research your keywords
Before you start writing, you need to research your target keywords. Use a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner to get an idea of how much traffic your keywords get. You should also research your competition to see what keywords they’re targeting.
Write for humans first, search engines second
It’s important to remember that you’re writing for people, not search engines. So, while it’s important to include your target keywords in your content, you shouldn’t sacrifice quality for the sake of keywords.
Make sure your content is high-quality and informative. If it is, people will be more likely to read it and share it, which will help you rank higher in search results.
5. Setup Your Google My Business Page
Once your site architecture and content are optimized, it’s time to set up your Google My Business page.
To set up your GMB page, go to google.com/business and click “Start now.” From there, you’ll be prompted to enter your business information.
Here’s an example:
Be sure to fill out all of the information as accurately as possible.
Your business name should be your official business name. Do not include keywords or other terms in your business name.
Your phone number should be your primary business phone number. Do not include any additional numbers or extensions.
Your website should be your primary business website. Do not include any other websites or pages.
This should be the main URL that directs to a landing page or subdirectory for each specific location.
Some businesses have national and international branches with different locations. In this case, you should create a GMB listing for each location.
Select all categories that apply to your business. You can also add custom categories.
If you offer national SEO services, select “I serve customers at their location.” This will allow your business to show up in national search results.
Your business description should be a brief overview of your business. Do not include keywords or other terms in your business description.
Enter your business hours. If you have different hours for different locations, create a GMB listing for each location.
Upload photos of your business, products, or services. You can also add videos to your GMB listing.
6. Add Reviews and Citations
Reviews and citations are essential signals for national SEO. Google uses these signals to determine the quality and relevance of your business.
You should claim your business on popular review sites like Yelp, Google, and Facebook to get started. Once you’ve claimed your business, you can start encouraging customers to leave reviews.
You should also add your business to national and local directories. This will help Google verify your business and improve your ranking in search results.
7. Manage Your Online Reputation
It’s important to monitor and manage your online reputation. This includes monitoring your reviews, responding to negative reviews, and more.
You can use a tool like Google Alerts to track mentions of your business online. This will help you stay on top of your reputation and address any issues arising. Consistency is key when it comes to managing your online reputation. So ensure you’re actively monitoring your online presence and promptly responding to reviews and mentions.
8. Manage Your Local Citations
Local citations mention your business name, address, and phone number on other websites. These signals help Google verify your business and improve your ranking in local search results.
You should claim your business on popular directories like Yelp, Google, and Facebook to get started. Once you’ve claimed your business, you can start adding your business information to other directories.
Ensure you’re consistent with your NAP (name, address, phone number) across all directories. Inconsistent citations can hurt your ranking in search results.
9. Create High-Quality Content
Content is a key ranking factor for national SEO. Google looks at the quality and relevance of your content when determining your ranking in search results.
To create high-quality content, you should start with keyword research. Use a tool like Google Keyword Planner to find popular keywords relevant to your business. Once you’ve found some keywords, you can start creating content around those keywords.
When creating content, ensure it’s informative, well-written, and relevant to your business. Don’t stuff your content with keywords — this will only hurt your ranking in search results.
10. Build Backlinks
Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. Google uses backlinks to signal your site’s quality and relevancy.
To build backlinks, you should start by creating high-quality content. As you create content, other websites naturally link to it if they find it relevant and helpful. You can also reach out to other websites and ask them to link to your content.
When building backlinks, ensure they’re from high-quality websites relevant to your business. Don’t buy links or participate in link schemes — this will only hurt your ranking in search results.
11. Monitor Your Progress
Once you’ve implemented national SEO best practices, you should monitor your progress to see how your efforts are paying off.
You can use a tool like Google Analytics to track your website traffic. You can also use a tool like Moz Local to track your listing’s performance in local search results.
By monitoring your progress, you can ensure your national SEO efforts are helping your business grow.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About National SEO
We at SEO Vendor receive a lot of questions about national SEO from our clients. Here are some of the most common questions we get:
How Much Does National SEO Cost?
There is no simple answer to this question. National SEO costs depend on several factors, including your budget, business goals, and more. Generally, national brands with large budgets can expect to spend $5,000-$20,000 per month on national SEO services.
How Long Does It Take to See Results From National SEO?
Again, there is no simple answer to this question. The timeline for national SEO depends on several factors, including your industry, business goals, and more. Generally, national SEO campaigns can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to see results.
How Can I Transit From Local SEO to National SEO?
If you want to transition from local SEO to national SEO, you should start by expanding your keyword research. Instead of targeting just local keywords, you should also target national ones. You should also focus on building backlinks from national websites.
How does Google My Business affect SEO for National Geographies?
Google My Business is an important tool for national SEO. It allows you to manage your business information across multiple locations. It also allows customers to leave reviews and ask questions about your business.
If you’re not already using Google My Business, we recommend that you start. It’s a powerful tool that can help you improve your national SEO.
How Can I Use SEO to Target Multiple Locations?
There are a few different ways to target multiple locations with SEO. The first is by optimizing your Google My Business profile. You can also use geo-targeted keywords and build backlinks from local websites.
Do I Need to Be on Every Platform?
No, you don’t need to be on every platform. But you should be on the most relevant platforms to your business.
For example, you should be on Amazon if you’re a national retailer. If you’re a national restaurant chain, you should be on Yelp.
The bottom line is that you need to be where your customers are. You can reach more customers and grow your business by being on the right platforms.
How Can SEO Vendor Help With National Marketing?
At SEO Vendor, we specialize in national SEO. Backed by our patent-pending CORE AI technology, we can help national brands improve their SEO and grow their businesses.
We encourage you to contact us today if you’re interested in national SEO services. You can also check out our National SEO services page to learn more about our national SEO offerings. To help you better, we have divided our national SEO services into two categories: National SEO and Advanced National SEO. You can pick any of the national SEO services based on your business goals and budget.