Are you a small business owner? Then you need local SEO.
This might sound dramatic, but it’s true. If you have any hope of attracting more local customers through your digital marketing efforts, the foundation for this has to be built with local SEO in mind. This blog post will explain why.
What is local SEO?
Search engine optimization is all about building organic search visibility for your brand. Local SEO takes this concept but restricts it to the area your small business is based. Initially, this may seem counterproductive. Wouldn’t you be better off trying to reach as many people as possible? Well, some companies rely entirely on local customers – think restaurants, gas stations, and beauty salons. There’s no point in them always targeting consumers from the other side of the country. While the occasional tourist might come their way, their main customer is in their local area.
However, local SEO isn’t only beneficial for those with a restricted audience. Even those targeting a national or even global audience make use of local search visibility.
Why is local SEO important?
Think about it. When you want to find a new bar to visit or information about a local garage, there’s one place you turn to first: Google. Within a matter of seconds, you receive the answer you’re searching for – no delays, no misinformation.
Your potential customers go through the same process. For proof, just look at this list of statistics:
- 46% of searches on Google revolve around local businesses.
- 88% of these searches result in a person either visiting or calling a business within 24 hours.
- 97% of consumers use online information to learn more about a local company than any other source.
Yet to be found within relevant searches, you cannot simply rely on your business appearing at the top of the page without any work. The competitor pool is naturally smaller, but rivals are still vying for the most prominent search positions with Google. That is why you must utilize local SEO.
The benefits of local SEO
With an effective local SEO strategy, your small business has a great chance of gaining that all-important visibility. When potential customers are searching for a particular location or your business specifically, you should show up front and center. This not only gets people seeing your products and services rather than those offered by the competition, but it also ensures they’re not hunting around for the information they seek.
For instance, your local business website and Google listing should feature all the critical information and make it readily available. This includes your address and contact details. With this info displayed prominently, it helps to further turn interested parties into customers. They know exactly where to go with no further searching required.
Another advantage of local SEO is that, when matched up against other advertising methods, it is an affordable marketing method. In fact, some small companies can get away with doing this for free – minus the time and resources required – on their own. It doesn’t take much effort to find relevant keywords and implement these within content, although more advanced SEO techniques are necessary to ensure you hit the number one spot with Google. Reaching out to experts is always recommended if you want to ensure you nail local SEO the first time.