A Gold Mine of Opportunity: Business Benefits of Local SEO
We all know that we need to have a solid local SEO if we want a successful digital marketing campaign.
Before we all accept this popular opinion, let’s talk about local SEO. It is time to find out what local SEO is. What does local SEO do, how is it relevant to the world, and what impact does it have on your business?
Time to dive into the world of local SEO. Let’s go!
What Is Local SEO?
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the process of getting web traffic from search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Major search engines typically rank content based on how relevant it is to a user search and show results accordingly.
Local SEO focuses on location-based searches. This variant of SEO aims at making you visible to people searching for similar services or products in your locale.
This includes any search done using geo-qualifiers. These searches take the city, state, and ZIP codes into account and pay special attention to ‘Near Me’ searches.
Why Should I Care About Local SEO?
Does your business have a physical location or store? Does your business provide services in a specific locale? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to pay attention to local SEO.
Several studies show that an overwhelming majority of people use their smart devices to search for goods and services in their areas. Many of these end up calling and visiting places they searched for on the web.
The numbers don’t lie. Searches based on location are a gold mine for local businesses, and as devices get smarter, these numbers will keep on growing. Taping local SEO results means a more significant number of potential customers and profits.
What Good Does Local SEO Do Me?
Local SEO is the missing ingredient towards the success of your business. Here are a few ways local SEO can have a beneficial impact on your business.
Web Traffic Goes Up
Taking advantage of local SEO means you aren’t going head-to-head with big companies on search pages, with many of them across the globe.
A good grasp of local SEO means having people, many of whom are on the go, seeing you on their search results’ first page, instead of the third or fourth page. If your business shows up a lot on searches, more people would be inclined to click on your website to see what you have to offer customers.
Local SEO Keeps You Competitive With Other Local Businesses
Having a better product or service doesn’t immediately mean great sales. If you aren’t taking full advantage of local SEO, your store may be getting passed up in searches compared to your local competitors. Local SEO helps keep you in the thick of things, making your products and services visible to potential customers.
Build Customer Trust
Local SEO helps get people in the door. While many of your customers are going to be from farther areas who aren’t likely to come back and buy again, local customers are going to be a different matter altogether.
Local customers are more likely to become repeat customers, especially if you provide a positive experience during their first visit. Customers are also more likely to trust you and your services if you and your business show up on the top of the search results.
Reduced Advertising Costs
A lot of shoppers like to have options close to home when looking for services or products. This leads to many shoppers going for the “near me” option when looking for a place to go for their needs. High search ranking because of local SEO means spending less on advertising costs through traditional advertising means or via targeted online ads.
Taking advantage of local SEO is a cheaper and more cost-efficient option to paid advertisements and with often better long-term results.
You Get More Reviews
Customers love to rave about great prices or services that they received. The flip side is also true, however: they also love to complain about bad service. An optimized local SEO backed up by great reviews means more people are likely to see you on searches and are more likely to drop by and buy.
Local SEO Helps Build the Community
“Buy Local!” has been a rallying cry of many small business owners and even residents. After all, supporting local stores helps keep the local economy up and running.
So, if you want to be part of the effort to boost the local economy, then let local shoppers know that you’re nearby. Local SEO can make sure that potential shoppers who live near the area know that your business is just a click away.
Convert Clicks to Sales
Buyers go online when they want to research products and services that they are interested in. Many of these go online again when they think it’s time to make a purchase. A good number of people hop on to their browsers and search engines when they are ready to buy, and they almost always look for options that are near their location. Showing up on the first page of their search results boosts your chances of converting those clicks into a sale.
Keeping Up With the Mobile Revolution
The use of mobile devices has skyrocketed over the past few years. Nearly everyone you meet will have one or more smart devices, and many of these will have a mobile internet connection. Studies show that roughly half of all internet traffic today is from mobile devices.
Smart devices take advantage of location services, such as GPS. Optimizing your local SEO means you will show up in a search from mobile device users.
Harnessing The Power Of Local SEO
So now we know what local SEO does and how you stand to benefit from it. The next question is how do you harness it for your own use?
Improving your local SEO takes time, but that doesn’t mean it is difficult. Here are a few simple steps you can do to improve your local SEO.
Create Your Google MyBusiness Account
Optimizing your business profile is a quick and easy way to bump your business up in the search results. But in order to gain access to these optimizations, you will need a Google MyBusiness account, and you need to associate this with your business profile on Google. Fortunately, signing up for an account is relatively simple, and best of all, it’s free. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to show off to your customers.
Ask Your Customers To Leave Reviews
Online reviews don’t just improve your local SEO, it also helps improve sales. In fact, studies show that a majority of people see online reviews in the same light as personal recommendations.
Encourage your customers to leave reviews at the conclusion of a sale, and never forget to stay professional when responding to reviews, especially the unfavorable ones.
Make Sure Your Contact Information Is Up-To-Date
Check your website and confirm that all your contact information is accurate. This includes phone numbers, email, and mailing addresses.
Make sure that these are in text form, not images. Search Engines have difficulty reading and verifying contact information when it is in an image. Make sure that your website contact information matches your Google MyBusiness profile as well, or you’ll take a hit in the search rankings.
Keep Your Content Local and Relevant
Nothing speaks local like having web content that relates directly to issues or events in your area. Keep your content fresh and local by talking about news or activities and events. Create blog posts or videos that focus on these and you’re sure to see an improvement in your local SEO. Also, effective content marketing can do wonders for your business.
Optimize Your Website for Mobile Browsers
The shift from desktop to mobile devices has been phenomenal, with about half of all website visits originating from a mobile device. If you want to improve your local SEO, then make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Make sure your website loads fast, use larger, easy to use fonts, and keep images and copy to a bare minimum. A good user interface leads to a good user experience.
Use Online Business Directories
Websites like Forsquare or Yelp are a godsend for businesses. Getting listed on these will boost visibility and your local SEO. Make sure your contact information on these sites is accurate and matches your website. Ensure that your page on the directory contains a backlink to your website and most important of all, have a detailed description of your business included as well.
Grab High-Quality Backlinks
While an optimized Google profile is vital to your local SEO, it’s not the only thing you need. Publishing and promoting relevant content is a great way to encourage other websites to link to yours. Guest blogging on websites and engaging local influencers also helps pad your backlinks.
Build a Social Media Presence
Social media is a prime place to make a buzz about your business while building backlinks and relationships with influencers and customers. Promote your content here and you will see an uptick in your local SEO.
Using local SEO not only helps profits grow, but it also boosts your business profile. It is not an easy task, as you need to stay up to date with current SEO features. You need to be ready to take advantage of every single new tool that comes out if you want to keep your business afloat in the rapidly changing digital landscape. Keep in mind the impact of local SEO and what you need to do to use this very useful tool.
And if you need help with the local SEO of your business, contact the top SEO agencies now.