What are the benefits of local SEO?
Local search is one of the most effective ways to reach customers and potential clients. In fact, according to Forrester Research, 80% of shoppers use online reviews to make purchasing decisions. And while many small businesses are already optimizing their digital footprints, some still need to learn how to do so.
That's why we've put together this guide to help you understand what local SEO is, how it works, and what benefits it offers. You'll learn how to build authority locally across major platforms like Yelp, Foursquare, Facebook, Instagram, and others, plus discover how to leverage local data to improve conversions.
Benefits of local SEO
The benefits of local SEO are many. Here are just some of the ways it can help improve your business:
- Increased online visibility: With local SEO, you gain better visibility online. This includes gaining more citations, links, and social media shares.
- More in-store foot traffic: When people find out where you are located, they often want to know what else to do nearby. Optimizing your listing for local searches increases the likelihood that they will come to your store.
- Tap into local shopping boom: In recent years, shoppers have been turning away from big brand names and towards small, independent stores. As a result, local search accounts for over 50% of consumer purchases. If you optimize your listings for local search, you're taking advantage of a huge opportunity to connect with potential customers.
- More targeted web traffic: People searching for local businesses tend to seek specific products or services. Creating optimized listings ensures that searchers receive relevant information about your business.
Why Local SEO is Important
Local SEO is important because it helps small businesses like yours stand out among competitors. You must optimize your site for local keywords to rank highly for local searches. These include words like "bride," "wedding dress," "Charlotte wedding dresses," "boutique," "dress shop," etc.
The key to local SEO is ensuring your site appears high in the search results for relevant terms. In addition, make sure your address, hours, and reviews are correct. You can add your physical address, phone number, and even photos of your storefront.
You can also use social media to help boost your rankings. Share your contact info and special offers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.
The top Benefits of Local SEO
Local SEO isn't just about improving your rankings in local search results; it's about ensuring that your business information is easily accessible to those looking for it. Here are some ways that local SEO can benefit your business:
- Increased Customer Awareness & Conversions
- Improved Search Rankings For Keywords & Phrases
- Higher Click Through Rates On Your Website
- More Referrals From Social Media
- A Boost In Organic Traffic To Your Business
- Better Brand Recognition
- More Customers Who Are Interested In What You Have To Offer
- Lower Cost Per Acquisition
- Easier Maintaining Of Reputation Management Efforts
- And Much More like:
More In-store Foot Traffic
The average American spends over $1,500 per year shopping locally. And according to data from the Local Search Association, there are now over 2 million small businesses across America. This represents a significant opportunity for brick-and-mortar retailers looking to grow their customer base. But how do you attract more customers to your store? By making it easier for them to find you online.
As consumers become increasingly mobile, they search nearby stores and restaurants on their smartphones. So, if you want to increase the number of people coming into your physical storefront, you must ensure that your business appears near the top of local searches.
This is where local listings come in. A great way to boost your local presence is to invest in a quality local listing on Google My Business. With a well-optimized local listing, you'll show up in relevant local searches, helping potential customers discover your business.
Tap Into the Local Shopping Boom
Local SEO is one of the fastest-growing areas of digital marketing. As shoppers become increasingly conscious about where they spend their money, local businesses are finding ways to capitalize on this trend. Consumers want to support local businesses and are willing to pay more for those purchases. In fact, according to research conducted by HubSpot, nearly half (46%) of consumers surveyed stated that they'd consider paying $10 extra per month for a product or service if it came from a local business.
In addition, consumers are looking for more unique shopping options. They don't want to buy what everyone else does; they want something different. And there's no better way to stand out from the crowd than offering something special, like a local bakery selling gluten-free cupcakes or a local florist delivering flowers to customers' homes.
So how do you tap into this market? Start by optimizing your site for local searches. This includes adding location information to your website, including address, phone number, hours of operation, and directions. You'll also want to ensure that your contact information appears clearly on your website and your physical address.
Once you've optimized your site, start building relationships with local businesses. Reach out to local chambers of commerce, city governments, and even local universities to see if they could help promote your business online. If you're lucky enough to live near a college campus, try reaching out to the student government association to see if they could provide promotional opportunities for your business.
You'll also want to reach out to local media outlets. Many newspapers now offer a "local news" section highlighting businesses within a certain radius of the paper's office. Contact these publications and ask if they'd be interested in featuring your business.
Finally, take advantage of social media. Facebook allows you to add a "place" tag to your business profile, allowing people to find your store based on location. Twitter offers similar features, and Instagram lets you connect your account to a specific location.
By optimizing your site for local searches, you'll be able to attract more customers and grow your business.
Targeted Web Traffic
As a small business, spending every second dealing with unqualified leads or people unlikely to make a purchase or booking is money lost. And while there are many ways to improve your conversion rates, one of the easiest ways to do so is to increase your visibility online. This is where local SEO comes into play. By making sure your business appears in local searches, you can target potential customers looking for your products and services in your local area. In fact, according to Forrester Research, 59% of consumers use Google to find businesses within their local area. So why isn't everyone doing it? It takes time and effort to build up a presence online. But luckily, there are some easy steps you can take to begin building your local SEO strategy today.
The best way to start is to identify what keywords you want to rank for. You don't necessarily have to rank for all of them – just the ones relevant to your industry. Once you know what terms you want to target, it's important to think about how you can optimize your site for each keyword. If you've got a blog, you might consider writing articles around specific topics related to your keywords. Or perhaps you could write a guidebook for someone else's product or service. Whatever method works best for you, remember to include your keywords throughout the text. Also, try to keep your content short and sweet. Longer posts tend to perform better in search engines. Finally, don't forget to link to your social media profiles whenever possible. This helps Google see that your site is active and trustworthy.
Once you've done all that, it's time to submit your site to Google Search Console. This free tool provides information such as crawl errors, broken links, spam signals, etc. From here, you can work on improving your rankings by fixing issues and submitting regular reports.
More Calls and Visits from Maps Users
Google Maps is one of the most popular features of Google Search. If you want people to see your business, it helps ensure your listing is complete and accurate. A good address, phone number, hours of operation, and photos ensure that your business appears in map searches. But there's another way to boost your visibility on Google Maps – optimize your Google Business Profile.
Businesses often use Google Business Photos to showcase themselves online. These images can include anything from a picture of the front entrance to a photo of the store's interior to a snapshot of the products sold.
But while businesses can upload multiple types of photos and videos, they cannot add reviews, ratings, or even a map location. So if someone wants to know about your business, how do they find out where it is located? They look up your address on Google Maps. And because Google uses data from your Google Business Profile to populate the map, optimizing your profile can lead to better visibility on Google Maps. In fact, according to Google, 5% of all Google Maps queries come from people looking for nearby businesses.
Establish a Position of Thought Leadership
Local SEO is about establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry. You want to become known as someone people turn to for information and advice.
Your goal is to build a strong reputation as an authority within your market. As you do this, you'll naturally receive links back to your site. These are called "authority links" because they come from sites that trust you enough to include your name in their navigation bar.
Authority links are important because they tell search engines that your site is trustworthy. Search engines like this signal because it tells them your site contains high-quality content and relevant information.
When you establish yourself as a thought leader, you're more likely to receive citations and mentions from other authoritative sources. These are called "citations." They're similar to authority links but don't necessarily indicate that your site is trusted. Instead, they appear in places like Wikipedia, Digg, and Twitter. Citations are still very useful, though, because they give you credibility and increase the likelihood that people will find your content online.
Enhanced Trust Levels
Reviews are a key local ranking factor for local search success. They're also important to brand reputation management strategies, helping businesses build consumer trust. Research reveals that more consumers than ever are reading online reviews more frequently, and half say they now trust online reviews as much, if not more, than personal recommendations.
In addition to boosting local business rankings, reviews are a great way to increase exposure and attract potential customers. More people see your business listing when it appears near the top of search results, and many consumers choose to read reviews over phone calls or emails. Plus, reviews help boost your local presence in social media feeds. Consumers often favor businesses with many positive reviews, making them more visible to friends and family members.
Online reviews are incredibly influential – around one in eight people go there to find out what others think of a local business. Consumers use them to decide where to eat, shop, drink, and play. And it turns out they can even influence sales too. A recent study found that businesses with positive reviews saw a 9% increase in revenue over those without.
So how do you ensure that your customers see the best possible version of your business? Reputation Management. You can build trust and credibility with your audience by taking control of your online presence. This helps to boost customer satisfaction and loyalty and ultimately leads to increased sales.
Improved Conversion Rates
When asked about the benefits of local SEO, many people think about how it helps improve rankings on Google Search. But while that might be true, local SEO also plays a key role in increasing the overall quality of your website. In fact, according to Moz, "local SEO is one of the most important factors in driving traffic and conversions."
In addition to helping you rank better on Google, local SEO can make your website perform better across the board. This includes making sure your site loads faster, having fewer broken links, and even improving the quality of your content.
Your Business Becomes More Competitive
Local businesses are always looking for ways to become more competitive. While there are many different aspects of marketing, one of the most effective strategies is ensuring that your online presence is optimized for local searches. This includes optimizing your site for mobile devices, building positive reviews, and ensuring that your phone number is listed correctly. These small changes can significantly affect how well your business performs locally.
November 21, 2022