National SEO

What Is National SEO? Allow Us to Explain

Read time: . Last Updated on December 12th, 2023 at 01:38 pm.

National SEO: What Is It, How to Implement & More

What is national SEO? It is understandable that you’re asking this question either before trying to implement it yourself or, looking for somebody for the job.

Here, we will let you in on what national SEO is and explain the difference between local SEO vs national SEO.

National SEO is the process of optimising your site for your country on a national level, meaning that you want to end up at the top of the SERP (search engine results page) for a holistic search term that isn’t tailed with a location.

For example, if you sell windows. A national keyword that you may optimise your website for is “Double glazed windows”, or “Double glazed windows UK”.

Since the end goal is to be able to reach the users all over the country that are searching for your relative keyword, it is important to know that your website must be optimised correctly to actually rank.

So how do you do this?

somebody researching keyword research for national seo

Local SEO vs National SEO: What’s the Difference?

First, you should understand the difference between local SEO and national SEO in order to implement the correct strategy. This is particularly true for those who are looking for ways how to expand from local SEO to national SEO.

We have an extensive guide on local SEO here, so you’re able to find out some more information on it specifically but the clue is really in the name. The difference between the two is that you’re casting a wider net with national SEO, and a smaller localised one when optimising for local SEO.

For example, using our previous example, the difference between the two when regarding this search term would show the locally optimised search term as “Double glazed windows, Liverpool”.

The page or pages would then be optimised to this specific keyword and thus, rank highly for these terms or the relevant ‘near me’ terms.

somebody researching national seo on laptop

Often, the keywords to target when using local SEO typically have a lower keyword difficulty. This means that it is easier for you to rank, since there is also a lower volume of searching users too.

This in turn, makes the percentage of people being able to view and click through to your site is higher.

Nonetheless, this can be limiting if you want to reach a wider target audience which is why often, businesses will want to take the next step onto national SEO practice.

Before you do this however, think about the factors that you must consider. Below, you can find the areas of concern when it comes to either implementing national SEO from the get go, or, what to think about if you’re looking how to expand from local SEO to national SEO.

Factors to Consider for National SEO

Below are some practices within SEO that should be considered when going forward with pushing your website up to the next level and implementing national SEO.

Keyword Research

If you know anything about SEO, we’re sure that you’ll know all about the importance of keyword research.

So what makes it so different when it comes to national SEO?

If you’re a small scale business, perhaps operating from within Manchester, chances are you have initially targeted the localised keywords. For instance; “best cafe in Manchester”. While this is a good keyword to target, what happens when you open a franchise in London perhaps?

Does this mean you’re now going to go for the keyword “Best cafe in London”? Or, are you going to understand that you have the potential to grow and start using national SEO to become the “best cafe in the UK”?

Something to consider is shifting your attention away from the location you’re in, and instead centralising around the business or service that you provide.

For example, rather than opting for something along the lines of “language tutor in London” you would instead, focus on the actual service, so it would be replaced with an example such as “Language tutor for Mandarin”.

As you can see, there is no limitation on the actual location of the keyword, instead it is a holistic keyword that refers to the service or product that your site is used for; this indeed takes more work, however the return is greater too.

So you can see what this might look like and why the return on national SEO is beneficial for your site below with an example of these two keyword examples.

With data pulled from Semrush on these two keywords, you’re able to find both the keyword difficulty (remember, this is how difficult it is to rank) and the search volume (the average amount of searches per month).

example of keywords for national seo

Looking at this example, it is clear that the volume is significantly higher for the national SEO keyword than it is for the localised one and while it is often a good starting point, it can be limiting your prospects of visibility and CTR.

However, you may also notice that typically with higher volume keywords, the competition increases and thus, the keyword difficulty also increases. Since this is the case for most national keywords, it would take more work on improving the overall health of the site.

This would include implementing SEO best practices everywhere on your site, like generating backlinks, keeping a consistent flow of content and the many other branches of SEO.

Target Audience

Your target audience should always be at the forefront of your mind when considering what direction to go in with your website, but this becomes even more imperative when you’re stepping up the ladder to national SEO.

A woman researching what is national seo

Your target audience is going to grow dramatically if you’re looking for how to expand from local SEO to national SEO, which means your site needs to be directed to a much wider audience.

While when you were local you may have overlooked many things, now is the time to think about who your audience is and how you’re going to target them. While your audience may have initially had a demographic that is localised to a specific area, you need to be more holistic about your targeting tactics.

For instance, if you were initially targeting a small town in which the income is relatively low, you may now be targeting all demographics that have hugely varied income brackets. That being said, you may need to take a look at how you present your site.

Does it look like a place where people are willing to spend money? Do you look trustworthy enough for them to invest in your services even if they don’t know what town you’re from?

The thing is, when you target local keywords, there is a community level from that demographic that may already have a particular level of trust since they know who you are, where you’re based and you’re a part of their community.

However, once you step up onto a national level, you’re starting from scratch and need your targeting to be on-point to convince audiences all over the country that you’re worthy.


One big change that you may find is the level of competition once you start to learn how to rank nationally, SEO then needs to be finer tuned and worthy of not just reaching your audience, but also competing with long standing ranking sites that are already in that 1-10 spot.

First, do your research. Find out who is there and ask yourself some simple questions to get the ball rolling like:

  • What are they doing right?
  • What are they missing?
  • Who is their target audience?
  • What keyword(s) are they ranking for?

An in-depth analysis should be conducted to find out how you would have the capacity to overtake them. You’re no longer competing against your neighbours down the street, you’re competing with national and possibly even international businesses all fighting for the top spot.

(UX) User Experience

One other factor to consider before taking the leap of national SEO is how you’re going to combat the change in user experience.

While your site may have once been targeted to local audiences, your national audience isn’t going to care for the images of your town, the address of where you are and how you’re the best in your community – now, you’ve scaled up and thus, expect your site to do the same.

Think inclusivity, who are you now targeting that you weren’t before? Make the site have the ability to appeal to a wide audience and avoid limiting your traffic prospects.

Naturally, this will typically come with the change in keywords and once you finalise how your brand new competitors’ sites look and who they target, you might find that the things that need to change on your site are a lot easier to determine.

Need Help with your National SEO?

Now that you know the answer to ‘what is national SEO?’, it wouldn’t be surprising if you feel a little overwhelmed. If so, not to worry, we are well equipped at Maxweb to help you make the move from local SEO to national.

Alternatively, if you’re jumping straight into the deep end, get started right away with national SEO implementation with our experienced team of SEO consultants and developers. To find out more about how we can help, click here for SEO UK.