This is the first article in a series: “Unlock the Door to New Customers with Local SEO”.
What is Local SEO
First and foremost, it is important to understand what exactly Local SEO is and why it matters for your business.
Local SEO, also known as localized organic search engine optimization is a strategy involving optimizing content specifically for searches based on geographical locations or keywords related to those areas. Searches like electrician in San Jose, CA or heating repair near me are examples of local search. Local SEO increases visibility by targeting customers who are near you, or your service area, who are specifically looking for the services you provide.
Traditional SEO, also known as National SEO, focuses on ranking pages nationally or even internationally. For a business who service’s customers in a local area, it is more cost effective to focus your budget on getting the best search results in a local or regional area versus at a national level. There would be no value in a page one search result for someone in Baltimore, MD looking for a local plumber and finding one in Sacramento, CA. Unless of course they actually needed a plumber in Sacramento.
By utilizing techniques specifically designed around appearing in search results in a smaller area, business owners can benefit from improvements in rankings in local searches—but only if done properly!
Here are a few stats provided by Google that prove how important local search continues to be for businesses:
• 76% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a business within 24 hours, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase.
• 46% of all searches processed by Google have a “local intent”.
• 89% of consumers said in a recent local search survey they search locally every day.
• 82% of consumers read online reviews for businesses during a local search and spend close to 14 minutes doing so before making a decision.
• 86% of people rely on Google Maps to find the location of a business.
• 46% of voice search users look for a local business on a daily basis.
• Yelp appears in the top five search results for SMB searches 92% of the time.
• More than half of Internet users worldwide use a mobile device for their local searches.
• 83% of searchers use Google Search to learn more about nearby businesses; 55% use Google Maps, 44% Apple Maps, 39% turn to Yahoo, and 31% choose Bing.
Many businesses overlook the importance of implementing an effective online local SEO plan yet continue to rely on expensive advertising, flyers and door to door sales. Some rely exclusive on word-of-mouth or reputation alone. These businesses are missing out on maximizing the abilities of the number one tool for a successful business in our time – the internet. They are also the businesses that will not be here tomorrow.
A successful local SEO campaign will allow your potential customers to find you instead of your competitors, attract new customers, get you more visibility, generate traffic and ultimately more sales.
The number one benefit of a successful local SEO strategy? Your customers find you and not your competitor.
In conclusion, implementing a successful local SEO strategy can have a significant impact on your small business. The benefits of local SEO are real and numerous. Soon you will experience increased traffic and along with it an increase in brand awareness, trust and credibility which will lead to better conversion rates and sales ultimately allow you to beat out your competitors. Given the statistics and the benefits, there is no reason why every successful business should not have a local SEO strategy.
If you’re looking to take your online presence to the next level, consider investing in a comprehensive local SEO strategy sooner than later. If you do not, your competitor will and eventually drive you out of business.