What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is exactly as it sounds. It’s the process of improving your web presence in order to boost your search engine exposure among local users.
So, what is the significance of local search? Because local businesses account for 45 % of all Google searches.
According to Forbes research, 95% of individuals use their mobile devices to conduct local searches, with 61 % calling and 59 % visiting the business. According to another survey, % of smartphone searches for local companies result in a call or visit within 24 hours.
The holy grail of local search marketing is Google’s ‘Local Pack.’ You’ve seen those three businesses that appear in the box at the top of the search page along with a map and dropped pins. Well, unsurprisingly, they get more clicks and more customers than any links that appear lower down the page.
The big question is: how does a company break into the top three? It’s all part of a well-rounded SEO strategy, which begins with an understanding of local SEO — what it is, how it works, and how to play the game.
What Types of Businesses Need Local SEO?
- Hospitality: hotels, restaurants, café, bars, etc
- Medical practises: doctors, dentists, clinics
- Law firms: solicitors, barristers
- Local Services: florists, plumbers, electricians, hair salons, accountants, fitness centres, etc
And you’ll know that you don’t need it if you are:
- E-commerce companies
- Online-only services
- Private sellers
What are the Key Local SEO Ranking Factors?
The three most important factors, according to Google, are:
• Relevance: the degree to which people’s searches correspond to a local listing. Adding more information about your business can help Google better understand it and match your listing to the most relevant searches.
• Distance: the distance between each possible business and the search terms. If a consumer does not indicate a location in their search, Google will compute the distance based on the information available about their location.
• Prominence: Google determines how well-known a company is based on information gathered from throughout the internet (like links, articles and directories). The number and quality of Google reviews are also taken into account when determining a business’s local search position; more reviews and good ratings will boost a company’s local ranking.
Why is Local SEO Important?
Local SEO makes your business stand out – even if you don’t have a website – and helps generate more traffic to your location.
Because these leads come from people who are explicitly looking for the items or services that your company provides, you may expect a high conversion rate.
Local searches are on the rise, with 4 out of 5 consumers now utilising search engines to locate local information, and 70 % of consumers visiting a real store as a result of search result information.
Local SEO also aids in influencing people’s decisions in your favour. In their perspective, the more knowledge they have about your business before they come, the more trustworthy you are.
Importance of local SEO for your small business:
1. It Makes You More Competitive
Even if you aren’t investing in local SEO, the other local businesses in your niche most likely are. This implies they’re already one step ahead of you and have access to all of your potential customers.
If no one can discover you, it doesn’t matter if you’re the best and most inventive company in your niche. They gain power when all of these other firms appear on the first page of local search engine results.
Put your business niche and your local location into Google to see whether this is true. If you own a bakery in Los Angeles, for example, search for « bakery in Los Angeles » or « Los Angeles cakes. »
If you haven’t invested in local SEO, you’re probably not even on the first page. This means that the vast majority of customers will never see your company unless they are disappointed with the initial outcomes. Many individuals will click on one of the first links they come across.
You can climb above and compete with other local businesses in your niche by investing in local SEO.
2. You Attract Newcomers and Visitors
While local clients will be the « bread and butter » of your business, investing in local SEO can also help you attract visitors to your area.
Visitors have no idea what types of enterprises are available in your city. Even if you have a good reputation and a large customer base, people are unlikely to come to you only because of those factors.
They’ll be looking for shops and eateries when they arrive. They’ll find you before they find anyone else if you employ local SEO. They’ll also notice that your firm is an organic rather than a paid search result.
This is also true for visitors who are unfamiliar with the area. When someone moves in, they have no idea what the local companies are like. You can put your best foot forward and show off your business as soon as they arrive in town to build a new loyal customer.
3. People Want to Buy Local
While it is true that big companies are significantly more profitable than smaller local businesses, especially in small communities, this does not mean that people do not want to support their local company owners.
People are increasingly turning to local businesses to express their support and stimulate the economy in their communities. People are more critical of big-box businesses and internet behemoths, and they want to put their money where it will have the most impact.
You’ll find how many local customers are eager in helping you succeed by identifying yourself as a local business and generating more online traffic your way.
4. Phone Searches Drive Sales
Have you ever been out walking and suddenly felt compelled to stop by a bakery, tattoo parlour, brewery, or store? What exactly did you do?
If you’re like the majority of people, you got out your smartphone and looked for the type of business you needed. When someone conducts a search like this on their mobile device, local results appear quickly. Google will occasionally show the person’s distance from the company.
People will find you when they’re out and about if you have a solid local SEO strategy in place. Customers will come to you on the spur of the moment.
5. It’s Inexpensive
Local SEO, on the other hand, is a relatively low-cost method of promoting your company.
There are costs associated with investing in strong SEO and digital marketing services. However, keep in mind that such costs are linked to long-term outcomes.
It doesn’t go away if your website has strong SEO. You’ll have to keep up the SEO and work your way up the rankings, but you’ll always have an SEO-friendly website with no extra ongoing costs other than the marketing aids.
This isn’t the case with other marketing tactics. You must spend a big upfront cost to place ads in the newspaper or on the radio. If you go with PPC (pay per click), you’ll have to maintain paying to stay on the first page.
SEO provides organic results at a lesser cost than other forms of promotion.
Understanding the importance of local SEO is the first step toward enhancing your own. Taking advantage of the local SEO benefits is the way to go if you want to expand your local consumer base, engage with your local community, develop brand awareness, and improve your reputation in your area.