The phenomenal growth of internet marketing seemed to spell doom for small local businesses. The focus seemed to be on a global perspective while ignoring the role local businesses play in the business world. Well, things have changed and local businesses can now harness the immense power of the internet to grow their reach.
Importance of Local Search Engine Optimization (Local SEO)
Previously, businesses were focusing on search engine optimization (SEO) without narrowing down on their local market. This is not only wasteful but there is almost no ROI. For instance, a car dealer in Tampa, FL has no business paying for paid ads that are not targeted towards the local market. Their resources would be better utilized optimizing their website for local search.
There are many reasons to invest in local search engine optimization (SEO). Take a look:
- Local SEO marketing is more targeted and timely
- Higher conversion rates
- Leveraging influence of mobile internet
- High return on investment (ROI)
- Higher levels of trust from the local community
According to a 2016 Go-Globe Study, 50% of customers who do a local search on their smartphone device visit a store in the area within a day. The same survey shows 18% of local mobile searches convert into a sale within a day.
Better still, 87% of smartphone users carry out one search on search engines every day. If you consider that 60% of American adults use internet devices to search for local information or services, it becomes obvious that local search is more important than ever.
Strategies for Effective Local SEO
Local search engine optimization (SEO) is the best way for your retail store, dental clinic, car dealership, restaurant, spa and massage parlor or any other local business to exploit opportunities available online.
It is advisable to hire an SEO expert to develop and implement a marketing strategy. These experts have requisite resources and expertise to deploy innovative local SEO tools for your campaign.
Here are some strategies which an SEO consultant will use to help boost your brand’s visibility on local search:
Optimizing Business Information on the Website
Unlike an ordinary website, your company’s business website should be optimized for local search. This means the information included on all pages must reflect your target market. The idea is to increase your ranking on local search engine result pages (SERPs) for your target keywords. To achieve this, the domain name must reflect the business type and location, include keywords that reflect services offered and location, include business’s name, address and phone number (NAP) on individual pages and add information about the local community.
Over 80% of internet users are using mobile. In October 2016, Google announced that mobile internet traffic had exceeded desktop usage. Local businesses must strategize on how to make their websites ready for mobile usage. Website mobile friendliness is now a big deal as Google has demonstrated its focus on mobile over the last one year.
The mobile-first indexing is an indication of this new direction. The fact that most local internet traffic is mobile means your website design must be mobile-responsive. Mobile-only deals and special promotions are great strategies to win over mobile users to come to your store or order from your business.
Business Listings on Local Listings
To boost local SEO, make sure your business listing information is readily available on 3rd-party platforms and is consistent. Google crawlers are always looking for new information to understand the local web better. If your business information is not available, there is a risk of poor ranking on local search.
You have to be proactive in updating your business listing information. For instance, a change of business location should be reflected on all 3rd-party listings. Some of the local sources to check for your listings include Google, Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Yellow Book among others. In addition, add valuable content including videos and images that help customers to understand your business better.
Leverage Online User Reviews
There is no reason to fear online user reviews if at all you are doing genuine business. Encourage visitors to rate and review your business and make sure you respond to such comments. Provide forums where customers can leave their comments. It is important to remain objective when responding to any customer review or comment and work towards improving your services.
Social media engagement is also crucial for local SEO and your SEO consultant should help you come up with a strategy on how best to utilize these networks. Still wondering how you can tap into the growing internet market for your local business? These tips will start you off.
It makes much business sense to hire an SEO expert for your local SEO management if you are aiming at dominating your local business landscape. You could try SandCrestSEO.com for such.