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Global SEO vs. Local SEO: Which is Best for Your Business

You’ve probably heard people say – that if you can’t be found online, it’s like you don’t exist. Gone are the days of people learning about a business through connections and recommendations. Moreover, businesses can now serve the entire world, but only if they can be found globally.

You need to be discoverable online for both of these cases, the local recognition and global. Your online presence, both local and global, is built through search engine optimisation. Of course, with SEO, you need to know what would work best for you, as it’s not a one-glove-fits-all approach. We’ll help you find the answer to the question: Which is best for your business?

What is global SEO?

If you optimise your online presence with global SEO in mind, you will target a wider audience. This comprehensive approach will help you target a wider audience across countries, continents and languages.

What is local SEO?

As the name implies, you will target a local audience with this approach. If you want to reach greater online visibility in your geographic region, even a specific city area, you can significantly benefit from optimising your website for local SEO.

Pros of Global SEO

Global SEO, if done right, can get you an expansive reach. Your entire business, brand message, vision, mission, product or service will be discoverable by anyone in the world. Borders won’t limit you to delivering your service to a vast, global audience. As a result, your brand will also get worldwide recognition and authority.

Cons of Global SEO

Like any major project that can span across countries, you’ll have different challenges to overcome. Each country is different; each country has different competitors. Diversity of target markets means you’ll have different strategies for each country or target market. You’ll also have to bridge the language gap and find people who speak the language to do the keyword research for you and help you with the localisation.

Pros of local SEO

The main reason why an SEO specialist might suggest focusing on optimising for local search results is the type of audience you’ll reach. Australia is the perfect example of this because they’ve recognised the benefits of local SEO for their businesses. A team of experts like those at SEO Services Sydney will help you reach local customers and local audiences. As a result, you’ll get an increase in conversion rate and foot traffic and thrive as a small local business.

Cons of local SEO

However, a strategy like local SEO comes with a set of challenges – competition. Optimising for local search is not a tactic you’ll be privy to; all other businesses will consider the same. Competitions are always fierce when starting your SEO journey, but there are always the so-called low-hanging fruits. But, even if your business is in a densely populated area, consistency is key. Ensure every piece of information found online is consistent and up to date.

Global SEO vs. Local SEO – The comparison

The audience

Depending on your chosen SEO approach, you’ll target a different audience type. With a global search engine optimisation strategy, you’ll target a wide audience, and a local SEO approach zeroes in on a specific geographic area. Whether you choose one or the other depends on the scale of your business and your target demographic.


The type of audience you choose will affect your reach. You’ll cast a wider reach when you go for a global audience. With a local SEO approach and a local audience, your reach will be location-specific.

The cost

SEO has the best results if it’s done consistently. With constant algorithm changes, the optimisation is not a one-time thing. So, both local and global search engine optimisation will require a budget. However, the one that is narrow in scope will be more affordable than global SEO, which is wider in scope. That’s why local SEO is often suggested as the best approach for small businesses, as it is budget-friendly.

Conversion rate

You can expect a high conversion rate if both strategies are done right. But, if we take a reasonable approach, local SEO is more specific regarding audience and location. As a result, it will yield higher conversion rates. However, you can also expect higher conversion rates from a global SEO.


The first step in any SEO strategy is market research, market analysis and competition analysis. With the local SEO approach, you’ll compete against competitors or anyone else targeting your location. With a global SEO approach, you’ll try to compete against global businesses. This requires a deep analysis of different markets, competitors and user behaviour globally.

Keyword research

Keyword research for local SEO and global SEO is equally important as it will be the basis for further strategy development. However, the type of keywords will be different as those for local SEO often include geographic terms relevant to the local area.

In contrast, global SEO is more complex as it will require knowledge of different languages, search behaviour, and a list of competitors that differ from country to country.


The approach to content optimisation is the same for both strategies – but the languages will be different. With local SEO, your content will be written and optimised for keywords in your own language. But, with global SEO, you’ll have to localise the website. Meaning, you’ll have to have different versions of the same website but in different languages. This might require hiring content writers, translators and SEO specialists for every foreign language.

Metrics and tracking

The key performance indicators will differ from strategy to strategy. For example, one of the KPIs for global SEO might be international website traffic. At the same time, KPIs for local SEO can be keyword ranking and conversion rate.

Making the choice for your business

Now that we’ve highlighted the pros and cons for each strategy and covered the main differences between local and global search engine optimisation strategies, the final question remains. Which one should you choose for your business?

The answer to this depends on your target audience, available resources, and how fast you can adapt your strategy to ever-evolving business circumstances.


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