Small or big, any business with a storefront needs to get onto the local SEO bandwagon.
Well because of consumer behavior.
46% of all Google searches are now local. This means that people in towns and cities are increasingly turning to the internet to find out about their neighborhood.
Considering that there are 3.5 billion searches that happen every day on Google, the possibility that someone near you is searching for your product or service right now is quite high. (Source)
Local SEO focuses on providing results that are relevant to a person based on their location. It is a variation of SEO where the search results are aimed at informing the buyers about services available near them. For example, “restaurants near me” or “medical stores near me” will show results to the user considering factors like proximity.
Out of the 46% who use the internet to search for local products or services, 50% visit the store within a day! (Source)
Any small business owner can point to how important every person who walks into the store is. People who walk into the store through google search results can be viewed as qualified leads because they already know what they are looking for. Working with local SEO attracts more such customers to your store, which in turn shoots up the conversion rate instantly.
Local SEO for small businesses allows them to target buyers with the highest likelihood of making a purchase. According to research by Hubspot, 18% of local mobile searches lead to a sale within one day. (Source)
When a customer walks into your store and has a fabulous experience, you would expect them to either come back for more or recommend your store to their friends. When your business is listed on Google My Business you allow your customers to rate and review your store online. And we all know the power of reviews today.
For businesses looking for a local SEO guide, we have some tips to get you started.
Registering yourself on Google My Business is our top local SEO tip. It’s the number one local SEO ranking factor. (Source) It takes into account proximity, categories, keywords in business title etc.
When you are setting up your page keep a unique and accurate business description with links ready. You will be required to fill in fields like category, photos, phone number, address etc. It is advisable to create or curate all this information to avoid changes after you have been listed.
NAP is your Name, Address, and Phone number. If you have other digital properties like a website or landing page ensure that the NAP is the same as the one you enter on My Business page.
Google loves consistency. So, when you are creating citations (mentioning your address on other websites) or even posting on social media, make sure that your NAP is the exact same as the one you mention on My Business page.
Reviews are not only good for business but also crucial for ranking. Once you’ve set up a My Business page don’t forget to point out to your customers how important reviews are for you. Asking your existing database is a low hanging fruit and is a great way to start off your campaign. If simply asking doesn’t seem to go too well consider incentivizing it. I’ve seen a lot of stores offer freebies for a review. Investing 10$ in an Amazon gift card is worth every penny if you are able to use the reviews to generate more business.
You may want to consider putting a ‘Review Me’ link on your website or in other directories where you are listed. Yelp is another great platform to get reviewed because it is used by Apple maps.
Google changed how it was showing search results from a local ‘7-pack view’ to a local ‘3 pack view’ because of the massive surge in mobile as the preferred device for searching. Since mobile screens are much smaller only 3 businesses can now get the top spot.
This spot is much sought after because 44% of the people who perform a local search click on one of the top 3 listings. (Source)
Given these numbers, going mobile first for your business could bring a marked difference in your business’s performance.
On page content of your website has a substantial bearing on your local search ranking. When you are working on your local SEO content don’t forget to add your city/region with a relevant keyword to your landing page title tag, H1 tag, URL, page content and ALT attributes.
Without getting super technical, simply keep in mind local SEO keywords for your business while building digital properties. You could also consider blogging for local SEO if you are finding it hard to rank on account of the competition.
Building a client base and managing your online presence is no longer a privilege reserved for the giants. Everyone now has access to the unlimited power of the internet that can change the face of your business.
To learn more, click on the click below to watch a recent webinar about local SEO.