Why Should A Small Business Think About Local SEO?
Local SEO is something all businesses should focus on for quite a few different reasons.
Many steps you would take to improve your local SEO are relatively simple. For example, if you optimise your Google listing simply by adding pictures, you can get 35% more clicks to your website. Adding photos is simple; you can include pictures of your team, the interior of your business and the exterior.
Although many of the steps you need to take to improve your local SEO are simple, it’s not something many businesses focus on, but they should.
The following gives an overview of what SEO is and some reasons you should consider incorporating it into your business strategy.
An Overview of Local SEO
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, local SEO can help optimise your site so people can find you in “real life.”
Local searches also tend to have more purchase intent. They work exceptionally well for service-based companies who might be searching as an example for “personal injury lawyers in…” or “personal injury lawyers near me.”
Search engines can understand what someone is looking for suggestions based on their location and provide them with places near them.
It’s estimated that four out of five people using online search engines are looking for local information. If you want to be relevant, keep that in mind.
The signals used for local SEO include locally-driven content, links, citations, and social profile pages.
Beyond what’s already been touched, the following are some other reasons businesses should consider local SEO.
People Rely on Google For Everything
Very few people don’t use Google to search for local businesses online, so to reach the vast majority of consumers in your area, you need locally targeted SEO.
The very fact that we have such a reliance on Google is one of the number one reasons you should be thinking about local SEO.
Many people turn to their mobile devices when they need to find information, and when they are out and about, they’re likely to use their phones to see what they need. You can put yourself quite literally in the pocket of your targeted customer if you focus on local SEO and do it well.
For example, according to Entrepreneur, 46% of searchers now use their mobile devices exclusively for product research, and most mobile searches are localised. Since consumers can search anytime and from anywhere, they’re more likely to conduct local searches on their mobile devices.
Google and other search engines are building on this trend by collecting more relevant data about where users are located and their search histories to inherently drive search-specific results.
According to the same Entrepreneur article, if you focus on local SEO, you could theoretically outrank a substantial national company only because you’re physically closer to the person conducting the search.
Competition is one of the most challenging things about SEO and ranking well. It’s tough to compete against large companies with massive budgets for SEO. Still, localised SEO is more accessible and less competitive.
Suppose you’re trying to rank for a keyword on a national scale. In that case, you’re going to be up against every other company doing the same thing throughout the country and perhaps even the world.
Suppose you focus on your city or even more localised searches, such as neighbourhood-based optimisation. In that case, you only compete against a few other companies.
Yes, you’re narrowing down the number of people who are going to be searching for your local keywords. Still, the searchers that will find you this way may be much more valuable.
More Targeted Content
Suppose you’ve educated yourself on anything related to SEO, content marketing and marketing in general. In that case, you likely know how important it is to target everything as narrowly to your audience as you can.
A big part of that can stem from location-based content. You can target people based on hyper-local content and SEO, which will likely boost your ROI. It gives you a relevant thing to focus on for your audience.
That hyper-localised and very narrowly targeted content is why even national brands will often invest in local SEO.
Importance of Online Reviews
A big part of local SEO ranking is your online reviews. You have to put in the effort to build great reviews. Still, when you do so, that can automatically make your business seem trustworthy in the eyes of people searching.
If they pull up your business and you have no reviews and minimal online presence, they’re less likely to come to you.
Many people trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.
To sum it up, your business should care about local SEO for several reasons. People conducting local searches tend to have more buyer intent powering their search. Local search is suitable for foot traffic; it’s less competitive to rank based on local keywords, and having a localised online presence will make your business appear more trustworthy.
Now could be the time to start if you aren’t already investing in local SEO and it’s relevant to your business.
Of course, local SEO isn’t necessarily relevant to every business. An online-only business might not need local SEO. Still, you probably do if you have a brick-and-mortar location or you’re a service provider.
Local SEO is likely headed toward improved context and understanding, particularly with the growth of smart home devices and voice search.