If you’re a small business owner who has heard multiple pitches from digital marketers, you might have heard of Local SEO. But what exactly does it mean, and how can it help your business?
In this article, we’ll help you understand the importance of Local SEO, what makes it different from Organic SEO, and how it can help your business succeed.
What is Local SEO?
In the simplest terms, Local SEO helps businesses target customers within a certain geographical location. Local SEO is especially useful for brick and mortar businesses where being geographically close to a customer is an advantage. In contrast, Organic SEO aims to target Google searchers wherever they come from. It is more applicable to organisations, big businesses, and influencers whose products and services are not limited by their location.
To illustrate this, let’s say I have a toothache and I need to see a dentist now. Of course, world-famous dentists from New York or Hong Kong wouldn’t be very helpful to me. Thus, I would search specifically for ‘dentists near me.’ Because Google’s search algorithm detects that I am looking for a dentist nearby, the search results will show dental clinics located within my vicinity. From the results listed on Google, I would be able to choose a clinic that is close enough, has good reviews, and whose schedule matches my free time.
Now let’s say I want to know if there are quick home remedies that can ease my pain. I’ll search for ‘toothache home remedies.’ Google’s algorithm now detects that I am looking for the best or most popular answer, so it would return results from a wider pool of sources. The results are ranked based on a number of factors, including the website’s popularity and reputation. In this case, it doesn’t matter where the post comes from–it could be a blog from a stay-at-home Mom in Cork or Galway and her advice would still be helpful for me.
Why Does Local SEO Matter?
The internet is changing the game. Many people now depend on Google to find information on just about anything they need. Almost half of all Google searches worldwide are local searches. If you own a computer or a smartphone, chances are, you’ve done a local search yourself quite recently. After all, it is more convenient than taking a long drive hoping to stumble upon a store that sells the type of furniture you are looking for.
Local SEO is also relevant to businesses because of the intention of people conducting local searches. People who do local searches are often hot leads. Someone searching for local carpenters is probably not doing it out of leisure–chances are, they actually need a carpenter pretty soon. If someone nearby looks for a service that you are offering, and they find you promising, they will proceed to hire or buy. In fact, about 80% of mobile local searches result in a real-world sale.
Finally, Local SEO is an effective marketing strategy that offers great return on investment. Unlike traditional advertising media, like billboards or newspaper advertisements, there are few chances of wasted exposure. Customers see you when they need you, and you don’t bother them with ads when they don’t need you.
Tips to Improve Your Local SEO Strategy
So…I just need to list my business somewhere like Yelp, right? Well, that and a lot more. Especially if your competitors are already doing Local SEO, you will have to take it a lot more seriously in order to catch up.
If you still haven’t worked on you Local SEO, we recommend that you start investing time an effort into it. Here are a few Local SEO tips that you can do (or hire someone to do for you):
- List your business in all relevant directories
- Ensure that your Business Name, Address, and Phone (NAP) citations are consistent in all online citations
- Claim your Google My Business listing
- Optimise your website for local searches
- Build local links
- Respond to all customer inquiries and reviews
Plenty of customers are out there looking for you. Now it’s up to you if you want to be found.