What is Local SEO & Why is it Important
You should already know that SEO is a vital part of your marketing strategy. The majority of customers will use online searches to find businesses when they are in need of goods and services, and if your business does not rank well on the search results, you will struggle to drive traffic to your website and increase sales. Unless you have a detailed SEO strategy in place or you outsource to a digital marketing agency that can help you to manage your SEO, you will struggle.
However, even amongst businesses that put a lot of attention into their SEO, there are some big gaps in their strategy. The thing that people tend to neglect the most is local SEO, which is a big problem. Local SEO is incredibly important and if you are not making it a priority, you could be missing out on a lot of potential customers.
This guide will help you to understand just why local SEO is so important and how you can improve yours.
What Is Local SEO?
First things first, what is local SEO? Local SEO helps your website to rank highly on searches that relate to the local area. This covers searches that include the name of a state, city or town and it also includes phrases like ‘near me.’ When people use a phrase like ‘near me’ or ‘local’ in their search, Google will use their location data to work out where they are and account for their location when finding search results.
A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that their standard SEO strategy will also ensure they rank highly for local searches, but that isn’t always the case. Your business may rank higher than your competitors in general searches but they could still be beating you in local searches, which is a big problem for you.
Why Is It Important?
If you own a brick and mortar business, it’s especially important because the majority of your customers will come from people that perform local searches. For example, if somebody is looking to go to a shop to buy a sofa, they’re not just going to search ‘sofa,’ because that will bring up results for businesses around the globe. Instead, they will add the name of the city or the zip code so they can find somewhere nearby. If you don’t rank highly on local searches, you miss all of that traffic.
The following statistics published by Google show just how effective local SEO can be:
- 50% of people that performed a local search on their smartphone visited that store the very same day. 34% of those that did the same search on a computer or tablet visited a store that day.
- 18% of all local searches on a mobile result in a sale within 24 hours.
- 50% of local searches on mobile are from people that are looking for a business address or phone number.
- 71% of people surveyed said they search a store before visiting it for the first time, to check that it exists and it is open.
- 97% of consumers surveyed reported that they searched for a local business online in 2017.
These statistics about local SEO demonstrate two important things. Firstly, they show that the majority of consumers use local search when looking for a business. But more importantly, they show that when consumers perform local searches, the rate of conversion is very high. When people are searching using local terms, they have more intention of making a purchase. However, if people are just browsing without any real intention of buying something, they may use a more general term to see what products are available.
The other reason that local SEO is important is that it makes life easier for the consumer. If your website only ranks for general search terms, the consumer will have to search and then go onto your website and check the address to make sure that you are local. Your site will also get lost in amongst businesses that are not local, and could easily be missed. It’s important that you make life easy for the consumer, and ranking highly for local searches means that they can find your business online faster.
Who Benefits from Local SEO?
The short answer is, anybody that runs a brick and mortar business benefits from local SEO. If you run a retail shop or a restaurant, for example, a lot of your business comes from local searches. Businesses like solicitors also rely heavily on local searches.
The only businesses that do not need to worry about local SEO as much are the ones that operate exclusively online. However, it could still benefit you in some ways. If people are trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle and put back into the local community, they may prefer to use local businesses, even when ordering online. In that case, ranking well for local search terms could still benefit you even if you do not have a brick and mortar business.
How Can You Improve Your Local SEO?
If you do not currently have a strategy in place for improving local SEO, there are a few simple things that you can do.
Firstly, you need to change your content strategy and try to introduce more local keywords on your website. This should help you to climb the local search rankings.
Listing yourself on local directories, like Google business, will give you an instant boost. It also means that customers can get your phone number and address right there and then, and they can call at the touch of a button if they need to.
If you are still lost and you don’t know how to improve your local SEO, get in touch with Direct Submit today. We can discuss your digital marketing strategy with you and find ways to improve your local SEO rankings. Don’t neglect this important aspect of your SEO strategy because you could be missing out on a lot of potential website traffic and sales.