12 Key Benefits of Local SEO for Your Local Business
It’s not as hard as you think for your business to rise to the top. Of search rankings, that is. With that said, if your online business listings are not optimized for local searches, you may get skipped over by people in your area. Worse yet, these could be the exact people that are eager to drop money on the products or services you’re offering. Time to consider Local SEO.
Now, you’ve probably heard of search engine optimization (SEO), which is a strategy to boost your rankings in search results based on keywords.
But that doesn’t automatically mean your business name will show up on the first page when someone types in a particular product or service they want, even if they’re right down the street from you.
That’s where local SEO comes into the picture.
So what is it, and what are the benefits of local SEO? We’re going to be taking a closer look at this article.
But first, a quick refresher on good old-fashioned SEO.
Table of Contents:
- What Is SEO Used For?
- What Is Local SEO?
- Why Does Local SEO Matter?
- Why Is Local SEO Important for Small Businesses?
- What Are the Benefits of Local SEO?
- Increase Web Traffic
- Stay Competitive With Neighboring Businesses
- Build Links With Nearby Businesses
- Gain Possible Repeat Customers
- Build Community
- Earn More Trust Through Higher Rankings
- Show Up in Google’s 3-Pack
- Get More Local Reviews
- Reduce Advertising Costs
- Gain Customers Ready to Buy
- Get Exposure in Local Business Directories
- Keep Up With Mobile Growth
- Unlock The Benefits of Local SEO
What Is SEO Used For?
SEO is a set of principles and strategies used to increase traffic to your website from search engines.
Just a few practical SEO strategies include:
- Using strategic keywords in your content
- Link building
- Speed optimization
- Updating metadata
- Mobile optimization
SEO is also incredibly important for businesses like yours.
As the world becomes increasingly digital and customers rely more and more on the internet to find the products they’re after, developing a solid SEO strategy becomes ever more critical.
If you want to get found on the internet, chances are you’re going to be found through a search engine.
And these days, more small businesses understand the value of investing in their SEO strategies.
For instance, a recent study from The Manifest found that 49% of small businesses actually invest in SEO. Added to that, 31% don’t currently invest in it but plan to.
Okay, so SEO matters for small businesses.
But how does that differ from local SEO?
What Is Local SEO?
This marketing strategy takes SEO one step further and helps people on the go find what they need based on what’s closest to them.
Consider an estimated 211 million people in the U.S. using their smartphones for searches by 2020. That means many people on the go may select a particular business out of convenience alone.
Sure, your business can use all the right keywords. But if your exact local location isn’t picked up in a search, those keywords probably won’t do much good for people who are looking to buy in person right away.
Local SEO works by adding your geographic information to a search engine listing, which will allow it to be more easily found based on the customer’s location.
Because smartphones know precisely where their users are at any given time, this has become crucial for marketing – especially if you’re a physical store and not a business that sells only online.
There’s a bit more involved when it comes to parsing out all the differences between organic SEO and local SEO but understanding this essential difference is a great start.
Why Does Local SEO Matter?
One of the biggest reasons you’ll want to invest in local SEO is that it’s increasingly becoming a more popular engagement driver.
For example, searches containing “near me” are exploding in popularity. Google found that searches structured as “store near me” (e.g., “grocery store near me”) increased by more than 250% from 2017 to 2019 alone.
As you can see, people are searching not just for businesses that are selling what they’re buying, but rather businesses nearby that offer the products or services they’re looking for.
And that brings us to our next point…
Why Is Local SEO Important for Small Businesses?
While it’s true that businesses today are operating more globally than ever, most U.S. shoppers are still staying local.
According to Intuit, about 55% of Americans do their shopping with local businesses.
And the more likely your business is to get found by local residents, the more likely those residents are going to show up at your store.
What Are the Benefits of Local SEO?
So, now that we’ve talked about what local SEO is and why it’s vital for small businesses, especially, let’s look at the 12 biggest advantages of local SEO for businesses like yours.
1. Increase Web Traffic
If you’re not taking advantage of local SEO, then you might be competing for space in the search results with companies on the other side of the country that are bigger than you.
That means you’ll probably get passed over unless the mobile user with limited time on their lunch break just so happens to scroll to the third page of search results and spots you. However, if you show up more readily in searches, you’ll have more people clicking on your website link to see everything you’ve got to offer.
How much of a difference does a higher rank have on your click-through rate (CTR), you ask?
Well, Backlinko studied 5 million different searches and charted how ranking affected CTR.
Take a look below.
See how dramatically the CTR drops from the first position?
And when the results are on the second page (around the 9th spot down), the CTR drops even more precipitously.
The takeaway here is clear: the higher you rank, the more likely people will be to visit your site.
And one of the best local SEO advantages is that it puts you up higher on the search results.
2. Stay Competitive With Neighboring Businesses
Another one of the best benefits of local SEO services is that they let you stay competitive.
If someone walking in the neighborhood does a mobile search for shoe inserts, for example, then theoretically, your business will show up along with all of your nearby competitors.
However, if you aren’t using local SEO, then you won’t be ranked among the local searches.
So even if you have a better product or the same product at a better price than your rivals, you might miss out on a sale. Consumers shopping on their smartphones have short attention spans too.
So if you don’t hit fast, you probably won’t hit at all.
3. Build Links With Nearby Businesses
Competition is part of the business. That’s simply the nature of capitalism.
But another one of the local SEO benefits is that it may allow you to form alliances with other local businesses.
For example, perhaps a local business is looking to cross-promote their products and services with another company in the neighborhood. Or maybe they’re trying to create a coordinated marketing campaign to benefit several business owners in the area. If you’re listed locally, they can then find you.
Once another business knows about you, you’re more likely to be mentioned in their social media posts or get referrals from their customers looking for products that you carry.
And, of course, you can then strengthen these types of relationships by returning the favor.
4. Gain Possible Repeat Customers
Returning customers are incredibly valuable. And another one of the top local SEO advantages is that it can help bring more returning customers your way.
See, some of your customers are going to be people who are visiting the area from far away, and only need one thing from your store while there. Local SEO can help capture these types of shoppers thanks to mobile searches.
However, once a local customer knows you’re there and provides a positive experience for them the first time they call or visit your business, they’re more likely to come back and build a long-term business relationship.
And that could help stretch one sale into potentially hundreds of them from just one person.
Constant Contact even found that repeat customers are 52% more likely to convert than new prospects.
And for you, that means easier sales and likely more sales as well.
5. Build Community
Shop local is significant, both among marketers and also local residents who want to support businesses in their area. After all, buying locally helps boost the local economy.
And as you might have guessed, one of the benefits of local SEO is that it helps keep things local.
If your brand is all about being home-town proud, you need to do more than remember customers’ names and order products that are in demand locally. It would help if you made sure potential shoppers who care about buying locally know that you’re within walking distance of them.
And who knows, showing up in local search results could also present you with sponsorship opportunities. And having your name on a local sports team jersey can go a long way (for both your business and the team.)
6. Earn More Trust Through Higher Rankings
Admit it: when you search for a product or service online, you probably only trust the first five or six listings. You might assume businesses that show up on the third or fourth page of results are probably doing something wrong.
The truth is, they may be doing almost everything right except having local SEO. Once you start ranking higher, people are more likely to trust you without making any changes to what you’re already offering.
As a result, another of the top local SEO benefits is that it helps you rank higher and earn more trust.
7. Show Up in Google’s 3-Pack.
The 3-pack from Google means that the first three listings that best match your search are displayed.
What’s more, the Google 3-pack appears in the top spot in 93% of searches with local intent, according to Report Garden.
You can test how your business ranks by typing in something your business specializes in and seeing if it ranks in the top three slots. This was a change from the previous 7-pack, and the difference was driven by trying to fit results more easily onto mobile devices.
Not only will users see your name first when they do a local search, but they can also more easily click on your website, find your contact info, or determine when you’re open.
Another one of the benefits of local SEO services, then, is increasing the likelihood of your business cracking into the top three.
8. Get More Local Reviews
Local shoppers love recommending a good business (or complaining about a bad one) online.
If someone searching for a business sees other locals have approved of it, they’re without a doubt more likely to shop there and recommend it to others.
Customer feedback company Boast even found that 78% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
When a customer leaves a review of your business through your Google business account, and you respond to it, it helps drive your SEO ranking even higher.
And as you know, that means more business coming your way.
9. Reduce Advertising Costs
More than 80 percent of mobile users click the “near me” option when searching for a particular type of business. That’s more than 4 out of 5!
Suppose you’re sufficiently high in the rankings thanks to local SEO. In that case, that can save you money in trying to target locals through sponsored social media campaigns or by putting ads in newspapers and sending out flyers.
Having effective local SEO is more cost-effective and yields a higher return on investment in the long run compared to paying for ads to ensure you show up in local search results.
10. Gain Customers Ready to Buy
While many customers go online first to research products and services for a future purchase, one of the biggest benefits of local SEO is that many people perform a search because they’re ready to buy something.
In fact, 24 percent of people will jump on a search engine when they’re ready to drop some money. That means their mind is already made up on what they want, and it’s a matter of showing up in a local search first to convert that sale.
In addition to that, Ahrefs found that 76% of local mobile searches result in an in-person visit to that business the same day.
Plus, 28% of those searches actually lead to a purchase.
As a result, if you want to bring in customers who are ready to buy, investing in local SEO is necessary.
11.Get Exposure in Local Business Directories
With local SEO optimized, you’re more likely to appear in local business directories where people can search for services in a particular area and even leave reviews. Having your business name appear in local directories can boost your credibility and add to your organic SEO rankings.
Adding your business to directories like Google My Business, for instance, is a great way to expand your visibility.
12. Keep Up With Mobile Growth
Many people search for local products and services from their desktop computers.
However, there’s no denying how many people turn to their smartphone or tablet first when they’re connecting to the internet. In fact, mobile devices accounted for more than 52 percent of online traffic in 2018 alone.
Because mobile devices have the added benefit of location services, you can be found by someone near you even if they don’t live in the area.
Beyond that, voice search (e.g., using Siri, using Alexa) is becoming increasingly popular. And most people using voice search actually use it to research products.
Narvar found that 51% of voice search users did so in order to research a product.
And as you might expect, many voice searchers are looking for local businesses that carry what they’re looking for.
So if you’re trying to get your business found by customers who are researching their next purchase, focusing on local SEO can help voice searchers find your business too.
Unlock The Benefits of Local SEO
It’s hard to deny the benefits of local SEO services in boosting your business profile and potentially growing your revenue.
But there are several components to successfully adapting local SEO, and it goes beyond just identifying your location. The more citations (places on the web that mention your business) created for your business, the better your chance of being found locally.
To find out more about how we can add the benefits of local SEO to your marketing, please request a free consultation today so we can empower you with what you need to get ahead and on top of your online reputation. It matters!
Also, consider our free Local SEO Health Audit report. It includes a reputation management assessment amongst other beneficial data to help you optimize your domain to help your business grow!