As a local business owner, you may believe there is little point in investing time and money to optimize your Google presence when you’re competing for top rankings with Walmart and Amazon. That may be true for the main organic listings, but it is not true for local search.
Local SEO allows you to connect with people in your neighborhood, town, or city, whether you have a physical brick-and-mortar location or serve a specific geographical area. This is significant because 81% of consumers now use Google to evaluate local businesses.
The Advantages of Local SEO
- Improved online visibility: Local SEO activities like citation and link building boost your online visibility. This increases the likelihood of new customers discovering your company.
- Increased in-store foot traffic: Greater local visibility increases foot traffic to your physical location.
- Take advantage of the local shopping boom: Following the implementation of COVID, more than half of consumers now prefer to shop locally and support local businesses or smaller brands. Local SEO puts you in the running for new business opportunities.
- Targeted web traffic: Optimizing your website for local search results in more targeted traffic, which can lead to more leads, subscriptions, sign-ups, and sales.
- More calls: Optimizing your Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) can lead to improved Google Maps visibility. This may result in more phone calls and in-person visits.
- Thought leadership: Content marketing can assist you in establishing thought leadership and being perceived as an expert in your field.
- Increased trust: Reputation management fosters trust in your company.
- More sales: It is common for customers to use online reviews to aid in their decision-making when selecting a local business.
- Improved conversion rate: Improving your conversion rate can increase contact form submissions, phone calls, email subscriptions, or sales.
- More competitive: Local SEO makes you more competitive by encouraging you to study what your competitors are doing well and what tactics are working for them, which you can then incorporate into your own strategy.
- This Is Why Local SEO Is Essential
- Increased Store Foot Traffic
- Capitalize on the Local Shopping Boom
- Targeted Internet Traffic
- Increased Number of Calls and Visits from Maps Users
- Establish a Thought Leadership Position
- Increased Trust Levels
- Increased Sales
- Higher Conversion Rates
- Your company becomes more competitive.
This Is Why Local SEO Is Essential
Assume you own a bridal shop in Charlotte, North Carolina. A bride-to-be searching for ‘bridal boutique, Charlotte North Carolina’ is your ideal customer. Organic search results, on the other hand, are dominated by well-known brands such as directory sites, top ten lists, and blogs. This makes it difficult to compete and difficult to imagine a path for the bride to take to your store.
Increased Store Foot Traffic
Increased local visibility can help drive more foot traffic to your physical location, whether it’s a cafe, dry cleaner, or hardware store. If you’ve spent a lot of money on specialized equipment, created an innovative space, or have a physical location because your products are best experienced in person, increasing the number of people who stop by can help you create a buzz about your space and make more sales.
Capitalize on the Local Shopping Boom
Consumer purchasing habits have shifted dramatically in recent years. One of the most notable is that when it comes to purchasing decisions, today’s consumers increasingly prioritize local businesses.
According to research, consumers are thinking smaller and preferring to prioritize small, local, independent businesses over larger, brand-name offerings or experiences.
56% of consumers say they intentionally give their business to local businesses and actively seek out locally sourced products.
76% of consumers also plan to shop more locally in the next 12 months, implying that there is an opportunity for smaller, independent businesses to increase their sales. One of the primary advantages of local SEO is that it places you in front of local consumers right when they need your products or services. As a result, you may be able to fully capitalize on this shift in buyer behavior to grow your business.
Targeted Internet Traffic
Every minute you spend dealing with unqualified leads or people who are unlikely to make a purchase or book a service is money lost as a small business.
Local SEO can help weed out irrelevant traffic and eliminate time drains that keep your business running smoothly, ensuring that your business is only visible to search users in your local area.
With 59% of search users using Google to research an in-store purchase, this can be a significant advantage because it allows you to focus your resources on those customers who are most likely to convert.
Increased Number of Calls and Visits from Maps Users
Improving your Google Business Profile can result in increased visibility on Google Maps. Because Google Maps was specifically designed to help users find local services and plan their journeys, this can lead to more calls and in-person visits.
Because Google Maps is populated with information derived from Business Profiles, any Google Business Profile optimization you perform will directly benefit your Maps visibility, increasing the number of calls and in-person visits.
Establish a Thought Leadership Position
To establish prominence and relevance, two of the core pillars of local SEO rankings, content marketing and link building are required. This same activity can help you establish yourself as a thought leader and expert in your field.
Local content marketing should naturally involve you talking about and involving your local area or hometown. This not only strengthens your position as an expert voice, but it can also bring your customers closer to your company, fostering stronger bonds, brand loyalty, and increased engagement.
When you take the time to create locally focused evergreen resources, you are more likely to receive backlinks from other local businesses. These links, whether from a local source such as your town newspaper or an industry-specific site (such as your local chamber of commerce), can all add to your authority and credibility, assisting you in establishing yourself as an expert in your field.
Increased Trust Levels
It’s no secret that reviews are an important factor in local SEO success and ranking. The more reviews you receive as part of your reputation management strategy, the higher your visibility in local search.
According to research, more consumers than ever before are reading online reviews on a regular basis, with half saying they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Greater visibility combined with top-rated, new reviews is a winning combination for both local pack prominence and higher levels of consumer trust.
When selecting a local business, consumers use online reviews to aid in their decision-making process. One in every eight people searches the internet for information about a local business more than once a week.
Being able to present them with genuine recommendations from their peers for your business as a result of your reputation management activity is a powerful benefit that emphasizes the importance of local SEO.
Higher Conversion Rates
When asked, “What are the advantages of local SEO?” It’s easy to focus on what’s going on on Google and other platforms, but it can also have a direct impact on the structure and performance of your own website.
Local SEO website optimization tasks such as adding new locally-focused optimization, reviewing landing page text, and working on page load speed all aid in conversion rate optimization (CRO). Following that, you should see an increase in the number of conversions generated by your site, such as more contact form submissions, phone calls, email subscriptions, or sales.
Your company becomes more competitive.
Benchmarking competitors and identifying what they do better than you is an important part of developing and refining your local SEO strategy.
Identifying these areas for improvement (and being able to put what they’ve learned into practice without the trial-and-error process that may have been required to arrive at a successful strategy) puts your company on a much more competitive footing. Examining their reviews, for example, may reveal what customers appreciate about their service, allowing you to implement a similar approach in your own business.