Local SEO - Search Engine Optimization

Many businesses have trouble promoting their products or services to local customers. This is a result of neglecting a critical component of their marketing strategy.

Local SEO is an inbound marketing method used to help local customers find your business on search engines such as Google. Successful businesses use local SEO strategies to reach their potential consumers in a cost-effective manner.

However, the vast majority of brick and mortar businesses are wholly unaware of potent local SEO strategies. As a result, they miss out on the perfect opportunity to build brand awareness and grow their clientele.

The fact is that the print circulation of local newspapers in the UK fell by an average of 11.2 percent in 2016. Regional and national papers did not fair any better either.

More and more people are turning away from traditional media, and the trend looks as if it will continue. This is one of the many reasons why local SEO is now more important than ever.

In this article, we will explore the top 10 reasons why your business should utilise local SEO strategies…..

  1. Online Business Directories Are the New Yellow Pages

Most people no longer turn to the yellow pages to find local businesses. Instead, they use online business directories. One of the most popular online business directories is Google Maps (Google My Business), which is critical for local SEO success.

Google bases its local search results on three criteria: distance, relevance, and prominence.

This is why it is important to include accurate, detailed information in your Google My Business dashboard. Doing so informs Google about your business and helps them match your listing with local searches.

  1. The Importance of Ranking in the Top 3 of Google Maps

When your potential customers conduct a Google search, Google Maps always presents them with the top 3 business results. These results show the ratings, address, business hours, and contact information, which makes it easy for potential customers to find you.

The vast majority of users are unlikely to search beyond the options presented. Therefore, it is absolutely critical for your listing to rank within the top 3 spots on Google Maps. 

  1. Virtually Prolong Your Hours of Operation

Customers always have questions that need to be answered. This is why most modern businesses have websites. However, those websites are useless if local customers cannot find them.

Local SEO enables local customers to access information about your product or service during non-business hours. Your website content suddenly acts as an office that is open 24/7.

  1. Gain a Competitive Edge

If you did not know about local SEO, odds are that most of your local competitors are in the dark about it as well. Many local businesses will fail due to their lack of ability to adapt to the ever-changing marketing landscape.

However, this provides you with the perfect opportunity to give your business a competitive edge.  

  1. Increase Your Brand Visibility  

In today’s world, what is the first thing that someone does when they need an answer to a question? They flip out their smartphone and do a quick Google search.

When modern customers need local products or services, they will consult their search engine of choice. In fact, studies show that more than 80% of consumers conduct internet research before making a purchasing decision.

Ranking higher on search engines will grant you much more brand visibility.

  1. Great Return on Investment

Traditional advertising (such as direct mail, tv commercials, and newspaper ads) can cost you considerable amounts of money. Plus, they are no longer as effective as they were a decade or so ago.

As mentioned before, local SEO is well-targeted. This is because only interested customers will expose themselves to your content. Therefore, you will not have nearly as much wasted exposure with local SEO as you do with traditional media

  1. Customers Trust Online Reviews

Some of the first results you see when you search for a business online are the reviews. This is the case whether you use Google or Bing.

A study conducted on participants from the U.K., U.S., and Canada found that 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. This means that almost three out of four of your potential customers want to do business with businesses that have positive reviews.

Not only do online reviews affect how potential customers perceive the quality of your product or service, they also impact how you rank on the search engines themselves. This is why online reviews are a key component of many successful local SEO strategies.

  1. Build Better Relationships with Customers

All businesses want to build and maintain prosperous relationships with profitable customers. Utilising local SEO strategies provide a way to accomplish that.

For many customers, their visit to your website will be their first interaction with your brand. By optimising your website for local SEO and giving people the specific solutions they seek on search engines, you build trust and authenticity. This will pay dividends in the long-term.

  1. The Process Is Easy

Local SEO can seem like a very intimidating and complicated process at first glance. That said, it is no more difficult than traditional strategies. There are countless tools at your disposal.

You can start by using online resources to familiarise yourself with the concept. Following this, create a local SEO report for your website. If you need additional help, you can reach out to SEO professionals to assist you in developing your local SEO strategies.

  1. Increase your Conversion Rate

On average, specific search terms convert better than vague terms. In particular, local search queries tend to have the highest conversion rates. You will encounter much less competition using local search queries because you are only competing against businesses in your region.

Additionally, local queries are most often searched during the purchase stage of the buying cycle. This is the stage where you notice significantly higher conversion rates.

Use Local SEO Strategies to Your Advantage

The old days of local newspapers promoting your business are slowly coming to pass. People rely on the internet more than ever to help decide where to spend their money.

Make sure local customers can find your business online. This will give you a significant advantage over most of your local competitors.

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