National Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is for companies and organizations that want to reach an audience outside of their immediate geographic area. Typically, this includes the entire country and/or world.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quality and quantity of visitors to your website and other online marketing channels. In short, having a strong SEO presence means you are being found by the right people at the right time, without having to pay for online advertising.
Rarely does having a strong national SEO presence happen by accident. National SEO is often necessary for companies that sell products online such as eCommerce retailers, SAAS (software-as-a-service) companies, consulting companies, etc.
Why You Need It
According to Chitika, the first organic search result gets 32.5% of the clicks for that search. That’s a ⅓ market share! It doesn’t take a professional mathematician to calculate how valuable a #1 ranking on Google could be for your business.
Additionally, 51% of all website traffic comes from organic search (compared to just 10% from paid advertising clicks) (source). Over 40% of revenue is generated from organic clicks, so if you are not showing up in the organic section of the search engine results pages, you could missing out on huge revenue opportunities.
How I Can Help
Optimizing your website and online presence for a large geographic area is neither simple, easy or quick. But I’ve had multiple successful campaigns that have resulted in top-of-the-page rankings. These top rankings translated into measurable revenue increases and significant market share capture for my clients.
I use a calculated, long-term approach when optimizing for National SEO that produces serious results for national or global businesses like eCommerce retailers, global manufacturers, consultants and more.
First, I start with an in-depth SEO audit on your entire web presence, not just your website. I’ll quickly discover the holes in your national SEO. This will help me develop an SEO roadmap that we can use over the course of the next several months in order to improve your SEO.
My 8-point technical SEO fixer includes taking care of the low-hanging national SEO fruit:
1. Website Structure
Do you have pages for all your core products and services? Are those pages filled with unique and engaging content your potential customers will find useful and compelling? Google LOVES unique and engaging content, so let’s make sure your website is full of quality content.
2. Meta and Other HTML Tags
Does your website have properly-optimized title and description tags (or do those tags even exist)? Are you using Heading tags properly (H1, H2, etc)? Your home page should have only one H1 tag and the other heading tags should be properly optimized so Google knows exactly what you have to offer.
3. Website Load Speed
How fast does your website load on both mobile and desktop? I’ll run a speed audit using Google’s Page Speed Insights tool to uncover the technical issues that are slowing your website down and causing you to lose out on a higher ranking on Google.
4. Mobile Optimization
Google has officially moved to a “mobile-first” index. This means Google will evaluate your website layout on a mobile phone and consider that when deciding on where to rank your website in relation to your competitors. If your website is not mobile-optimized, Google will penalize you.
5. Secure Pages (https)
Do all pages load securely using the https protocol? If your website does not have an SSL installed and configured, you could be losing out on a higher ranking.
6. Domain Canonicalization
Do your web pages load with or without the www? Choose one and let Google know about it.
7. Broken Links
Does your website contain links that don’t work? This includes both internal and external links. I’ll scan your site to be sure all links work properly.
8. Duplicate Content
If your website contains the same content in two or more places, Google might think you are trying to “game the system” to make your website look like it has more content than it really does. I’ll scan your site and let you know if there is any duplicate content issues that could be hurting your ranking.
Ongoing Maintenance and Optimization
After the one-time, technical SEO is out of the way, I can begin an ongoing National SEO campaign that focuses on content creation and link building - the bedrocks of strong SEO.
Remember when I said Google LOVES content? The more the better. But quality content is more important than quantity. Why? Great question, I’m glad you asked.
The answer is because humans LOVE great content and prefer quality over quantity. Yes, that’s right, Google built their search algorithm with humans in mind, and that’s a good thing! (You are a human, aren’t you?)
So to further optimize your website, you need more and more and more (like a never-ending supply) of great content. Great content could include rich, in-depth articles in the form of blog posts. It could be videos or infographics or podcasts. Most high quality content takes the form of in-depth blog posts (like this one), engaging videos or podcasts.
The more often you add high quality content to your site, the more Google will take notice and the higher your website will rank (all other things being equal).
Speaking of equal, Google had to come up with a way to determine “rank-worthiness” based on 3rd party validation. After all, if everyone could take care of the technical issues on their site and if everyone could add high quality content to their site, how would Google know which result is most relevant for a particular keyword search.
A link is simply when another website (that you don’t own or control) places clickable code on their site so users can quickly and easily jump to your site from theirs.
The more links you get (generally speaking) and the higher quality those links (think newspapers and large industry-specific websites), the more Google will see you as worthy.
It really all comes down to reputation.
If you combine high quality content with high quality links, you’ve got a great recipe for a high ranking on Google for that coveted search term.
Link building (the right way) can be a long and arduous task. Some links are easy to obtain (directory sites, social media, etc), while other types of links can be near impossible to secure (guest blogging on a large industry site, large news sites, etc).
But they can all be helpful in letting Google know that your site is more relevant than your competitors.
And one more thing...Google indexes web pages, not necessarily websites. Although the number of pages you have in your website does matter, when a user searches a particular topic, they are usually looking for a single page of information on that topic, so Google serves up their listings based on the particular page on your site it thinks will best serve the user for that particular search terms.
National SEO is not necessarily an easy thing to do (correctly), but if you have the time and skill, you can see positive results in 6-12 months. Most ongoing National SEO campaigns should be run for at least 6 months before determining effectiveness.
If you have any questions about National SEO or would like me to run an SEO audit on your web presence, hit that button below to begin the process.