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Remember back in the day when someone searched for a service on Google they’d get a result from a company nowhere near them? Literally someone in California could search for printing they needed done and a printer in New York City would show up.

Those days are gone! Kind of…

Over the past decade Google made a big shift in how they display search results and one of the most significant updates was making determinations on whether a search should display mostly local results, national results or a mix.

This is a significant update because it gives preference and the advantage back to the print companies serving their primary market.

Here we break down the differences between what shows up locally and nationally as it relates to SEO for printers.


Local SEO for Print Companies

Depending on what you print and what industry you serve it’s likely that you have a large part if not the majority of your jobs coming from the local market you are in. When we talk about Local SEO we’re talking specifically about the City or Major Metro that you are located in geographically.

Google (and Bing) wants to show your company to people in your city or metro if the term, product or service is most likely to be purchased from you by someone in closer proximity to you.

Common print searches that will generate more localized results are things like…

  • General print terms (print company, printer near me, best print company in *city name*)
  • Broad Services (print finishing, print fulfillment, etc.)
  • Certain Products (banner printing, direct mail printing, etc.)

This means that the results shown to the searcher are going to contain both the Maps listings, “natural” listings (text with the bold headline) of local companies and in some instances sites like Yelp that have a group of companies listed.


National SEO for Print Companies

On the other hand Google (and Bing) want to show your company to people across the entire country if the term, product or service is shown to have a broader purchase base or not competitively dense in your city or metro.

Common print searches that will generate more national results are things like…

  • Specialized print products (SEG printing, stretch fabric printing, etc.)
  • Specialized services (foil stamping company, scaffold wrap printing, etc.)
  • Industry specific (pitchbook printing, financial printing, etc.)

This means the results shown to the searcher are mostly only going to show companies who specialize in those products, services, industries or pages / blog posts that talk about topics on those products, services and industries.

How do the Search Engines Know what should be Local vs National?

Great question!

The short answer is through observation.

Over time patterns show up between what people search and what they click on which allows the machine learning algorithms to make statistically sound decisions on how to make that call.

There are so many variables that it isn’t 100% the same for all printers across the U.S. but for most printers who aren’t located in the middle of Manhattan, LA city center or Midtown Chicago this is exactly how it will play out.

High volume densely populated cities that contain tons of print competition have fewer national results show up because the availability is usually just a few blocks away for all products and services.


Check out a few examples of Local SEO, National SEO and Mixed SEO results for Print Companie below.

*all searches are being performed while in Downtown St. Louis

National SEO for Print

Term: SEG Printing

Local SEO for Print

Term: Banner Printing

Mixed Local and National SEO for Printers

Term: Brochure Printing

Local SEO for Print Companies


Local SEO for Print Companies





Local Mixed Local and National SEO for Print Companies

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