Did you know around 93% of all online experiences start with the search engine? Whether customers want to find information about a certain subject, discover new restaurants, or look for the exact locations of businesses, they turn to the search engine first.
What does that mean for you as a business?
That means you have to be on top of the search results so your customers will see you first. That’s where local SEO comes in.
Want your local customers to find you and your business? Establish a presence online; you can do this with a good SEO strategy.
Check out how exactly the benefits of local SEO will help your business below.
1. Improved Online Visibility
Different SEO strategies might be measuring different metrics, but they all have the same goal: to rank high on Google searches. That’s because you need the online visibility to gain customers, get ahead of your customers, and increase your trustworthiness.
Local SEO is the same thing with one difference: it aims to be on top of local searches. If you’re a local business, this is all you need. You don’t expect a person hundreds of miles away from you to walk into your store in a few days, do you?
People do a local search before doing anything, from buying a product to going to the physical store. Most consumers go online to find information about a local business. Around 50% of those who go online using their smartphones visit the store in less than a day.
2. Ready Information
Establishing an online presence is easier for both you and your customers. When your customers decide to look, you must be where they expect you to be.
So when they search for your information online, SEO makes sure those are available at once. If you do it right, Google will display all your details in one convenient place. This includes your name, address, contact info, business hours, and more.
Don’t make customers wade through different pages to get what they’re looking for. This will increase the chances of them losing interest. They might look for your competitors, instead, when they still can’t get what they need.
3. More Website Traffic
The higher you rise through the rankings, the more the customers will be able to see your website. This can lead to an increase in traffic, but only if you also pay attention to the other aspects of SEO. An example is having a good meta title, meta description, and so on.
Another one of the benefits of local SEO gives you is that it can set you apart from big competitors. You occupy the space that’s left out by national businesses that already have an overwhelming online presence in national searches.
Google is likely to produce local search results when it deems it more relevant to the searcher. Thanks to this, you don’t have to compete for traffic with the bigger brands that may not be operating in your locale.
4. Increase in Sales
You can then turn the visitor into a customer once on their website. Local SEO marketing strategies don’t only focus on ranking higher. It also involves optimizing your website in a way that will increase your sales.
That level of optimization involves all aspects of your website. That includes a good landing page, fast-loading pages, and great navigability among others. All of these are ways to convert all that increased traffic into sales.
The good thing about SEO is that you can see your website metrics to see if it’s working. Is your website traffic not converting into sales? That means that even if there’s not an issue with your ranking, your website isn’t effective.
SEO allows you to make continuous adjustments to your strategy if you’re not reaching all your goals.
5. Customers Have the Intent to Buy
What’s good about the traffic that’s coming in is that customers already have the intent to buy. It’s easier to convert this type of customer; you only have to give them a slight nudge in the right direction.
When you target the right local keywords, you’ll get customers who are ready to buy. These customers will jump at the opportunity to get what they want, so usually go for the first results on the list.
You must have a good strategy so that you can get to these customers before your competitors do. The way to do that is to increase your rank through a good local SEO marketing strategy.
6. Edge Over Competitors
Speaking of competitors, they may well be forming a local SEO strategy right now. That means you’re already lagging far behind.
If not, then it’s your chance to get a head start over your competitors. They’ll wonder how you’re beating them to customers. By the time they jump on the bandwagon, you would already have a working strategy to keep you on the top spot.
Still, don’t let it discourage you even when your competitors are already doing it. You can look at some keywords that might have high ranking potential that they’ve missed out on.
Your website will also rank alongside them, which still gives you visibility. That’s better than none at all since this gives you a chance to prove you’re the better option.
7. Improve Your Reputation
People assume that all businesses will already be on the internet. They use this simple measure to determine the legitimacy of businesses.
If you don’t have an online presence, you won’t look trustworthy. On the other hand, if you appear on the front page, you’ll look like a reliable business. You’ll gain more trust than the one that appears on the fourth page of the search results page.
The latter could be as reliable as the first one, but the users won’t see it that way. The only difference between these two would be that the first one has a better SEO strategy. This proves that lagging on SEO can make you lose customers as a result.
8. Utilize Other Platforms
People don’t only use Google for everything, though. They also go to directories like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and such to look up a business and see reviews.
A local SEO strategy takes these into account when establishing your online presence. It improves your reputation and allows non-Google users to find you, as well.
These websites also allow you to stand out from other competitors. If you can’t rank on Google, you have a higher chance to be visible on the directories. Even if they have fewer users, it’s still a good way to gain customers while you work your way up in the search rankings.
9. Local SEO Has Longevity
If you have a good ad strategy, advertisements can give you instant results. They can even give you lifelong customers. However, once you’ve stopped advertising, your name will no longer appear on top of the search results.
The rise in SEO ranks is gradual, but it has greater longevity than advertisements. Sure, it takes more effort to reach the top, but it’s unlikely that you’ll go back down if you continue your SEO efforts. Your business will continue to reap all the benefits mentioned here in the future.
Keep in mind, though, that you have to keep investing to see the results. Don’t discard your SEO team once you’ve reached your goals. You still need them to continue hitting those goals or to reach higher heights.
It’s okay to advertise, but pair it with a solid local SEO strategy to get the best of both worlds.
10. Save on Advertising Costs
There’s another reason why you should focus on local SEO first before advertising. And that’s to save on advertising costs.
With advertisements, you have to pay and pay again to keep being on top. And as we’ve said above, a good SEO strategy gives you more results than what you’ve paid for. It can yield higher returns when you don’t have to pay constantly to be on top.
Once your SEO strategy gets you a high rank, you don’t even need to advertise at all. People tend to click organic search results than ads, anyway.
You can also put up fewer advertisements on other platforms, such as in newspapers. Most people use the internet to discover businesses and find information nowadays.
11. Target Mobile Users
It was in 2016 when mobile devices exceeded desktops in internet usage. Around 51.36% of internet traffic came from mobile devices. That number continues to grow as the number of mobile users also increases worldwide.
This means that when searching for something, people turn to their smartphone first. The portability of mobile devices is a huge factor. They can’t use desktop PCs when they’re out and about, after all.
When you use local SEO strategies, you can target these people. Because mobile phones have location services, your business can turn up in the searches of people within the area. They don’t have to add the term “near me,” to discover your business.
You can target tourists and visitors this way. You can even reach locals who may have not heard about you before.
12. Show Up on Google Maps
A good local SEO strategy involves creating a Google My Business account. It allows you to manage your online presence across Google. It makes your information available on searches and Maps.
It allows you to put the exact location of your business on Google Maps. This then allows your customers to find you.
It will make it easier for them to get to you as the app can give them directions to your physical store. It’s easier for them to locate you, as well, when they’re having a hard time looking up your exact address.
Another advantage is that you show up when they search for businesses near them. You can get new customers this way.
13. Show Up in Google’s 3-Pack
Google’s 3-Pack feature focuses on local results. It uses information like the user’s location to bring back the top three relevant results. These results will then be on display via a special section on the top of the SERP.
This section includes the businesses’ name, address, and business hours. It also includes a snippet of Google Maps, where it displays the business’ location.
This is why it has become a coveted spot among businesses; it can give all the information a user needs on one page. They won’t even have to scroll down unless what they’re looking for isn’t in the 3-Pack.
14. Get Local Reviews
When you have a Google My Business page, locals will be able to give you a star rating and leave reviews. This is visible to all users. As long as your business name appears on a Google search results page, the rating appears right below it.
Local shoppers will see this as a green signal to go for your business. They love supporting the ones that locals have already approved of. If they get great service, they’ll then leave reviews for others to see, repeating the cycle.
If you have lower ratings than you expected, see this as the voice of the community. Listen to the complaints and see what you can do to improve your business.
15. Encourage Local Engagement
Your online presence makes you a part of your community. You give your customers a chance to review you, give you star ratings, contact you, make an appointment, and so on. They can ask questions, then you or another local can answer them.
Yes, apps like Google Maps and Yelp offer booking features to businesses, too, among others. They also display the pictures of the business, their menu, list of services, and so on.
Your customers won’t have to go far to engage with your business because you’re right there on Google. It’s this way that local SEO allows you to create a community and a following online.
Take Advantage of All the Benefits of Local SEO
The only way to gain these benefits of local SEO is to start a campaign. Whether you’re the first of your competitors or you’re behind, there’s no better time to start than now.
Note, however, that you’ll only see fruitful results if you do local SEO right. That’s the tricky part, but don’t worry, we’ll help you with that. Contact us today and let’s discuss how our local SEO services can boost your business.