Why Local SEO Matters
Running a business in the 21st Century can be very difficult. No longer is it simply enough to open up, hand out a few flyers and have a stream of people waiting with cash in hand. Making your business stand out from the crowd takes serious planning and effort, but you can target the people you were hoping for with SEO!
SEO (otherwise known as Search Engine Optimisation) is essentially the process of increasing your website’s visibility on search engines like Google and Bing. By doing your research and focusing on developing your SEO, you can generate potential customers far and wide over time. But if you run a brick-and-mortar store or a service-led business that only operates in a certain area, optimising your site to target the most common local search terms, you can be more focused and achieve faster growth.
Here is why local SEO matters:
Grow your brand
The first big benefit of local SEO is improved brand awareness in your area. One of the big problems many businesses face is that not enough people know that they exist. Building up a customer base often starts online, and focusing on your SEO is key to organic growth. In fact, 97% of people like to learn more about a local company online.
Good rankings can help you beat the competition and become better known in your local area. When people are searching for what you do, if you are showing up at the top of the rankings, it reassures them that you are knowledgeable and trustworthy. Having people associate you as the go-to provider in the area will only come about with the right SEO.
Finish above the competition
Speaking of competition, you have to make sure that you stay ahead of them to succeed. According to recent studies, the terms “near me” or “close by” grew in popularity by more than 900% in recent years. It suggests that the demand is there for local search results, but your competition will likely be trying to capitalise on these terms too.
People will almost always click on the first link they see in their search results. They trust Google to provide them with what they are looking for, especially in their local area. If you are to beat your competitors to the top of the ranks, you need to put a plan in action that attracts the customers to you rather than them.
Save on costs
By focusing on your SEO, in the long term, you should end up with a lot more profit than if you used the likes of paid advertising to generate new leads. The differences are simple. Paid advertising requires you to continuously pay for traffic on a regular basis, whereas local SEO is better in the long run for pulling in customers organically.
One thing to keep in mind is that SEO is not a short-term strategy. It will take time and a lot of work to start climbing the ranks, but it is the best way to escape the nasty PPC cycle that many businesses find themselves stuck in. We typically suggest it takes between 3-9 months to see improvements, depending on how competitive the terms are, your location and your business type.
Even though SEO can take a while to produce returns, it can save you a considerable amount of money in the long run. If you are not incorporating SEO into your marketing strategy, you could find yourself always paying for clicks to your website. By focusing on local SEO, you make it easier for them to come directly to you.
Boost your conversion rate
Around 88% of all searches for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within the next 24 hours, says Nectafy. Not only that, but HubSpot Marketing Statistics also found 72% of consumers visited a store within five miles after doing a local search. Plus, local searches result in a 28% conversion rate! So clearly, the businesses showing up in localised search results are reaping the benefits.
These figures are not surprising. Ask yourself – would you want to deal with a company that is a drive away or a shop that is on your doorstep? Local SEO makes it easier for people to see where you are and what you do.
Craft a better user experience
Finally, local SEO is the ultimate way to give your customers a smooth, unique experience. You can tailor your site to really focus on your specific location/s or longtail keywords with the likes of landing pages. If your site is also highly user-friendly, Google will also rank you higher in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
Did you know that approximately 61% of all mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site? So making sure that your site is fully optimised for mobile will also impact your SERP rating. As the ultimate goal is to rank on the first page of Google, it isn’t just a case of improving your SEO with link-building or content marketing. Your website also plays a crucial role in its success.
Overwhelmed? Get help.
If you would like help improving your SEO, then be sure to get in touch to find out how we could increase the amount of traffic you are currently receiving! We would be more than happy to give you a call and organise a free marketing consultation, where we can give you some ideas. So send us an enquiry or call us to book in.
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