Be discovered today with Local SEO:
Let’s discuss the benefits of local SEO and some easy steps on how to improve your local SEO rankings. Make 2021 a successful business year with Web Anatomy SEO.
What is local SEO?
Local search engine optimization or SEO is the process of making your website and social media channels more visible to customers within your specific area. Local SEO is predominantly for businesses that have a set physical location and service a specific area or community. For example restaurants, hair salons, grocery stores etc… Local SEO allows your business to be higher than your competition on Google Maps and among local listings.
Why do I need local SEO?
Having high visibility locally means you are appearing on local search results and your products or services are being delivered to viewers as soon as they search for them. According to Google in 2020, 46% of all searches made are local. This means that there are customers in your area wanting to support local businesses they just need to find you. That is where local search engine optimization comes in. With higher search engine rankings comes more website traffic and lead conversions.
Local SEO builds your online presence around your specific area and allows you to be more visible. This means your business will have more reviews and personalized customer engagements. Reviews help new potential customers feel more comfortable with your business and are more likely to choose you over your competitors. While more meaningful engagements with your customers builds long-lasting relationships, which in today’s world of online shopping, are vital to the longevity of your business.
What are the benefits of local SEO?
Higher Foot Traffic:
With local SEO you are attracting customers that are on the move and ready to visit your business. Local SEO plays into convenience, potential customers are looking for a business close to them and if your search engine optimization is done correctly your business will be one of the first businesses they see. With local SEO your business will be easy to locate and will attract nearby customers.
Building a Community:
Modern customers are looking to Shop Local, they want to support local businesses and boost the local economy. Having local SEO puts your business on the map for nearby customers and helps you build relationships with other businesses. Many small businesses make use of cross-marketing or collaborative social media campaigns as this helps lower costs and has a wider reach. Local SEO helps connect you with the right people in your area. With local SEO you are also more likely to appear in local business directories.
Building long-lasting Relationships:
With local SEO comes listings on Google Maps and Google my Business. This allows customers to leave reviews of your business online. Having a 5-star rating shows that your business is trustworthy and is more likely to receive repeat business. Suppliers and other businesses are also more likely to approach your business for collaborations if you have a good rating online.
Appear in Google’s 3-Pack:
Google has recently shortened the 7-pack to the 3-pack with regards to Google My Business and Google Maps listings. They have done this to make it more mobile-friendly. This means that the first three businesses that match best with the search request come up first. Being in those top three businesses will result in more customers and enquiries for your business.
Stay up to date with Marketing Trends:
As customers rely more heavily on mobile devices to conduct searches your business needs to be visible on mobile devices. For the last 3 years, mobile devices have generated approximately 50% of online searches. This means your business needs to be mobile-friendly otherwise you are halving your amount of potential customers. Local SEO helps ensure your website is mobile-friendly or may recommend you have an AMP. An AMP is an accelerated mobile page which is like a mini-website designed for mobile devices.
Higher Conversion Rates:
The majority of potential customers will first conduct research online before making a purchase. Businesses with SEO done on their website, social pages and Google account will be more user friendly and provide a positive experience for their viewers. Having a positive interaction with a business leads to more sales. Also with local SEO your business will be easier to find and will bring in more people who are ready to spend money.
Building Authenticity and Trust:
According to a study conducted by Bazaarvoice, 82% of smartphone users will use their phones to do research online before making a purchase while they are in the store, and 45% will read reviews made online before making the purchase in-store. Approximately 50% of all offline purchases are preceded by online research. This means that if your business is not visible online with reviews your customers are less likely to trust you and make purchases. However, if you have a strong online presence with good reviews you are more likely to make sales.
Lower Marketing Costs:
On average 50% of people who click on the ‘near me” search button result in a physical store visit. This means if you are ranking high with your local SEO stats and are visible online you can save costs on traditional marketing. You will no longer need to print out flyers or put ads in the local newspaper, which has the added bonus of being more environmentally friendly!
Higher Return on Investment:
With effective SEO done on your business’s digital presence you will save on advertising costs in the long-term and will receive a higher rate of sales than you would with traditional advertising methods. After the initial costs of local SEO, the maintenance costs are far less than you would spend on traditional advertising costs to achieve the same results. SEO is also compatible with other marketing strategies such as pay-per-click advertising or AdWords. Meaning that if your SEO is done correctly you will spend less on AdWords and pay-per-click advertising to get the same conversion rate.
Here are some easy steps on how to improve your local SEO:
First, open a Google My Business account. If you want your business to appear on Google Maps and in local searches you need to have a Google My Business account. To make the most of your account ensure your account is up to date and allows for reviews from customers.
Second is getting good reviews from your customers on your Google My Business account. Having positive reviews on your website not only makes customers more likely to trust your business, but it also shows Google that your business is authentic and pleasing customers. If Google believes you are satisfying their customers it will promote your business more by placing you higher in its rankings. Remember to ask your customers to leave reviews regularly on your site for better rankings.
Thirdly you will need to optimize your digital content. This means updating and adding to your digital platforms. Writing blogs, creating social media campaigns and updating your website to stay relevant with local trends, allows you to stay in contact with regular customers while attracting new ones. Talking about local events or stories makes your business feel more relatable and a part of the community.
Having location-specific webpages or social media pages will also help locals find you more easily. Franchises with multiple physical locations will greatly benefit from having individual webpages or social pages that are separate from the head office. Location-specific pages allows for your business to talk about what is happening in the community and to become a part of the community. Customers are more likely to support a business that is involved in the community than one who is not relatable.
Being mobile friendly is very important. If your website is too big and takes too long to load it will negatively affect your conversion rate and your relationship with Google. If your website does not adapt to suit mobile devices then it will not be user friendly on mobile devices which can leave your customers with a negative impression of your business. This also leads to a higher bounce rate as customers will not stay on a website they cannot use properly. A high bounce rate in Google’s eyes is read as a website that is not satisfying their customer’s needs and they will push you further down the Google rankings.
For a truly effective mobile site, many will recommend an AMP. Which are accelerated mobile pages. As these pages are mobile-friendly and adapt to any mobile device. Having mobile-friendly websites will lower your bounce rate and provide a more positive experience for your site visitors.
Making use of local keywords that are used regularly in your specific location will ensure your business is associated with the correct services. Google’s own Keyword Planner will help you filter through the keywords used in a specific location. This will provide you with a list of keywords you should target when creating your content, URLs and marketing campaigns.
Make use of local business directories and ensure your business’s name, address, contact details, business description and website are clearly visible. This will help you rank higher on Google My Business, Google Maps and on local directories.
Lastly, create a dedicated product or service page for each unique product or service you offer! If you put unrelated products or services together they will be competing against each other for attention and search engines will rank you lower as they are unsure of what it is you specialize in. Also having more pages makes your business appear bigger than it is and more specialized when search engines assess it. The more specialized and authentic your business appears the higher your search engine rankings will be.
With optimized local SEO your business can be found easily online and will have higher conversion rates. We at Web Anatomy SEO specialize in search engine optimization and can satisfy all of your SEO needs.