If you are running a business, you know that your local community is your lifeline – as well as your target audience and user base. But how can you efficiently target local consumers? And what will give your company a competitive edge over other local businesses?
That’s where local SEO (search engine optimization) comes in. This powerful tool makes your business more discoverable by users in the area who are actively looking for your services, thus driving conversion.
But how can you make sure that this strategy will work for you?
Here’s all you need to know about Local SEO and the businesses that gain the most from it.
Local SEO – a niche within the larger SEO umbrella – is the practice of optimizing a business’s digital presence to become a relevant answer to location-specific search engine queries.
Some tools integrated within our devices, including IP addresses, geolocation, and GPS, deliver information about a user’s geographical location to search engines that, in response to a query, will show results relevant to that specific location.
For example, if a user searches for a mechanic, Google will provide results that are relevant based on where the search is performed. In other words, it will show local businesses nearby.
For local businesses, It is an efficient audience targeting technique and represents an opportunity to drive organic traffic and appear in the Local 3-pack – which receives over 44% of the total clicks on the result page!
Today, nearly 50% of Google searches are performed to discover local businesses and services. What’s more, according to statistics by Google, 76% of local searches lead to the user visiting a business, and nearly 30% of these result in a purchase.
What’s more, Google My Business profiles – a vital tool for businesses looking to invest in SEO – are driving organic traffic to local businesses’ websites and 5% lead to a purchase.
These statistics make something immediately clear: Local SEO practices, including reviews management, keyword optimization, and content creation, are vital to boosting your business’s visibility and credibility.
But, even more importantly, Local SEO helps your brand, product, or services appear in front of the eyes of users who are in the area and actively looking for what you offer, thus converting interests into increased sales and revenue.
Most small or bootstrapped businesses can get started with Local SEO with minimal investment, using free tools such as Google My Business. However, as the competition gets fiercer by the minute, DIY campaigns might not yield the results expected – and might even harm your business.
That’s why it is always recommended to work with digital specialists to help you with your SEO. When looking for the right company to partner with, opt for a local expert who understands your specific market, trends, and user behaviors to craft a strategy that works for your geographical location and business niche.
Local SEO is particularly beneficial for small businesses – digital or brick-and-mortar – serving a local market and looking to establish an online presence, hone their competitive edge, and grow their user base. In this case, Local SEO can help you boost the credibility of your brand as a whole while also promoting your services and products.
While small businesses benefit the most from this strategy, Local SEO practices should not be overlooked by digital startups, larger corporations, and international organizations! Local SEO can help these entities establish a local presence in different locations and target a portion of their target in a way that is more specific to them.
With more and more businesses investing in Local SEO, not doing so can significantly hurt your competitiveness. That is why all businesses should have, at least, a Google My Business profile, optimized content, and a technically-sound website.
However, businesses operating in certain industries can reap far more significant rewards from local search engine optimization.
- Professional services
- Online businesses
- Real estate agencies
- Home renovations services
- Home repair and plumbing or electrical services
- Medical and dental practices
- International and multi-location businesses
- Restaurants, bars, and other hospitality venues
- Pet services
- Law firms
If you are unsure whether it is worth investing in Local SEO for your business, partnering with a digital marketing expert can help you understand how to integrate the different tools to achieve your goals.