Choosing Between Global and Local SEO: Finding the Right Strategy for Your Business

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Whether you’re an online retailer or a blogger, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) stands as a cornerstone strategy for businesses striving to improve their online visibility and attract organic traffic. Among the myriad approaches to SEO, two prominent methodologies emerge – local SEO and global SEO. While both share the overarching goal of enhancing search engine rankings, their strategies and applications diverge significantly, catering to distinct audiences and objectives.

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO refers to the process of optimising a website or online presence to increase visibility in local search results. It aims to promote products and services to local customers when they search for them online.

Local SEO involves various strategies and techniques to help businesses appear in local search queries, especially those with geographic qualifiers such as city, state, or zip code.

Creating and optimising a Google My Business profile is essential for local SEO. This includes providing accurate business information such as name, address, phone number (NAP), hours of operation, and categories.

Identifying and targeting relevant keywords with local intent that potential customers are likely to use when searching for products or services in a specific area is another local SEO strategy. This also allows for the optimisation of website content, meta tags, and headings with local keywords and geographic locations to improve relevance for local searches.

What Is Global SEO?

Unlike local SEO, which is limited to a specific area, global SEO aims to reach a global audience and expand the reach of a business or organisation internationally. It revolves around conducting comprehensive keyword research to identify relevant keywords and phrases that international users are likely to use when searching for products or services in different languages and regions.

When implementing global SEO, businesses are likely to also start using country-specific domain extensions to establish a local presence and improve visibility in specific countries.

The Difference in Objectives

The main difference between local and global SEO practices lies in their target audience and geographical focus. That said, brick-and-mortar businesses that primarily serve customers within an enclosed geographic area, such as restaurants, retail stores, salons, and local service providers should focus on local SEO. This also applies to lawyers, doctors, dentists, real estate agents, and other professionals who serve clients locally or within a specific region.

Online retailers and e-commerce websites that sell products internationally or target customers in multiple countries should focus on global SEO to expand their reach and increase sales. Businesses that offer digital products or online services, such as software companies, SaaS providers, and digital agencies, can also benefit from global SEO to attract clients from different parts of the world.

Competition and Market Analysis

Understanding local competitors is crucial for devising effective local SEO strategies. This involves identifying direct competitors within the same locality and analysing their online presence, including their website content, keywords, backlink profiles, and local citations.

Global SEO involves analysing competitors not only within the local Australian market but also across different regions and countries. This requires businesses to assess the SEO strategies of international competitors and identify opportunities to differentiate and compete effectively on a global scale.

Content Customisation

Central to local SEO is the customisation of content to resonate with the unique needs, interests, and cultural nuances of the local community. Content strategies often incorporate references to local landmarks, events, and colloquialisms, fostering a sense of familiarity and relevance among local audiences.

Global SEO, on the other hand, necessitates a more universal approach to content creation. Content must be crafted with broad appeal, accounting for cultural diversity, language variations, and global trends to resonate with audiences worldwide. This could be a challenging task, which is why many businesses eyeing expansion hire professional SEO Services in Sydney to better cater to both local and international audiences.

Target Audience

Local SEO sets its sights on connecting businesses with customers within a specific geographic vicinity, be it a town, city, or region. Its primary aim is to optimise online visibility for local searches, ensuring that businesses appear prominently when users seek products or services within their immediate locale.

In contrast, global SEO casts a wider net, targeting audiences on an international scale. It aims to transcend geographical and cultural barriers, enabling businesses to reach a diverse array of audiences across different countries and linguistic demographics.

Keyword Strategy

Both local and global SEO efforts require comprehensive keyword research to identify relevant search terms and phrases that potential customers are likely to use when searching for products, services, or information.

As stated earlier, local SEO places emphasis on incorporating geographic terms and location-specific keywords to optimise visibility for local searches. These may include phrases such as “best coffee shop in Melbourne” or “plumber near me,” catering to users seeking services or products within their vicinity.

Using the same approach for your global audience won’t produce the same result. That’s why global SEO requires a more intricate keyword strategy, considering the linguistic diversity, search habits, and universal terminologies that resonate with a wider audience.

Compliance and Regulations

Local SEO operations are bound by local laws, regulations, and guidelines governing online business practices within a specific jurisdiction. Businesses must ensure compliance with regional requirements, such as data protection laws or advertising regulations, to maintain credibility and legality within their local market.

Global SEO is much more challenging, as it entails navigating a complex landscape of international regulations, varying legal frameworks, and diverse cultural sensitivities across different countries and regions.

Budget & Resources

The allocation of resources differs significantly between the local SEO and global SEO initiatives. In the realm of local SEO, businesses typically prioritise targeted investments in local advertising platforms, community engagement endeavours, and geo-targeted content creation.

For instance, local businesses often allocate resources towards optimising their presence on platforms like Google My Business and Yelp, which are instrumental in connecting them with local customers

Global SEO necessitates a more expansive approach to resource allocation due to its broader geographic scope and diverse audience demographics. In this scenario, multilingual content development emerges as a primary focus, requiring substantial investments in translation services and localisation efforts to ensure that the content resonates effectively across different linguistic regions.


As you can see, the choice between local SEO and global SEO hinges on a multitude of factors, including the nature of the business, target audience demographics, and overarching marketing objectives. Once you fully understand the distinct characteristics and nuances of each approach, you can formulate tailored SEO strategies that align with your unique needs and aspirations, ultimately driving sustained business growth and success.