The internet might be a global marketplace but being seen locally when people are searching for products and services can make a big difference to your business, so it pays to try and find ways to get to the top of the local SEO pile.
Here is a look at why being highly visible on the internet locally matters to your business, plus some tips and insights on how to achieve a good degree of visibility, and why you might need to change your existing strategy to get where you want to be.
It pays to focus on the local
When you are looking at ways to market your business online local SEO is a great place to start.
The way consumers shop has fundamentally changed in so many ways and that means that people mainly use search engines to find local businesses. The search engine behemoth Google confirms that theory handsomely and suggests that as many as four in every five consumers now use search engines to source local business information.
The good news from your perspective as a local business owner is that about half of those people who carried out a search online subsequently visited that store within a 24-hour period.
If you can get close to those sort of conversion rates with local SEO strategies, that is ‘a lot of bang for your buck’ and demonstrates the importance and relevance of focusing on being found by local consumers.
Creating localized content
If a high percentage of those consumers are taking positive action in response to their search there is an opportunity to enhance those conversion rates by creating what could be classed as localized content.
In simple terms, localized content does what it says on the tin and is about creating content that is highly niche and content specific to your local area.
Talking about local places and communities and sharing local stories that are relevant in some way is a great way of reinforcing that local connection when people find your website through a local search.
Doing things like claiming your map listing through Google My Business, for example, is a no-brainer and a good starting point, but you also have to have a strategy for local link building too.
Not all links are equal
It is hard to disagree with the suggestion that link building is probably the primary factor you need to focus your attention on when it comes to SEO.
It is also worth remembering that not all links are equal and although directory links like those you get through a free listing are good to have, they don’t carry the same SEO weight as organic backlinks.
The key to good local backlinking is strong research and knowing your local community well enough to make some meaningful connections with local clubs and associations, for instance.
It’s best not to degrade the quality of these backlinks by using a scattergun approach and a better strategy would be to only link to, or get links from, sites that you are keen to be associated with and are as relevant as possible to your local business.
Think about your local strategy
It never hurts to take a step back on a regular basis and look at whether your marketing strategy is proving as effective as it could be and what changes you could make to improve things.
The ultimate goal is to achieve more customers than you have now and that is actually even more important than taking high rank in your local listings.
You may well need to change your strategy in order to achieve the aim of finding more customers rather than worrying unduly about your ranking position. If you focus more on what your customers are looking for and how you can get your business in front of them when they search, that should provide you with a more targeted strategy to work on.
Take advantage of “near me” searches
The way we search is almost constantly evolving and Google Trends data highlights how the so-called “near me” searches have expanded so rapidly.
A growing number of potential customers will be using their smartphone to search for a business nearby so make sure your website has been tweaked and optimized for these type of searches.
These are just some of the ways to grow your local business with effective SEO strategies and marketing techniques and if you want to enjoy continued success and local prominence it would be a good idea to keep up to date.