Local SEO vs Global SEO: Difference & Strategies

Local SEO vs Global SEO. So you know there’s a difference, but what is it exactly? And now that you mention it, how do the strategies differ for both?

In this tell-all article, we aim to dispel the myths surrounding both local and global SEO. We do this by outlining the following:

  • The differences between Local SEO and Global SEO
  • Which of the two you should look to focus on
  • The differences in the strategy you should employ depending on your chosen focus 

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO relates to optimizing your sites for local search queries. What we mean by this are search engine queries that are specific to the local area.

Often these are keywords that involve a place name, for instance, “Plumbers in London” or “Best Plumbers in London.” As you can imagine, these types of searches herald less volume of searches compared to the more generic term “Plumbers for Hire.” However, there is almost always less competition for these location-specific terms.   

What is Global SEO?

Global SEO – also known as International SEO – relates to optimizing your sites for organic search traffic from a global audience. If you take the example mentioned in the What is Local SEO section, the generic term “Plumbers for Hire” can be relevant to a global audience. 

Then again, what if you wanted to target this term in, say, France and Mexico? You would be looking to rank for the terms “plombier” or “fontanero” in these regions. Global SEO is about ranking for terms around the world, not just in your national market. These generic terms usually have higher traffic than location-specific search queries but are often many more times more competitive. 

Learn more about SEO in this Starter Guide.

Should I Focus On Local or Global SEO?

Having read the previous two sections, you probably have a pretty good idea of which type of SEO you need to be focusing on. 

If you’re a business that operates solely in your local area –  you guessed it – you need to be focusing on Local SEO. Businesses like this could be independent brick-and-mortar stores or service providers that only operate in a certain location, like our friend the London Plumber.  

The reason for this is twofold:

  1. Keyword Difficulty
  2. User Intention

Keyword Difficulty

As mentioned earlier, it is much easier to rank highly for location-specific keywords than it is for generic keywords. If you’re a local business, you probably don’t have much time or resources to spend on lots of content and link building. However, Local SEO lets you rank for keywords that are still relevant to your business but for reduced time and effort.

Learn more on how to implement keywords for search engine optimisation.

User Intention

If you’re a local business, you really only want potential customers coming to your website. If you can only take contracts in London and yet you rank for a broad keyword term, you’re probably getting a lot of people coming to your website who you physically can’t work with. 

In addition, certain terms are automatically “localised” by search engines such as Google. Type the keyword term “plumbers” into Google and you’ll more than likely find a list of plumbers in your local area. This is due to search intent. Google knows that more often than not users typing in this term are looking for local plumbers. They are not often looking for a definition of the world or a history of this noble vocation.

So for these kinds of businesses, not only is it cheaper to target localised keywords, but it’s also completely unhelpful to target generic terms!

Is Global SEO An Option?

So in the battle between Local SEO vs Global SEO, we should be pretty confident of when local SEO is appropriate for your business. However, when does global SEO have its merits?

If you operate in several international markets, you should consider optimizing for global search terms. These can be broad search terms as we have already mentioned. They can, however, also be region-specific search terms. This is especially true if you’re present in markets that speak different languages. 

It can be quite easy to transfer that hard-earned SEO power from one region to another, but we’ll get to that in the Global SEO strategy section.

Learn more about Google SEO Tools which can help you implement your global SEO strategy better.

Local and Global SEO Strategy

Local SEO Strategy

In order to target local terms, make sure you get yourself registered with Google My Business. This will allow you to list your premises in Google’s directory and be findable when people search for localised keyword terms relating to you. 

The next step is to create pages dedicated to your focus local keyword. This could be your homepage if you’re only serving a particular area. However, if you’re like us at Fat Fish Marketing, this could be a separate page altogether. For more information on how to optimize your page for a focus keyword, why not check out our SEO for Dummies article?

Global SEO Strategy

A global SEO strategy is a little more complicated. Let’s assume that you have a website serving the UK market at a .co.uk domain extension and have recently launched a .com website serving the US. However, you’re not ranking for the search terms that you rank for in the UK. There are a few things you need to do to make sure you can rank in both regions and not just one:

  1. Use hreflang tags to tell search engines which page needs to serve which market. 
  2. Localise your content. For instance, make sure the .co.uk page uses British spelling conventions and the .com American. You should also use the appropriate height and weight system for the given region. This is especially important for e-commerce product pages that often include this information. 
  3. Redirect American traffic that lands on the .co.uk site to the .com version. There are WordPress Plugins and Shopify Apps that enable you to do this easily. 
  4. Build backlinks for each domain from high-authority sites in their respective regions.

Learn more about Local Landing Pages.


If you’re trying to adopt a truly global SEO strategy, you’re also going to need to translate your content into different languages. This may be an additional cost but the benefits for SEO are huge. It’s also worth noting that it’s often much easier to rank in countries that don’t use English. That’s simply because there is far less competition for these non-English keywords. 

Domain Extensions, Subdomains and Subdirectories

There is some debate over which is better to use, but some experts report that subdirectories underperform vs subdomains. It has even been recommended to redirect region-specific domain extensions to your appropriate subdomain. However, we at Fat Fish Marketing prefer to use the right domain extension for the given region and do away with subdomains. This can improve credibility in the region with locals appreciating the company being based in their local area.

Recent posts
Read Article
Green Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing: Planning on Going Green in 2024?

You are probably aware that green digital marketing is taking the world by storm. Sustainable (or ‘green’) digital marketing initiatives seem to be everywhere. For example, big brands like Coca-Cola, TikTok, and X have made a commitment to be more environment-friendly. This isn’t just in their areas of production. We’ll bet you didn’t know that […]

Read Article
eCommerce Strategies
Digital Marketing Strategies: Increase eCommerce Sales in 2024

eCommerce trends are exactly that: they are patterns and waves that trend and then vanish. To truly achieve a sustainable, valuable consumer market, it’s vital that your business locks down the fundamentals of a strong foundation that will ensure eCommerce customers return time and again. Over time, this will help to transform your business from […]

Read Article
Local Citation Building
Why Citation Building Is Fundamental to Local SEO Ranking

Citations are mentions of your business on the web. They are how internet users come across your business’ information and ultimately, get in contact with you. To start attracting high converting local visitors, it’s imperative that the information your citations provide is accurate. It is estimated that half of all searches have local intent and […]

Read Article
Content Is No Longer King
Google Reducing Webpage Crawl Rate as Content Is No Longer King

Is Google reducing webpage crawl rate to save resources? Or is there a much worse scenario coming? Is Google no longer hungry for content? Is content no longer king? I’m afraid it’s the scenario many have been dreading. What is the actual reason behind this decision? Ever since 1998 Google was desperate for high-quality content […]

Read Article
Local Landing Page
Local Landing Pages: A Complete Guide

Optimising your online presence with Local SEO has far-reaching benefits. It helps your business attract a target audience of local clients and boost your visibility, traffic and revenue through local landing pages. It’s 2022 already and advice that Matt Cuts outlined in his 2010 blog post is still valid: If your company has a bunch […]

Read Article
eCommerce Website Design
E-Commerce Website Design: Our Go-To Guide

Have you ever wanted to design an e-commerce website? Perhaps you already have but you’re not happy with the results. Either way, in our go-to guide to e-commerce website design, we use our experience and e-commerce expertise to help you follow a proper website design process. We also hope to help you from falling into […]

Read Article
Google Analytics
Google Analytics for Beginners

Is the thought of Google Analytics (GA) overwhelming for you? Don’t worry, many people are intimidated by thought of web analytics but once you get stuck in, you’ll quickly get the hang of Google Analytics’ easy-to-use interface. In this guide we will cover the following so that you can have a better understanding of how […]

Read Article
Email Marketing
How to Implement Keywords for Search Engine Optimization

Keywords. The key word in Search Engine Optimisation. If you’re active in online and digital marketing, then most likely, you’ve already come across keywords. Read any SEO blog and it will tell you all about the importance of doing keyword research, how and why to target specific keywords, the dangers of keyword stuffing, etc. So […]

Read Article
Schema Markup SEO
How to Use Schema Markup for SEO

Schema Markup offers businesses and all website owners a huge opportunity to boost their organic traffic, drive conversions and see real results from their Technical SEO efforts. Unfortunately, the technical nature of this SEO tool puts many people off. We’ve put together this guide to help you get to grips with the key terms and […]

Read Article
Affiliate Marketing
Successful Pay Per Click Campaign in a Nutshell

Pay per click advertising (or simply PPC) is an online marketing term that refers to online advertising schemes, like Google AdWords or Facebook Ads. PPC tools only charge you if your ad is clicked, and visitors are redirected to your website. The beauty of a pay per click campaign lies in its simplicity and cost […]

Read Article
Content Marketing
SEO Starter Guide

When it comes to SEO, there are a lot of acronyms and terms thrown about by digital marketers like it’s second nature, but to the ordinary person, it might just feel like you’ve been transported to some other dimension where English doesn’t sound like English anymore.  If you’re diving into the world of SEO for […]

Read Article
Google SEO Tools
Google SEO Tools

People browse the World Wide Web to get all sorts of information. As you are no doubt well aware, one of the easiest ways to get information is by using Google. By using this search engine, Internet users can collect specific information in a matter of seconds. On the other hand, e-business owners and Internet […]

Read Article
Targeted Website Visitors
Attracting a Target Audience

The World Wide Web has produced a brand new breed of buyers. 21st-century buyers are experienced, independent and well informed. But they are more overwhelmed with competing demands for both time and attention than they were ever before in history. So how do you make sure that these buyers choose you? The internet is a […]

Read Article
eCommerce Business
How to Start an eCommerce Business in the 2022 Online Jungle

Starting an eCommerce business can be a daunting task, especially if your particular market is over-saturated, but with what there is to be gained from stepping forth into the wonderful world of eCommerce, don’t let it deter you. Earlier, it was reported that eCommerce sales were on track to hit $4.2 trillion in sales, with […]

Read Article
Local Global Network
Local SEO vs Global SEO: Difference & Strategies

Local SEO vs Global SEO. So you know there’s a difference, but what is it exactly? And now that you mention it, how do the strategies differ for both? In this tell-all article, we aim to dispel the myths surrounding both local and global SEO. We do this by outlining the following: The differences between […]

Read Article
Top 10 Benefits of SEO

Are you wondering what the real benefits of SEO are over other digital marketing channels? Can somebody please explain what all the fuss is about? Scratching your head as why you should bother with an SEO strategy? Let us set the record straight and show you why SEO should be central to any high-level digital marketing strategy. Hold on […]

Read Article
SEO for Dummies
SEO for Dummies: The Beginners Guide to Success

Are you looking for a complete guide to SEO for dummies? Are you looking to improve your SEO and reach new customers? Not sure where to start? You’ve come to the right place! We at Fat Fish Marketing are Search Engine Optimization experts and want to help YOU achieve SEO success. So sit back and […]

Read Article
Finding digital marketing agency
Why Is It So Hard to Find Good People in Digital?

This is a question we get asked from time to time by those we know. How do you find good people in digital marketing? You see in the digital marketing world there is a fundamental flaw. You can apply a simple flow to it. If you want someone with experience and they have learned how […]

Read Article
SEO vs Design Driven
SEO Driven vs Design Driven Approach: Who Wins?

With a lot of people saying SEO is dead. We find it interesting to see the confusion in the market by what this means. It is not that SEO is dead per say. It is that it has become the background principle that if everyone is not working towards that culture as a team digitally. […]

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Work With Us!

Are you ready to take the next step in your organic and digital growth journey?

Make the best choice you’ve ever made for your online and search marketing and get in touch!

Work with one of the best up and coming SEO companies in the UK and take your business to the next level.

Most agencies aim to extract value from their clients for themselves, we aim to provide amazing value for our clients. If you’re tired of contractors overpromising and underdelivering, take the plunge with Fat Fish Marketing. We know we won’t disappoint.

    Services you are interested in: