For those of you who may not know what local SEO is, we should probably answer the question “what is local SEO?” first. Here goes. Local SEO is one of, if not the, most effective form of local online marketing. It uses search engines (e.g. Google, Yahoo, and Bing) and directories (think Yelp, Yell, TheBestof, etc.) to help local customers find the best local businesses in their location.
So, why you ask is local SEO important for businesses?
There are quite a few reasons that all businesses should invest in local SEO. Let’s start with an obvious one.
People look for business details online.
When was the last time you picked up the Yellow Pages (you remember, the big yellow book) to find a local business? It’s been a while, hasn’t it? You’re not alone, last year over 70% of local customers headed straight to Google when they needed to find a local business. That number is likely to rise every year. Being front and centre when they are looking means you’re more likely to get their business. Do you want to miss out on over 70% of potential new customers? I didn’t think so.
Appear at the right time.
Local SEO helps put your business in front of local customers when they’re searching for your products or services. Think about that for a second. Using Local SEO, you can get seen by customers at the exact moment they are looking for what your business does. There isn’t a better time to advertise to a customer.
There isn’t any guesswork involved in Local SEO, but there is when you place an advert in a printed magazine or other printed advertisement. Is your ideal client going to be reading that magazine? Will they get the leaflet? Are they going to see your advert in the corner? What if they miss an issue? What if they aren’t thinking about how your business could help them when they skim over your advert?
Local SEO is cost effective.
Yes, getting professional Local SEO done for you has costs associated with it. But, so does most advertising. For example, a quarter page weekly advert in a paper that covers a moderately sized town could cost between £200-300 per week. So that’s £800+ per month, £9,600+ a year, and your precious advert will be in the bin before the next edition hits the shelves. More than half of these adverts will never even be seen. There is no long term benefit to advertising in this way.
With Local SEO, your business will be available 24/7 and visible when your customer starts their search and is ready to buy from you.
Local SEO converts better than anything else.
Studies show that local SEO is the highest converting type of online advertising, with up to 50% of local leads converting into customers. Local SEO isn’t just an advertising platform for websites; Local SEO works especially well for actual businesses. Your business location can be matched with the users’ position, and it shows up on a map alongside your opening hours, contact information, and your website.
Imagine the following scenario. You’ve just moved to a new town, and you don’t know anyone locally yet. Your car warning light starts flashing and indicates you need to get it serviced. Where do you find the mechanic? You probably head over to Google and search for something like “local mechanic”, and that’s what over 70% of people will do. Once you’ve done the search for a mechanic, you’ll be presented with a list of potential car mechanics in the area who can help with your problem. How do you choose which one to call? My guess is you’ll do what everyone else does, you’ll look at the map, see which ones closest, check out a few reviews to make sure they’re good at what they do, and then you will either call them or send them an email via their website.
Mobile web usage is rising.
Last year stats showed that over 50% of all web traffic came from mobile devices.
Why does mobile usage matter to Local SEO?
Most search engines such as Google will use the exact location of the searcher to match them with the most local and relevant answers to their search queries. Mobile usage will continue to rise and so will the importance of a good local business presence. Having good Local SEO will mean that your business will be shown to people in your area when they need your service.
Is your business optimised for local? Schedule a free consultation and find out.