In my last blog, I talked generally about local SEO: what it is, how it works, and why it’s so important for businesses to use. Now it’s time to get into the specifics.
A quick recap
If you read my previous blog on why local SEO is important to business, you’ll have learned how local SEO can drive traffic to your website and footfall to your brick-and-mortar store. I also talked about how you need to make the most of mobile, and create a responsive website, if you really want to monopolise on what local SEO has to offer.
But that was just for starters. In this blog post, I’d like to go into a little more detail.
So, here are eight key ways your business could benefit from local SEO.
1. More and more customers are turning to the internet as their first means to find business information, products and services
Research shows that 97 per cent of consumers looked online for local businesses in 2017, with 12 per cent looking for a local business online every day. Yellow Pages and other paper-based business directories are almost a thing of the past. Instead, people are using online directories to find business information, products or services. The most popular of these being Google maps (through Google My Business), which is now, more than ever, an essential part of local SEO for any local business.
Search results are shown based on three key criteria — distance from the user’s location, the relevance of the business listing to the user’s search and the page’s/business’s prominence.
2. The importance of ranking in the top three of Google Maps
As seen above, whenever potential customers make a search for products or services offered by your business, Google Maps will show the user the top three results for their search query. These appear right at the top of the search results pages, just below the Google ads, and show important information such as customer review ratings, address, business opening hours and contact information — making it extremely easy for potential customers to contact you.
It’s very unlikely that many users will click beyond these top three listings, and therefore it’s extremely important that your business listing ranks within the top three location listings on Google maps, in order to bring footfall to your business either online or via the phone or storefront location.
3. High conversion rates
Marketing on local directories will generally have a much higher conversion rate than traditional advertising. It promotes local businesses to potential customers actively looking for their products or services.
Specific search terms convert better than those that are vague. Focusing on local search queries, in particular, can provide you with the competitive advantage for services in your particular location — or perhaps a location you are looking to target specifically.
4. The competitive edge
The odds are, most of your competitors are not fully aware of the benefits of local SEO, and have not optimised their off-site listings and Google My Business accounts for local SEO targeting.
Tackling local SEO head on, alongside keeping up-to-date with your business listings and information across multiple platforms, can provide you with that competitive edge.
5. Fantastic return on investment
Whilst more traditional ways of marketing – such as leafleting or newspaper ads – still have their place, it can also incur wasted spend where conversions fail to materialise. Having a roundabout ad may be good for staying front of mind, but it’s difficult to track.
Local SEO, on the other hand, means that your business will only be shown to customers actively looking for your services or products. And aside from some initial costs to manage your local SEO, overheads are generally low. And once everything is up and running, it can bring excellent results.
6. Trust sells — and so do customer reviews
No matter where you search, whether it’s on Bing or Google, you will come across customer reviews. In the same way, trust is placed in word-of-mouth recommendations, users are now trusting company reviews online — whether this is on a third-party website such as CheckaTrade or through Google reviews.
Not only do online reviews reflect how potential customers see your business, they can also have a strong impact on the way your business ranks in Google and Bing search engines.
7. Ease-of-use and nurturing customer relationships
Local SEO is not as daunting as it may first seem. In fact, it’s an easy and effective way to manage your business information and local search rankings.
On top of that, local SEO provides a great way to connect with your local customers and prospects. For many customers, the first interaction with your brand is through your website. By optimising your website for local search and providing solutions relevant to their needs, you build trust for your brand, which can only benefit you in the long run.
8. Most business directory listings are free
Pretty much as it says on the tin — a Google My Business listing is free, along with most other business directory listings such as yell.com, Thomson Local and scoot.co.uk. Each has multiple data fields that allow you to add information about your business, including products and services, keywords, web page links and so on. All of which are important links back to your website.
Get started today
With all this in mind, the question is: what are you waiting for? Get a head start on your competion by making the most of local SEO today.
If you’re wondering where to begin, then that’s where we can help.
We already help established businesses get a better understanding of their local SEO information. We can provide a free audit of your business website for both local and organic SEO search performance along with a detailed list of recommendations, ordered in terms of priority.
We also deliver websites that are geared for conversions, and, as a design-led software house, we focus on what matters — the data, the interactions and conversions. So, whether you’re looking for SEO, PPC, CRO (conversion rate optimisation) or even software development services — get in touch today.
If you’re interested in working with Newicon on your next digital project, get in touch now.