In your community, 97% of people turn to the internet to learn more about a local business.
With an increase of ‘near me’ searches, if your small business isn’t optimized for these local searches, you’re missing out on a highly valuable market.
So how can you get discovered by audiences in your area? It’s time to adopt a local SEO strategy.
If you are ready to maximize your relevant reach and grow your small business, you need this marketing technique for success. Follow along to learn all about the benefits of local SEO and how this strategy can work for you.
What Is Local SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of setting your website and all of your content up to appeal to algorithms that search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo have in place.
While general SEO focuses on acquiring high rank in niche-specific queries, local SEO pulls geographical location into the equation.
While many of the same principles apply, there will be a shift in keyword use and backlinking to gear towards local audiences and maximize impact in a smaller pool of competitors.
How Does Local SEO Work?
Each search engine has one mission: To produce the best results for a user query.
To do this, search engines use artificial intelligence to crawl, index, and rank all online content and filter out the best results. Your position on the results page relies on your website containing the necessary elements Google wants and leaving out penalizing elements.
Local SEO works to gain preference from these platforms with a more specific target. Instead of competing with the major companies in your market, you’ll be working to stand out in your community.
Techniques like including location-specific terms in keywords, and backlinking to local events pages will boost your presence in a more relevant area. This will increase your rank position when nearby searchers look for your product or services.
Benefits of Local SEO
Focusing your SEO on local markets takes your little fish status out of the big pond and plops you in a more realistically sized pool. Since most small businesses rely on local consumers to grow, the benefits of this approach are undeniable.
If you’ve been asking yourself “Should I use local SEO?”, then here are your reasons to start.
1. Improve Online Visibility
The first 5 results of Google collect 67.6% of user clicks. This is not including the paid ads featured on the top of the page.
If your business isn’t appearing in those top 5 positions, or even on the first page, chances are audiences don’t even know you exist.
The number one success factor in your business is customers, so you need to start putting yourself where they are. Using Local SEO techniques will help you crack into the top organic results and improve your chances of being found.
2. Build a Community
Businesses and consumers alike are sinking into the importance of building a community and keeping the local economy alive. When your business starts making efforts to link and connect with other local companies, you’ll see the effects online and off.
While having more reputable local backlinks is a great way to boost your rank, it also opens the door for supportive working relationships. Refer your customers to their relevant services and they’ll be inclined to do the same.
Your clientele will trust referrals more and often find it more efficient to visit businesses within their area to start with.
3. More Relevant Traffic
72% of local searches resulted in an in-person visit within 5 miles of the user.
When you target local consumers, your encouraging web visits from people who may actually come and visit you.
Using a broad SEO approach for a business that relies on local traffic opens you up to a lot of dead-end visits. Let’s say for example that you have posted a blog with helpful tips and tricks relating to your product or service. If you’ve neglected to use local targets, you’ll be landing hits from all over the world.
While having this broad reach feels great, the chances of an overseas hit becoming a paying customer are pretty slim.
4. Local Return Customers
As we mentioned before, customers are seeing more and more value in supporting the local economy. Beyond this, doing business in your area is often more convenient.
With local SEO you’ll have two key touchpoints for nearby customers. First, they’ll discover you and stop by. Your business then can provide them with an incredible experience and win them over as a loyal customer or client. Next, when they need these services again, your name will pop up at the top of the search and trigger their memory.
5. Build Trust and Authority
Consumers assume that high-ranking companies have been vetted by Google and are trustworthy businesses.
Gaining a prime spot on the results page will encourage your audience to trust your business and gain their respect. This high-position also portrays you as an authority for your niche and elevates your level of appeal.
6. Reduce Ad Costs
Organic traffic has taken over as the most valuable audience for businesses. While paying for ads may have been your only chance at high-visibility before, using local SEO will reduce your need for these measures.
Building your rank will allow you to use Google as a free advertisement for your business and gain more valuable clicks than a paid ad.
7. Increased Sales
An increase in relevant traffic leads to a boost in sales. With local customers prepared to buy, showing up as an authority in your area will increase your chances of being the landing spot for their purchase.
If local searchers aren’t quite ready to seal the deal yet, they will be encouraged by your proximity and optimal availability. Instead of finding businesses that are hours away or require them to blindly purchase online, they can visit you and get to know you as a local.
Time to Get Local
From increased visibility to a more trustworthy appearance, breaking into local SEO is a great option for your marketing efforts. Stop spending your time and money on unrealistic competitor markets and zone in on building meaningful impressions right where you need them.
Ready to maximize your business but need some help? Get in touch with us today to discover how our local SEO services can take your small business to the next level.