As a local business owner, you may feel there’s little point in investing time and money to optimize your Google presence when you’re up against the likes of Walmart and Amazon for top-tier rankings. That might be true when it comes to the main organic listings but it’s not the case for local search.
Whether you have a physical brick-and-mortar location or serve a particular geographical area, local SEO allows you to better connect with people in your neighborhood, town, or city. That’s important given that 81% of consumers now turn to Google to evaluate local businesses.
Benefits of local SEO
- Better online visibility: Local SEO activity, such as citation and link building, increases your online visibility. That makes your business more easily discoverable by new customers.
- More in-store foot traffic: Greater local visibility brings more foot traffic to your bricks-and-mortar location.
- Tap into the local shopping boom: Post COVID, more than half of consumers now prefer to shop locally and support local businesses or smaller brands. Local SEO puts you in contention for those new business opportunities.
- Targeted web traffic: Optimizing your site for local search delivers more targeted traffic to your website which can lead to more leads, subscriptions, sign-ups, and sales.
- More calls: Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) optimization can lead to enhanced Google Maps visibility. This can lead to more calls and more in-person visits.
- Thought leadership: Content marketing can help you establish a thought leadership position and be seen as an expert in your field.
- Enhanced trust levels: Reputation management builds trust in your business.
- More sales: Consumers are known to use online reviews to help with decision-making when choosing a local business.
- Improved conversion rate: Website optimization can bolster your conversion rate, increasing contact form submissions, phone calls, email subscriptions, or sales.
- More competitive: Local SEO also makes you more competitive as it encourages you to study what your rivals are doing well and what tactics are working for them to then ingrate into your own approach.
Other Big Benefits are listed below
Local Keywords Rank Higher in Google
It goes without saying that consumers are more likely to search for information or services offered in their specific geographical area. This means keywords that help a business rank locally are often more beneficial than those that help businesses rank nationally. In fact, 76 per cent of people who look for a nearby business on their smartphones visit them within a day’s time, and 28 percent of these searches end in a purchase. Thus, the ability to target local keywords is crucial if you want to reach a local audience.
Local SEO Can Increase Website Traffic From Users in the Area
One of the biggest benefits of using local SEO includes boosting traffic to your website and specific web pages. Local website traffic can optimize your website’s visibility, directly boost your sales and make your brand name more recognizable to a local audience. This is especially useful for small, local businesses that are looking to promote their business from within a small geographic area.
Local SEO Can Convert Online Searches into Offline Purchases
According to a survey conducted by Retail Dive, 67 percent of consumers say that they research most products online before shopping for them in brick-and-mortar stores. And with an estimated 30% of traffic going to the websites on the first page of search engine results, it is a no-brainer that benefits accrue to local businesses that appear at the top. With local SEO, you can ensure that your brand appears in front of the eyes of almost every customer who searches for local products specific to your business niche, converting online searches into offline purchases
SEO Grants a Free Source of Local Advertising
Local advertising is extremely beneficial to any business. In a way, local SEO is a form of local advertising that connects consumers to your website at no cost. Local SEO allows you to put important information about your site online, such as the address and phone number of your business. In addition, you can highlight and promote the type of products or services you offer on your website using SEO techniques. This helps increase your business’ exposure on the web, which can make your business better known to residents in the area. Since local SEO does not cost anything to implement, it is considered a free and effective form of online advertising.
Local SEO Can Help You Get Reviews From Nearby Clients
Before trying a new product or service, many people look online for reviews. If your business does not have any reviews, potential consumers may be hesitant to give you their money. Local SEO is an effective way to get quality reviews from previous customers. Many local listing directories allow consumers to list reviews of their experience with a local business or their thoughts about a specific product or service. You can even encourage your customers to leave a review of their experience. This will give potential customers the confirmation they need to proceed with their purchase from you.
Reach Customers in Your Area Who Need Your Service Now
When a web user searches for a specific service, they frequently want it in the very near future. Consider the case of local restaurant searches, where an estimated 64% of searchers convert “immediately” or “within one hour.”
This means that for every two people who search for “restaurants in Northern Virginia” one of them is likely looking for someplace to have their next meal. If you’re the restaurant they discover in the search results, you stand a significant chance of earning their business.
This, of course, applies to all local businesses; local SEO allows you to reach local customers who are likely in need of your products or services immediately. If a web user with an immediate need sees your local listing (and not your competitors) they will likely choose to buy from you. when they make their search, they are more likely to choose your business instead of your competitors who may be located further from them.
Local Search Can Target Leads from Mobile Users
Unlike other forms of advertising, local SEO is able to target both desktop and mobile web users. Considering the rise of mobile search for local services, this can be especially economical for local businesses.
According to Search Engine Land, an estimated 79 percent of all mobile phone owners and 81 percent of tablet owners use their devices to conduct local services. This means that for local businesses looking to promote their products and services, local SEO that’s optimized for mobile search can be especially lucrative. With more searches taking place on mobile than ever before, taking advantage of mobile, local SEO is a must.