Many business owners look at the internet in order to break into lucrative markets all over the world. Although the internet is worldwide, don’t overlook the impact you can have locally by being prominent placed in the search engines when qualified business partners, on your doorstep are searching for your business and services online. This is where leveraging local seo can be a great advantage for your business.
The Argument for adopting local SEO into Your Marketing Plans
1. Your consumers are going local
In a recent study by ad network Chikata*, results showed that nearly 25% of searches using Google had local intent. Therefore if there is a demand online for your products or services then people still feel more comfortable engaging with a local firm so they can get the item sooner and if there are any problems can visit the store or service provider easily.
More and more consumers are using search engines to find local businesses on their computers and mobile phones. According to Google,
- 20% of search queries are for local businesses,
- 40% of mobile searches are for local businesses and
- 97% of consumers search for local businesses online.
2. 40% prefer to Research Online Purchase Offline
That’s right, in a survey conducted by Google**, 4 out of 10 people prefer to ROPO – Research Online Purchase Offline. So by being the business that give the greatest information on the product or service to local searches online it follows that you will get the lion’s share of the business.
3. Prominent first-page listings
When a search for a service is coupled with a local identifier the results that are typically displayed on the first page of Google include a Map on the top right hand of the screen. This map is made up of the businesses that Google knows to be relevant to that search and is now a feature of Google+ local. In the organic results you will notice that each pin or marker on the map correlates to a listing.
The point is if you get Google to recognise your business on the map you get multiple first page listings.
4. Local search is less competitive.
Yes, there will be less people searching than there will be on a national level likewise there will be less businesses in a position to compete. The majority of the national chains will not, yet, be optimised at a local level and this gives greater opportunity for those that invest in positioning their businesses as the leader in the local market place.
Simple Steps to Get Ranked in the Local Results
As a business owner there are a few steps that you can take in order to boost your chances of benefiting from qualified local searchers.
Here are the 4 basic steps to take advantage of the local search engine optimisation opportunity:
The first steps with local SEO as with any type of online campaign should be your keyword research. Without knowing if there is a demand for your products and services online and the particular words and phrases people are using to find the results you will be quite literally throwing your advertising spend down the drain.
Use Google’s free keyword tool to find keywords that are frequently-searched and relevant to your business.
Optimise Your Google Listing
If you aren’t already set up with a Google+ Local listing, you’ll need to create your profile and verify your ownership. Then, select the categories that best suit your business description, bearing in mind the keywords that you know to be prominent to your user’s searches. By doing this you will help Google know which keywords should trigger your business listing to appear in the local results.
Get Your Business Out there
In getting your business out there you are looking to include your business information, Name, Address and Postcode (NAP) in as many relevant places online. These mentions of your business details are known as citations and are a very important factor of how Google shows trust to a business online.
A good way to do this is by listing your business on local business directories such as Yell, Thomson local, Yelp etc
More important than what you say about your business is what your clients have to say about your business. Make it a habit to ask customers to take the time and review your business by going to the business directories and leaving a testimonial about how good your business really is and how great the service was.
The more positive reviews that people say about your business the better, and the more Google and other search engines will pay attention to your business as they will know that by sending targeted traffic to your business they will get happy customers.
By having glowing online reviews you may convince other online browser who stumble across your business to pay closer attention as to how your service can benefit them.
The internet allows your business to branch out and reach lucrative markets that you could never have dreamed of competing in, but don’t get carried away and forget where your business started and the local community that you have at your doorstep.
The ultimate aim of local SEO service is to target your visitors and reach out people that have immediate requirements so that you can make your business a great success.