Did you know that 46 percent of all searches on Google and other search engines are seeking local information and 78 percent of location-based searches on mobile devices result in an offline purchase? Moreover, 72 percent of consumers who search for local businesses visit a store within five miles.
Your potential customers will turn to their favorite search engine to find local businesses whenever they’re looking for services or products similar to what you sell. That’s why local search engine optimization is so important. “Local SEO is the strategic process of optimizing a business website to rank highly for the specific keywords that are related to your local business and the locations you serve,” says Chris Bower, CEO of Detroit Internet Marketing. “By implementing local SEO best practices, you can improve your business’s search engine visibility in the local search results. And as a result, you get to position your products or services to local customers and prospects who are searching for them.”
Here are four reasons why you should include local SEO in your marketing strategy, especially if your business has a brick-and-mortar location:
Local SEO improves Prominence and Relevance
According to Google, local SEO rankings are determined by three key factors: relevance, distance, and prominence. Relevance is all about how well your local business profile or listing matches what people are searching for. Prominence, on the other hand, refers to how well-known your company is, based on information that the search engine has about your business from across the web.
By implementing a local content marketing strategy, you can hyper-target your audience geographically and deliver news, resources, and information that adds value to them. Creating high-quality, valuable content with local information will not only attract qualified traffic to your website but also increase brand awareness and build brand loyalty.
Additionally, other local businesses, blogs, and websites are more likely to cite you as a resource, thereby linking back to your site. And since links are one of the key search engine ranking factors, they’ll boost your relevance and add to your credibility and authority as a business.
Reputation Management Builds Customer Trust
Consumers trust what other customers have to say about your business. One of the things local prospects and customers check when looking for a local business is online reviews. No customer is willing to spend their money with you if you have bad reviews online.
Search engines always include the total number of online reviews of a business on local search results. As such, local business pages with reviews tend to rank higher than those without. Having online reviews will help build trust and brand loyalty with potential customers.
Your reputation management strategy should focus on review quantity, diversity, and velocity. The more online reviews you get from customers, the more visibility your business earns in local search.
Local SEO Increases Traffic for the Most Relevant Searches
As a local business, you know that relying on traditional advertising methods such as newspaper ads, TV, or radio won’t deliver customers to your doorstep in today’s digital world. Optimizing your site for Local SEO is your best option if you want to grow your online visibility and drive more traffic to your site.
Research shows that 61 percent of all searches on Google are performed on smartphones and other mobile devices. Consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices to research products and find local businesses. Prospects will use your website to search for your contact information, check reviews and testimonials from other customers, and look for directions to your location.
By making your site responsive and mobile-friendly and improving page load speed, users will have a positive experience on your site. This will increase brand loyalty and build trust, thereby increasing leads and sales.
Local Keywords Rank Higher in Search Engines
When you conduct a normal search on your favorite search engine, you’re simply saying “help me find this thing.” However, in local search, there’s an extra component that you have to add: location. You’ll be telling the search engines “help me find this thing in this location.” In this case, all other locations are filtered from the search results as they are considered to be irrelevant.
That said, consumers often search for products or services offered within their local city, town, or neighborhood. As such, local keywords will signal to prospects that you have exactly what they’re looking for. According to Think With Google, 76 percent of consumers who search for nearby businesses on their mobile devices visit a local business within 24 hours, and 28 percent of these location-based searches end in a purchase. If you’re looking to improve the visibility of your local business and reach your local audience, local SEO will be useful.