When was the last time you searched Google for a place to eat? Did you notice the results that came up first? That’s local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in action. Focusing on local SEO for your business can quickly put you in the front of thousands or even millions of potential customers. Despite this, local SEO efforts frequently take a back seat. Our digital marketing experts take a deeper dive into what makes this a goldmine for local businesses.
If you’re a small business owner, SEO for local businesses is one of the most effective ways to get more targeted traffic. What do we mean by targeted traffic? We’re referring to your target demographic and ideal customer within your geographic region. For example, let’s say you sell BMW’s in Chicago. A user searching “BMW” won’t be as likely to buy from you as those that search “BMW Chicago” because they are interested in local results.
It’s more than just increasing traffic to your site. It’s about driving more traffic with the intention to buy. A whopping 50% of consumers who searched for a local recommendation on their smartphone visited the store within a day. Still not convinced? Almost 1 out of every 5 local searches lead to sale within a day.
If a friend recommends a restaurant to you, how much more likely are you to try it out? Local search rankings work the same way. When a consumer searches with local intent, 75% of users won’t venture past the first page of results. If you aren’t on the first page, your chances of gaining that new customer drop considerably.
Google takes extra steps to prove you belong at the top of their search results. Listed within the top search results, you’ll see a few other pieces of information including:
- Star rating
- Number of ratings
- Type of product or service
- Contact information
- A short review
Google wants the consumer searching to know that those options are the best and want them to know why. When you invest your time and resources to get to the top of the search results, consumers already assume you’re the best. They’ll already trust you before they even visit you which will ultimately lead to more sales.
Reach More Customers
46% of all Google searches are local searches. That’s a substantial number of people looking to buy exactly what you sell. Furthermore, 86% of those look up the location of a business on Google Maps after the initial search.
Unlike traditional searches, local searches take place with the intent to buy. You wouldn’t search for a local motor parts store if you didn’t need to pick up a spare car part in the near future. The majority of searches are made when users are ready to buy.
Create and Expand Your Brand
Driving traffic to your website is good. Driving targeted traffic is even better. This is where you can really start to make the most of local SEO. Sure, the consumer may end up on your site looking for one specific product or service, but that doesn’t mean that’s all they have to stay for. Take advantage of this golden opportunity to open the consumer’s eyes to everything that’s going on with your business including:
- Additional/Complimentary products and services
- Company updates
- Extra reviews
Searches that your company shows up in will help build your presence within the community as well. When local searchers continually see your business’s name show up, your brand will continue to grow stronger.
What’s it take to get started? It can be time-intensive, but this is an investment in your business’s future. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to set up your Google My Business page. This is a fairly straightforward process. When you’re done, you should have the following set up:
- Unique business description
- Some of your most helpful reviews from previous customers
- A local phone number
- High-quality photos
- Business hours
- High-quality profile image and cover photo
- The categories that best describe your business
One key component of this list we can’t stress enough: reviews. If you don’t have many reviews, start by contacting current customers and see if they’d leave you a review. Depending on your business, you could offer some type of incentive to convince them to leave a review.
Next, focus on on-page optimization for your website. We could go into serious depth on this, but we’ll keep it short and sweet.
Add your City/Area plus a keyword relevant to your business on everything. This includes title tags, H1 tags, content, image ALT attributes, and URLs. For instance, if you sell video production in Miami, add “Miami Video Production” or “South Florida Video Production” to all of the above. This will have a massive impact on your SEO efforts.
Second, embed a Google map on your homepage with your business marked on it. Consumers can easily see where you’re located and make it that much easier to buy from you.
One of the most overlooked and important factors to SEO for small businesses is link building. Link building consists of gaining both links and citations. Citations are simply an online reference to your business. When acquiring citations specifically, it’s important to have your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) consistent on all platforms. If you’re known as Joe’s on some platforms and Joe’s Garage on others, you’re missing out on important citations.
With links and citations, the more local you can get the better. Reaching out to local businesses and media can do wonders when trying to build more connections. As long as your NAP is consistent, just mentioning your business will count.
If you’re active in community outreach and involvement, this should come naturally as your community will constantly have positive things to say and write about you.
Ready To Get Started?
Local SEO is a worthwhile investment for any small business. Taking the time to make sure your business shows up on page one can mean the difference between new sales records and closing the door.
If you’d like to focus more on your customers and your business, hiring a local SEO company will do wonders. Let the experts at Lead to Conversion take care of your local SEO efforts. Call us at 855-473-6582 today and request your free quote. We look forward to working with you.
Matthew is not only passionate about online marketing, but also staying active and living a healthy lifestyle. He enjoys electronic music, cooking, working out and consistently learning. Having the opportunity to build relationships with various colleagues throughout the industry, and working with such talented people is a part of Matthew’s career he’s very grateful to have.
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