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 by people in your area eager to drop money on the exact products or services you’re offering. 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 a particular product or service they want, even if they’re down the street from you.
That’s where local SEO comes into the picture.
But what is it, and what are the benefits of local SEO? Let’s take a closer look…
What is Local SEO?
This marketing strategy takes SEO one step further and helps people on the go find what they need that’s closest to them.
Consider that there will be an estimated 211 million people in the U.S. using their smartphones for searches by 2020. That means there are many people on the go that may select a particular business out of convenience. 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 you much good.
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 exactly 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 to it than that, but we’ll get to those details later. First, let’s examine 12 benefits of embracing local SEO as a marketing tool:
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 happens to scroll to the third page of search results and spots you. 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.
2. Stay Competitive With Neighboring Businesses
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, so if you don’t hit fast, you probably won’t hit at all.
3. Build Links With Nearby Businesses
Not only should you stay competitive with nearby businesses, but by showing up in local searches you might even be able to form alliances with them.
For example, perhaps a local business is looking to cross-promote their products and services with another business in the neighborhood. Or maybe they’re trying to create a collective marketing campaign to benefit several business owners in the area. If you’re listed locally they can 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. You can strengthen these types of relationships by returning the favor.
4. Gain Possible Repeat Customers
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 you provide 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. That could stretch one sale into potentially hundreds of them from just one person.
5. Build Community
Shop local is big, both among marketers and also local residents who want to support businesses in their area. After all, buying locally helps boost the local economy.
So 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. You need to make 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.
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 having to make any changes to what you’re already offering.
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. You can experiment with this by typing in something your business specializes in, and see if it ranks in the top three slots. This was a change from the previous 7-pack, and the change 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. Having local SEO on your side can boost your chances of 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 business sees other locals have approved of it, they’re probably more likely to shop there and recommend it to others.
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.
9. Reduce Advertising Costs
Remember that more than 80 percent of mobile users click the “near me” option when searching for a particular type of business. If you’re sufficiently high in the rankings thanks to local SEO, 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, many 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 for want they want and it’s a matter of showing up in a local search first to convert that sale.
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.
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 account for more than 52 percent of online traffic as of 2018.
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.
Unlock The Benefits of Local SEO
It’s hard to deny that using local SEO can boost your business profile and potentially grow 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) that are 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, contact us today.
If you have questions, we’d love to help. 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 as it includes a reputation management assessment amongst other beneficial data to help you optimize your domain to help your business grow!