With the amazing benefits that digital marketing and SEO offer, it’s not surprising to see more and more businesses investing money and time into them. Whether it’s attracting more customers into the business or increasing brand awareness, marketing online is the perfect way to be seen by your targets.
One of the best strategies today that can help your target customers find your business is local SEO. In a nutshell, it allows your website to appear whenever local consumers search for businesses like yours. Keep reading to learn more about local SEO and how it can help your business grow.
What is local SEO?
Local search engine optimization (SEO) is designed to help an online site get found in the local search results. This technique is generally used to highlight the optimization efforts of local brick-and-mortar businesses including law offices, restaurants, grocery stores, and so on. Local SEO can also be beneficial for many service-area businesses such as locksmiths, construction workers, or plumbers. Basically, it is ideal for any type of business that serves a geographic area or has a physical location.
Why is local SEO important?
Obviously, local SEO is a great help for putting your business in front of your target customers whenever they’re using search engines to find something in a specific location. Some examples of those local search terms include best breakfast place near me, wedding planner in Los Angeles, clothing outlets near me, and so on. To have better insights on why local SEO is important, check out these key statistics:
- Around 46% of the Google searches are local.
- Mobile queries (“where to buy” + “near me”) have increased by 200%.
- Over 50% of “near me” searches end up visiting the physical store.
- 86% of individuals use Google Maps to search for local businesses.
- 30% of the mobile searches on Google include local intent.
- 29% of consumers search for local businesses once a week.
How does the Google local algorithm work?
Google’s algorithm treats local search results a bit differently. It takes three factors into consideration to determine local search results, which include proximity, prominence, and relevance.
Considered the most important local ranking factor, proximity is where Google thinks you’re located when you use your phone or laptop to search for something. You can often see a zip code at the bottom of the page. A user can carry out a local search in three ways: “near me,” non-geo-modified (searches that don’t include location name), and geo-modified searches (name of area, city, or neighborhood is included in the search term). To check your business’s current local ranking status, you can use tools like local search results checkers.
Prominence refers to how important or trustworthy your business is. You can build up prominence by establishing local links, publishing relevant content, getting listed in directories, and more. Businesses with solid online prominence are more credible to the local algorithm. If there aren’t enough signals or Google cannot find you, you’re less likely to rank.
Just like in standard SEO algorithm, relevance is also important for local algorithm. One thing to always keep in mind is that Google doesn’t want to display irrelevant results for search queries. That being said, be sure you’re targeting topics and keywords that your potential customers are likely to search for, and consistently add that valuable content to your site. Other things that may impact the relevance of your business include onsite SEO (meta tags, title tags), citations, business name, and GMB categories.
How can it help your local business?
Investing in local SEO is a smart idea if you want people to organically find your business online. While the work might seem difficult, the perks you can receive far outweigh those daunting tasks that you will encounter along the way. If you’re still uncertain whether or not local SEO is something you should try, check out these eight benefits.
1. Improve your ranking
More than half of the consumers nowadays use search engines like Google to search for local businesses. And at least 50 percent of those local customers visit the physical store on the same day. Think about how many sales opportunities you are losing if you are not taking advantage of local SEO.
While making it to the Google 3-Pack (the top three results that appear for search queries with local intent) is the goal, there are other ways to improve your ranking. On-page signals such as keywords and NAP (name, address, and phone number) are included in localized, organizing ranking factors. Simple, local SEO strategies, like keeping your NAP consistent, can help your business stay relevant for the searcher’s geographic vicinity or search terms.
2. Generate more website traffic
Obviously, the better your rankings in the search engine results, the more traffic your website will get. Having great traffic from the local search results can ultimately help you get better conversion rates too. However, it’s worth noting though, that there’s not always a definite connection between site traffic and sales.
Nevertheless, having more visitors to your business site comes with other amazing perks. For one, it gives you a chance to observe how your target customers interact with your website. You can check your bounce rates or how long they spend on your web pages. This will then enable you to make changes to your site and give a better user experience.
3. Save on advertising costs
One of the best things about local SEO is that there are many ways you can market or promote your business without shelling out a huge amount of money. For instance, you can find several local directories or listing websites that can list you for a price of nothing. Yup, for free!
Probably the only time you’ll have to invest money is when you’re tracking your listings and ensuring they are updated at all times. Other listing sites also offer services for a low cost. Or you can always work with credible companies like Feedback Systems that offer products and services to help with your local SEO efforts.
4. Increase your leads and sales
Generating more leads and sales is undeniably one of the amazing reasons you should use local SEO. One study by HubSpot shows that 75 percent of searchers don’t scroll past the search results’ first page. A well-crafted, local SEO campaign can put your business in front of many highly interested potential customers. That means your chance of acquiring more leads and sales is just massive. You can use Google Analytics to check the number of visits you receive from local search resources.
Apart from ranking your site, local SEO strategies also focus on optimizing your site to boost sales. Such website optimization may involve several aspects like great navigability, fast-loading pages, or a good landing page.
5. Have an edge over competitors
If you don’t know yet, most of your competitors have already or are currently doing local SEO. So if you want to stay ahead of the game, you will need to start working on your local SEO strategy now. In this modern, digital world, it’s definitely not enough if you have an actual address but are not present online. Consumers use the Internet to shop for almost anything.
In working on your local SEO, you can start by checking the keywords your competitors are ranking for or determining keyword gaps that they are missing. Efforts like these can make your business more competitive in the market.
6. Promote local engagement
If you’re running a business with a physical location, local SEO can help you increase the number of customers visiting your address. By working with a team of SEO experts like us, you can make it more convenient for your customers to find you and buy your products. You’re also providing them with the opportunity to contact you, give you star ratings or feedback, and book an appointment.
Local SEO enables you to create an online community where your prospective and existing customers can stay updated with your business—new products, business hours, events, and even discounts. In short, you are building a local following.
7. Make your business more trustworthy
Of course, if there is more engagement, there’s likely a better reputation too. Bear in mind that most consumers now assume that businesses can already be found or contacted online. In fact, customers use this notion to decide a business’s legitimacy. No online presence? You’re not credible in the eyes of those people.
As local SEO can basically help you establish online presence, you can make your business look trustworthy to your target audience. However, it’s worth noting that better strategies are needed to make you appear on the first page of the results and gain more trust. Our products here can help your business have a good online reputation, so be sure to check them out.
8. Reach mobile users
Certainly, we can all agree that most of the online searches these days come from mobile devices. Quick fact: Almost 50 percent of those mobile users are searching for business details such as business hours and addresses. And yes, these details can be found in local search results. So why miss the opportunity of reaching to many of these mobile users, right?
Through local SEO, you can make your business visible to these local searchers and even encourage visits into your physical location. If you don’t want to miss out on those sales, work on your local search presence now and get that business information in check.
Get Help for Your Local SEO
Putting together a good local SEO can help you achieve all these benefits. Want to make local SEO your best friend? Our team here at Feedback Systems can happily help you with that. Contact us to schedule a consultation and find out how our SEO specialists can guide you to increase your local visibility.