By now every business owner and marketer should understand that SEO is essential for their business. Here’s the truth: without SEO business just don’t appear to exist for most people. It is key to being found and being found is the starting point for every business transaction. Being found isn’t just having a brick and mortar location at the intersection of Main and Main, it is being found where most people are now searching—on the internet, where a business can market to those people effectively. As SEO strategist Adam Audette said, “The future of SEO is here: understanding and marketing to specific and defined audiences through search engines.”
What is Local SEO?
Every business wants more customers, but for brick and mortar businesses, the customers that matter most are those who can access their business locally. For example, if I live in Denver and I’m interested in buying new shoes (shoes that I can see, touch and try on,) my online search won’t find shoe stores in Denver, nor will it find shoe stores near me, if a shoe business has not done proper local SEO. According to Google, 46% of all Google searches are local. Local SEO simply makes a business-relevant, findable, and competitive by optimizing its online presence locally. That applies to all the various search engines: Google, Bing, Yelp, Apple Maps, etc.
Why is Local SEO Important for My Business?
In today’s online all the time digital world, every small, medium, and large business needs a good online presence, including brick and mortar businesses who need to go beyond simply advertising a location address and a phone number. Here are a few statistics to demonstrate the importance of local SEO:
- 97 percent of people learn more about local businesses online than from any other resource according to SEO Tribunal.
- 72 percent of consumers that search in a local area visit a business within five miles of their location, according to Hubspot.
- Online search results result in 70 percent of customers visiting a physical store, according to Joel House Search Media.
Local SEO search is effective because:
- It is highly targeted. Searchers often search for a topic or a category instead of a specific store, as in shoe stores, for example.
- Local search has the highest conversion rate of all local advertising channels.
- Local search offers a great return on investment because there is little cost of wasted exposure.
- Local search is timely because 60 percent of Google search, for example, is done on mobile devices while people may be “in the moment” of physical search.
- Local search builds a company’s name in the local market and engages customers where they already are.
SEO helps every business grow to the next level because:
- Organic search (non-paid, SEO impacted search) is frequently the primary source of website traffic. It is a critical component of a business’ buyer funnel leading users into engagement and to purchase.
- SEO helps build trust and credibility.
- Good SEO results from a positive website user experience, so the interested party can get what they are looking for quickly and easily, with fewer clicks.
- SEO, and especially local SEO, lead to increased engagement, traffic, and conversions. Local SEO is focused on optimizing all a business’ digital properties for a specific area, so people can find them more readily and more quickly, thus taking a quicker step to a purchase transaction.
- Good SEO has a positive impact on the buying cycle as searchers see messaging for good deals, new products, or services and other action-prompting tactics.
- Keeping SEO up-to-date means that website best practices are always in operation for the benefit of both the business and its current and potential customers.
- SEO is relatively inexpensive, and it works 24/7. It is a beneficial long-term strategy, unlike a limited-time promotion, for example.
- SEO is quantifiable, using proper tracking and analytics.
What Are Local SEO Services?
Effective local marketing requires these elements, each operating in an integrated fashion and done continuously, thus, SEO is not a “once and done” simple tactic:
- A fully optimized website that is localized with products and services content, localized keywords (like shoe stores in Arvada, Colorado, for example,) address, phone number, and other essentials including location photographs and hours of operation.
- Citation and listings along with citation and listing management. Thus, the various online directories will keep the business information accurate, consistent, and up to date. (Citations are those places that list a business’ name, address, phone number and website URL.)
- Gaining a good online reputation and maintaining it through genuine and honest reviews. These will showcase the products and services of the business and demonstrate to Google that the business information is useful and trustworthy. Additionally, today’s consumers increasingly rely on reviews to gain confidence about a purchase decision. The effectiveness of reviews is a factor of the number of good reviews, the quality of the reviews, and the authority of the review sites utilized.
- Being constantly active on Social media platforms, both increases the outreach of a business as well as showing search engines that you are well-connected with customers.
- Providing well-written content in all platforms and channels will make a business more prominent in search.
Local SEO services can include:
- Basic automated services
- Small-scale campaigns
- Comprehensive local SEO services
Increase Your Business’s Visibility Online
SEO is not magic, but it is fundamental to success for every business, both brick and mortar and online, as well as for brick and mortar establishments that also capitalize on their online business opportunities. Clearly, local SEO will increase the chances that an old customer will remember and find you, or a new customer finds you, and will overall raise your competitive presence.
When your local business wants to increase its search visibility and increase its digital marketing power, contact BizIQ, for info on local SEO service pricing. BizIQ employs best practices including creating optimized websites, location pages, authority-building using links, reputation management, citation management, content marketing, social media management, and more. We can help you gain more traffic and leads and increase your sales.