When you conduct an internet search on Google, do you feel location is an important consideration? If you're like most web users, the answer is likely yes. That's why Google made recent changes to its search algorithm to favor more localized businesses.
When an organization close to you shows up in the top results, you'll be more likely to be able to find what you need. That's why your business needs to focus on local SEO -- so that people in your area can find you quickly and (hopefully) decide to purchase your products or services.
In today's post, we'll take a closer look at why local SEO is so important and how you or your SEO agency might choose to prioritize this strategy.
What Is Local SEO?
You probably already know that "SEO" stands for search engine optimization.
When you factor in the "local" component, you're basically talking about improving the internet visibility of your business using location-based services and techniques.
By using certain methods, you'll ensure that people who are located within a certain proximity and who search for terms relevant to your business will be able to find you right away.
What Are Some Popular Ways to Optimize Locally?
There are several different ways to prioritize local search engine optimization.
One is to do what's called localizing your new website. In other words, you'll use terms that pinpoint your location in organic ways throughout your website copy and other content.
Often, this is when geotagged keywords (key phrases that include a city, town, state, or region) might be used.
Another way to make your strategy more local is to list or claim your organization on local business directories, citation and review sites, Google My Business listings, and social media platforms like Facebook.
Obtaining high-quality backlinks from local media outlets and newspapers, as well as bloggers and other region-specific websites, can also help.
Why Should My Business Focus on Local SEO?
Some business owners are focused on the big picture; they assume that because the bulk of their business is online or that they have a fairly good walk-up business that they don't need to specifically work on their local presence.
But the reality is that every small business can benefit from local SEO efforts. Google estimates that four out of five consumers uses a search engine to find local information. In fact, 80% of Google search interests containing the phrase "near me" in the fourth quarter of 2014 came from mobile devices -- and most people who search the web on their phones want to find nearby results very quickly.
If you're scrolling on your iPhone, you probably won't have the patience to weed through hundreds of search results; you want to settle on one that shows up right away.
The bottom line is that local search marketing allows potential customers to find you right when they need you most. Whether they're making queries on their laptop or on their other devices, they typically want to find what's close by and reputable without wasting any unnecessary time.
One study conducted by Forbes found that 95% of smartphone users have used their devices to perform local searches; out of that 95%, 61% ended up calling the business and 59% actually visited the business in person.
SearchEngineWatch also found that 70% of mobile users call businesses directly from Google search results, which means that the vast majority of consumers are willing to take action right after receiving local answers to their problems.
In other words; when you ignore local SEO strategy, you're doing your business a great disservice. Fortunately, we're here to help by creating a personalized SEO strategy for your organization. To find out more, please get in touch with us today.