Local SEO is an effective way to market your business online. It helps businesses promote their products and services to local customers at the exact time they’re looking for them. Local SEO uses a variety of strategies — getting your site ranked on search engines like Google, business directories such as Yelp, Superpages, Foursquare, Yellowbook, Google My Business listing, Bing Places for Business page, localized content on your website, online reviews and other strategies.
Millions of customers use local search every day to find the best local businesses in their area. You can help increase your chances of getting found by these potential customers, by working with a local SEO company, of which there are a growing amount of.
Local SEO services offer a very targeted online marketing approach, (it’s not like dropping off brochures on front-porch steps or paying for an ad in a local newspaper that may or may not be seen by a potential customer that is actually interested in your products or services). Local SEO companies allows you to position your business on search engines and other digital marketing platforms so you’re seen by potential customers — on their terms.
‘Localizing’ your website means including your city, county or region name naturally throughout your site. For businesses with several locations, this could involve creating separate pages for individual locations and other local content strategies, like getting involved with local/community events and featuring articles/information about them on the site.
Ensure your site features on citation sites and online business directories. Not only will this help customers find your business, but featuring your company’s name, address and phone number on citation sites and extra information on business directories will help improve your search rankings.
Claiming your Google My Business (GMB) page is a a key step towards helping your business display on important Google services, such as Local Search, Maps and Google+ pages. GMB (and its Microsoft equivalent, Bing Places for Business) should always be the first online directory you take ownership of.
Genuine, honest reviews are critical both for showcasing the quality of your service and for sending signals to search engines that your site and service are trusted and useful. The amount of reviews you receive, the overall quality of the reviews and the authority of the review sites themselves are all important factors for local search rankings.
Naturally obtained backlinks from well-regarded websites helps search engines recognise your site as a trusted source of information. Links from local newspapers, bloggers and business associations, as well as citations, can all help improve your search visibility.
Yes, some people still use printed phone books, but more and more people are turning to the internet to find information about local businesses. Here are some statistics:
The top reason for local search is to find a specific business. The second most common reason is to find a product or service. Many local searchers are looking for a specific business’ name, but many who search don’t have a specific business in mind when they begin their hunt. By using local search tactics you can better position your business and promote what you have to offer to local customers when they’re looking for your type of business. There’s no better time to connect with a potential customer than when they really need you.
Online directories (like Yelp, Citysearch, Foursquare, etc.) display a business’ name, address, phone number and sometimes additional information (like a menu or business description.) Local directories dominate the first page of many local search results. Local directory marketing (just one of many Local SEO strategies) has a higher conversion rate than other more traditional advertising options – up to 50% conversion on some directories. That means that by getting your business accurately listed on as many qualityonline directory sites as you can, you’ll convert 1 in 2 leads into an actual custom
More and more customers use mobile phones or tablets to find the best local businesses while they’re on the go. In fact, mobile digital media time in the US is now higher at 51% compared to desktop use at 42%. Local SEO covers both PC and mobile internet access meaning you never miss out on a potential customer.
Unlike traditional advertising (e.g. local newspapers, leaflets, direct mail, etc.), with local SEO there is little wasted exposure. You reach potential customers when they need you — not when they don’t. This makes Local SEO both efficient and cost-effective.
Google My Business is a FREE listing that Google makes available for almost any business. Getting listed on Google My Business can help increase your chances of showing up high in local search results on Google. Additionally, many local businesses haven’t figured out the importance of online marketing yet. That leaves the door open for you to get a head start before your competitors wise-up and it gets more competitive. Strike while the iron’s hot.
It’s free to claim your listing on Google My Business, Bing Places for Business and on hundreds of other online business directories. That means free promotion for your business.
Traditional advertising media is declining. In fact, fewer and fewer people are reading local newspapers. Recent figures show some local newspapers have lost 80% of their readership in the last 20 years. Why? Because more and more people are turning to the internet for their local news and information about local businesses.
Word of mouth is a major factor in the success of many local businesses. So increase your company’s online reputation, ask trusted customers to leave a positive review about your business online — and attract hundreds of new customers.
These days people depend on the internet to find information about all types of products and services. If your business isn’t found on local search results, you’ll miss out on new customers. Implementing a variety of Local SEO strategies for your business can help you show up on the internet map for future customers to see!
These Local Search trends are strong now and they’re only going to get stronger and more significant in the future. Now is the time for you to take advantage of local SEO services and boost your business before your competitors catch on. All local businesses, from plumbers and builders to florists and accountants can improve their business and make more money through local SEO. So get started today!