Local or National SEO Rankings, Which Should You Go For?
When it comes to creating a strategy to achieve the free rankings in Google, one of the decisions you need to make is which keywords to go for. Keyword research should always be the first task you perform and one of the decisions you make is should you target national rankings for example “carpet fitters” or local rankings like “Dorset carpet fitters”.
You can easily spend hundreds or thousands of pounds on trying to gain free rankings but if the keywords are not suitable it’s money wasted. If your business can not physically provide the product or service to the area the person searching is in then it’s a waste of your time and money and not to mention frustrating seeing potential business pass you by.
The decision of whether to target national or local keywords is quite an easy one but to decide you need to consider the following 3 aspects of your business to decide which way to go. Making correct decisions now will save you wasting money further down the line in the future.
Chances are you will be paying someone to do your SEO for you. If not then you might be having a go yourself if you have some basic knowledge, in which case time is money so you don’t want to be wasting your time performing tasks for SEO on keywords not suitable. Either way making the wrong decision at this stage will be lost money.
If you are hiring someone then your budget will play a part in your keyword choices. For example if you have a budget of £300 a month and want to rank well for a highly competitive and lucrative keyword such as “loan quotes” that’s not going to happen. Companies spend thousands a week on attaining rankings for these keywords such is the traffic and income they can bring in. So your £300 a month will simply not compete with the large companies. They have people literally working day after day going for the same keywords you have chosen.
Good keyword research will show you how competitive phrases are and it will always be easier to go for local phrases such as “loan broker Dorset” rather then “loan brokers”. Choose wisely based on your budget otherwise you will simply see it wasted away and have no search engine ranking results to show for it, or at the very least you will be on the 3rd or 4th page probably more so will never see the traffic.
Deciding if you should go for national or local SEO rankings should mainly be based on the fact can you deliver nationwide or provide your service nationwide or just to local customers. For example, if you are a plumber you will only cover a certain area and people in Leeds won’t search for a plumber in Dorset. Google will display listings near you anyway for companies close to the searcher but you still have to rank for the generic national keyword “plumber” which isn’t going to happen unless you have thousands a month spare. Far easier to rank for “plumbers in Dorset” and also more relevant if you only service the Dorset area.
Can you deliver your product nationwide and still make a profit after costs? Is your product in demand nationwide? Answering these questions will tell you if you should go for national or local rankings. If you are a hotel then obviously you will go for local rankings as people will search for the area they want the hotel in like “Dorset Hotels” so if you are in the hospitality industry you should stick to local SEO. Always remember unless you are very niche in what you provide most towns and cities will have a business like yours. So always stick to the area you can provide for in your keywords, don’t try go to far for example if you are dentist in Leeds you won’t want to rank for dentists in Bradford as people will prefer to keep it local and not travel far, especially when there is no need and what they are after is right on their doorstep, stick to gaining rankings for people in Leeds searching for dentists in Leeds.
Can you deliver what you offer nationwide? If it’s a large item and costs to deliver are substantial meaning little profit should you target local rankings? Is there a demand nationwide for your product or service? You also need to consider how competitive your industry is, for example if you are a loan broker even if you can offer what you do nationwide it will always be near impossible to rank for generic loan keywords unless you spend thousands a week.
A car repair garage for example will only ever get customers from the area it’s located in, unless it’s a specialist such as vintage or marque models. Fact is trying to rank for local keywords will be cheaper and come with a higher chance of success in attaining the free rankings.