If you run a small business in your area then you probably know that you need Local SEO in order to organically attract the right customers to your store.
While search engine constantly change their search algorithm, Local SEO hasn’t changed that much. This is mainly because, local search queries have remained consistent over the years. Even so, many brick-and-mortar businesses haven’t harnessed the power that it possesses.
Done right local SEO can literally turn your business around bringing you consistent clients and customers your way.
What’s Local SEO?
Local SEO refers to all the activities that a webmaster does to optimize their websites and online presence so that they are found in local search results. Simply put, Local SEO is a branch of SEO focused on local search queries.
Local search queries are all the phrases that users use when they are trying to find the location of particular place, service or service providers within a particular area. To bring that home you’ve probably used any of the following phrases below:
- Restaurants near me
- Optician near me
- Grocery store in [city name]
- Best places to eat Dinner in [town name] etc.
All these are search queries which return results that have address information, contact details and even Directions.
Why Local SEO is Important to Your Business
Now that you’ve understood what Local SEO is, and what local search queries are, let’s now discuss some of the benefits of Local SEO to your local business.
1) Cost Effective Marketing
Just like regular SEO, Local SEO has its advantages as a digital marketing technique. Though it does take time and effort to rank, you get to enjoy a stream of quality prospects coming to your website or your listing, and eventually to your physical location without having to spend money in paid advertising.
To be successful in Local SEO and be able to eventually rank higher in local queries, you need to:
- Build local citations: Create profiles in Google My Business, Yelp and Bing Pages
- Ensure your citations are up-to-date, accurate and consistent across major platforms
- Get listed in relevant local directories
- Optimize your content for local queries: Include your area, zip code, contact information etc.
Also, make sure you are constantly maintaining your Google My Business page as this is the page that many local search users will go to before visiting your location.
2) Attract Ready to Buy Customers
Local Search Queries are highly converting. In fact, according to statistics, 50% of people who did a local search on their phone went to a physical store within one day and 18% of local mobile searches lead to a sale within a day.
These two amongst many other statistics is a testament that Local SEO is worth your business’ time and should get some attention.
If someone is searching for best lawyer near me, chances are there is a pending case that needs to be resolved urgently. Same goes to searches for Grocery store near me, psychiatrist near me etc.
These queries are made by people who have pressing problems that need to be solved immediately, hence if local SEO can direct them to you, then you can easily convert them to clients.
3) Prominence and Reputation
When Local SEO is done right, you start appearing in the right queries. The search users will come across your local business assets such as your Facebook page, website, Google My Business Page etc. All these boost your credibility scores, helping your potential customers to see that you are an established reputable business.
Sometimes all it takes is a good customer review on your Google My Business page to convince someone to click on that Directions button on your listing, turn their car around and head over to your business premises for the service that they really need.
So it’s important that you keep up and always reply to reviews that customers leave on your Google My Business page and other directories that you are listed on.
4) Enjoy Features Unique for Local Queries Only
The results for local queries especially in Google search are unique since you are not only pointed to the website of a business, but all the listing info are displayed right on the search results pages giving the user all the details they need to get in touch with you.
These details include:
- Phone number
- Directions etc.
Don’t know what I mean? Try searching for, “lawyer near me” and see the featured snippet for this result. If you optimize your business accordingly, then you can be able to take advantage of all these features available to Local queries
Local SEO is an important aspect of running a small business, but may not have the same results across industries. Generally, Local SEO works really well for the following providers:
- Lawyers and law firms
- Business consultants
- Doctors and medical practitioners
- Restaurants etc.
That said, you at least need a solid Google My Business page and great SEO content focused on local queries if you run any sort of brick and mortar business. If you have any questions related to Google My Business or Local SEO, feel free to drop us a note. We’d be most happy to help!