Being ranked highly by search engines like Google has become very important if you want your business to grow and if you intend to make sales at all times. As many existing businesses try to always boost the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of their website by creating lots of unique content and filling them with the right keywords, building authority by getting inbound links and designing their site in a way that it meets the needs of a user, it’s also important to channel some attention to your local online presence.
A survey showed that only a small percentage of start-ups even consider SEO – let alone local SEO. For those who are wondering what local SEO entails, this involves the optimization of your business online to fit the particular geographical location you are in.
It helps you make sales and convert users who want specific services or products you offer within the region your business is based in. In as much as many business owners hardly consider this, start-ups should endeavor to invest and explore this strategy to build a strong brand within their locality.
Since many businesses are looking for ways to make it to the first page of search engine results, local SEO will soon become really popular and will definitely change the way digital marketing is done.
The latest advancements in technology have also made it easy for search engines like Google to easily access the location of a user, document the pages they last viewed and also suggest a web copy similar to what they need especially if it’s within their locality.
New businesses need to understand how important this is to their brand and take advantage of it. The benefits are numerous but here are a few you need to know about.
Local SEO reduces competition
As a startup, there are obviously a lot of businesses that have been in the niche before you. This means that they have already been indexed by Google and other search engines. For you to be able to climb up the ladder to the first Search Engine Results Page (SERP), it might take a while.
This is because most of the strategies you may want to use – like inserting keywords, using a good web host, ensuring your page is responsive, creating relevant content and so on – have already been taken by the already existing businesses. Therefore, you need to look for a strategy to stay ahead and deal with competition – and that’s where local SEO comes in.
If you run a car resale shop in the Chicago, United States of America for example, the difference between you and the manufacturer is probably going to be your capability of making choice car brands and models available and within reach for the customers – so they don’t have to travel to make a purchase.
Also, when creating content for your online store, you need go include keywords like “car resale shop in Chicago”, “best place to buy fairly used cars in Chicago”, “buy a Toyota in Chicago” and do on. This makes your brand valuable to the people living or visiting that locality.
Instead of waiting till you are big to have 1,000 searchers leaving other sites they are used to for yours one day, it’s best to invest in local SEO and have 150 real searchers right now. Get the customers in your vicinity and as you grow, you can always compete for more.
Local SEO makes your brand more visible
Optimising your brand for the local scene also makes it visible to customers in your area. If a consumer knows they have to travel 10 miles to get a McDonald’s burger while yours down the road offer similar quality, they will definitely opt for what you offer. If it meets their needs, you will definitely get recommendations – hence, boosting your visibility in the locality.
Furthermore, the brands in your niche will also notice you when they realize that their followership in your location is reducing and drifting towards you.
You also need to attend events in your location and network with sponsors, bigger brands and prospective clients to help you gain some visibility as well. Having a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram page will also help you grow on social media – as there are a lot of ways to make sales and take orders from customers via these platforms.
You can also place ads on social media as well and build a large community of followers who will help retweet, repin, like, repost and share any update you put up.
Local SEO boosts mobile experience
Over the last decades, many people have purchased smart phones and other mobile devices which they use for web related activities. A research showed that over 45% of people who search for products, services or information on Google and other search engines make use of their mobile devices. It’s also believed that over 75% of these searches are localised. In that the users search for things they need when they are in a particular place at a given time.
This is why Google tries as much as it can to provide results that are local specific. They collect information about the web history of a user, their location at most times and then provide search results that are in line with this.
As a start up, it’s only wise that you get as much visibility to outrank a bigger business that isn’t within the proximity of the web user – even if they provide what you offer and are more popular. What better way to do that than to invest in local SEO.
How to go about it
The first thing to do is to hire the services of a professional web design and SEO company. Then tell them about your plans. Afterwards, ensure that your brand name is claimed by you alone – especially within your vicinity.
Search for local directories like TripAdvisor, Yellow Pages, Google My Business and others, and include your name, contact details and every necessary information. Write content about your niche, your local community and if possible, get blogs based in the locality to put up posts with inbound links to your site. Before you know it, you will be sought after and every search engine will recognize you.