Over the last few weeks, we have expressed just how important search marketing is to the survival of your business in this day and age. SEO and SEM have already been big players in the modern marketing landscape and as we continue to dive deeper into this era of technology, local optimization is becoming impossible to ignore.
97% of consumers use the internet when researching local products and services. Consequently, search engines are showing more results based on a user's location, making local SEO an essential component for any business looking to attract local customers.
Local SEO helps searchers find what they are looking for, this includes practical information such as the address of the business, phone number, and the hours of operation. However, you don’t need a brick and mortar store to leverage local optimization. Local SEO is highly-targeted and helps any business who serves one or more geographical areas connect with searchers looking for exactly what you offer in a particular area.
Just like SEO, local optimization needs to be woven into your website, considered each time you update your content and whenever you are promoting your website online. So what are these additional things needed to boost your appearance for local searches?
When you list your business anywhere on the web, it is imperative that your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) is consistent and precise. For example, if you have a street number in your address and it is listed on your website as "Street 123" but then later listed on Facebook as "St. 123" it will negatively affect your website's visibility on the search engines. When there are discrepancies between listings on different directories, this hurts the user experience resulting in a lower ranking.
Search engines also place value on thoroughly filling in your company's information on online directories. This includes your NAP, description of your services, and a number of quality photos. Of course this means you have to first get listed on directories like Yelp, Angie's List, Yellowpages.com, CitySearch, etc.
Let your customers know that your business is local and relevant by including local keywords into your website's content. Naturally using local key terms in the title tag, H1 heading, URL, "About Us" and "Contact Us" pages, as well as embedding a map that shows the location of your business will add tremendous value.
The way mobile phone search has blown up in recent years is also a clear driving force behind local SEO. People like convenience and using your cell phone to search online is quick and easy. The numbers prove it: 50% of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results, and 61% of those searches result in a purchase.
Customer reviews have a direct impact on local listing search rankings. Encourage your customers to post reviews about your business on Yelp and other review sites. And why not when 88% of consumers consult online reviews before they purchase local services? However, it is important to spread out reviews over time and across all platforms to ensure that the reviews are helping and not hurting your business's visibility.
Local SEO removes the guesswork from local marketing. It's not like dropping leaflets through a letterbox or putting an ad in a local paper, which may or may not be seen by someone interested in your service. Local SEO reaches local customers when they are looking for your service and ready to buy. As proximity-based searches continue to increase in popularity and technology improves, local searches will become even more intuitive and hyper-specific to the user's needs. By implementing a local SEO strategy now, you will position your business for success down the road.
At Splash Omnimedia, every decision our search marketing team makes is based around hard analytics. From keywords rankings, website traffic, and search marketing trends. The information we find influences how we develop and implement your website's SEO, SEM, and local SEO strategies. Given the prevalence of local searches, optimizing your website and local listings can help you drastically increase your bottom line. If you are ready to get started, contact us today!