SEO: Local, Global, and International

Any business owner with an online presence has undoubtedly encountered the term SEO or search engine optimization when discussing website design or ecommerce

Any business owner with an online presence has undoubtedly encountered the term SEO or search engine optimization when discussing website design or ecommerce. SEO defined simply is a set of techniques and practices used to make a website attractive to search engines like Google and Bing that scour the web for answers to search users’ queries. The site and its content should be configured in a way that prompts search engine algorithms to display it high on the list of unpaid, “organic” search engine results.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a perennially hot topic among website builders, digital marketers, and anyone who does business online. There are three primary types of SEO practice: Local, Global, and International. A general definition and description of the primary characteristics of each strategy may be useful in clearing up confusion around what is often seen as a somewhat mysterious art.

Local SEO

Local SEO entails optimizing a website to rank high in response to generic search phrases that are modified by the addition of geographic references. Such a reference might be the name of a specific location, for example a town or neighborhood, or it could simply be a phrase like “near me”. This “local search” strategy has been made possible in recent years by the spread of geolocation applications to smartphones and other mobile devices.

Local SEO differs from other SEO strategies in that it is generally used to drive traffic to brick and mortar business locations. Local search provides results that are usually within practical traveling distance of the search user. The goal is to attract customers who are in the area and can physically come in and patronize the company. Local SEO is gaining in importance as more searches are conducted on smart phones by consumers looking for nearby results as they actively move around an area or prepare to do so.

Global SEO

Global SEO is a term that is commonly used interchangeably with International SEO. However, there are differences between the two. Also called General SEO, Global SEO is site design and optimization based on the use of high-frequency generic keywords. It is part of a strategy intended to attract traffic from anywhere in the world to a website rather than a physical location. This has the benefit of exposing a company and its offerings to a huge potential market, but the level of competition is also vastly increased as websites around the world incorporate the same popular keywords.

International concerns, large multi-location national, regional, or local enterprises, and online retailers are examples of the types of businesses that might engage Global SEO strategies. The potential downside of optimizing a site for global search is the possibility for ranking poorly or failing to even show up in local searches. Large companies typically overcome this disadvantage by providing a store finder function or links to localized sites on their websites.

International SEO

International SEO can be seen as the strategy of taking Global SEO to the next logical level. Companies that use International SEO techniques are looking for website traffic and customers from outside their home country. They are ready and able to offer and deliver their goods and services to such distant markets. For the purposes of our definition, International contrasts with Global SEO by going further to customize websites and their content to specific cultures and languages represented among target market audiences.

International SEO involves optimizing a website in ways that enable search engines to find and display the site to searchers in a targeted country or to speakers of a particular language. The objective is to offer search users from a specific region relevant and appropriate content presented in their language and adapted to regional cultural norms and regulatory standards. International SEO can be very productive, but it is a complex undertaking usually handled by specialist firms like Indigoextra. Regulatory aspects, currency and pricing differences, and the fact that a broad variety of search engines beyond Google, Bing, and Yahoo may be in use are just a few examples of the complications associated with International SEO.

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