The Significance of Local Search Engine Optimization for Your Business
The very concept of search engine optimization often leaves business owners in a crux, with several technical and other associated issues to deal with. Given all these matters- the truth still remains the same. SEO is inevitable if you want your business to get noticed online.
Things might take a different turn altogether if you are running a local business, since local search engine optimization comes with its own set of rules and best practices. Implementation of each and every available strategy might be impossible owing to budget or time constraints, but there are certain aspects which should not be ignored at any cost. Let us understand why local SEO is important to boost your site’s performance in search engines.
Why is local SEO needed?
Does your business have a physical location? If your answer is yes, then you must know this. As per a recent study, 61% of local searches made on laptops and 78% of those done on mobiles do result in offline purchases.
Again, if you consider the search volume in Google only with respect to US, the number touches 7 billion per month for unique local searches. To give you a more lucid picture, let’s check out what exactly people look for when they are conducting a local search. The major tasks performed include the following:
- Searching for a business with the required service or product
- Looking for the location or address
- Searching for the contact number
- Finding special offers or coupons
- Knowing the driving directions
- Getting information about hours of operation
- Going through reviews and ratings
So in case you have a small, medium or even large business and find these tasks relevant, then no doubt investment in local SEO would be rewarding. You need to come out of the usual trend of flyers, newspapers, and so on. Off course they should be there, but to make your business promotion effective and all-inclusive, you must think about online local marketing, especially SEO. If you are still doubtful, here are reasons explaining why:
Make Your Existence Prominent
To make your local customers come to you, they must know that you exist! Without an online presence, you would not be able to do so in an effective manner. Indeed there would be people who would drive, come to you and see your physical location, but the question is, how many?
Most people would not be paying attention as they walk past your physical store. Even if they do so, it might occur at a time when they are not in need of your product or service. So in order to hit the bull’s eye, you need to cater to people who are in need of your service or product at the moment they are looking for the same. Local SEO is the best way to do that.
Be Where Your Local Customers Are
It is a fact that a majority of people do not search for local businesses until and unless they are in need. Given the present proliferation of internet services, it is a common habit to look online for the desired information. Going by the number game, it has been seen that local online search has increased by 58% as compared to preceding years. So, there is high probability that if people wish to obtain something that your business offers, they would be looking for it online. Hence it is natural that if you fail to have an optimized online presence, you would lose your business to another vendor.
Increasingly Targeted Online Search
Local online searches that are based on local search engine optimization are highly targeted. In simple words, if you place an ad, it is visible to people who are looking online for what your offerings are in that particular area. This means that your advertisement efforts are not being wasted, but your ads are reaching the right person, that is the people who are most likely to make the purchase.
Opt For Higher Conversion Rate
Believe it or not, it has been seen that local advertising has the highest conversion rate when it is online. Statistics prove that local directory marketing is capable of attaining a conversion rate of about 50%. This implies that, out of every two people who come across your online ad, one would be making the actual purchase. So if you do not invest in local SEO, you would be missing out on that market.
Benefit from Mobile Search
As Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices flock the market, mobile search is registering an exponential growth. To tap this trend local SEO is a vital necessity. Suppose you are looking for a car hire service. The immediate tendency is to pick up the cell phone and start searching using Google, Bing, Yahoo or other search engines. So, in order to come up in such searches you need to have local optimization. Otherwise, your status would be as good as invisible.
Stay Ahead of Competition
Are you aware of Google Places listing? Well, it is a local online directory hosted by Google enabling people to search for local businesses according to their needs. Sadly, only around 10% of businesses claim this listing. But that’s again good news for you, because by listing yourself, you would be leaving back around 90% of your competitors in your locality.
Now that you know how important local search engine optimization is, you would surely like to go about it. Ensure that you have a local business page catering to each of the major search engines, bearing crisp information regarding your phone number, location, hours and the like. Optimize the pages through listing of services, and if possible, incorporating quality photos. Another important thing is to categorize your business, so that it is easily visible in keyword-based search results. To get the best results, make sure that the NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) you provide for your company is consistent across all listings.
It’s time to get started with local SEO and see a visible increase in the number of customers!