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From 2016 to 2018, there was a 900% growth in the number of mobile searches for local businesses. With that increase, there is no arguing that harnessing the power of local SEO is vital for any small business.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), in general, is important for businesses. But local SEO is what will bring the right customers and clients straight to your door.
Not sure what local SEO is or what the benefits of SEO that is local are? This guide answers all your questions.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a collection of tools designed to increase your business’s visibility on search engines like Google. Not only on SERPs (search engine results pages) but on integrated services like Google Maps, too.
Brick-and-mortar businesses are those who stand to benefit the most from local SEO. Some examples are restaurants, salons, and real estate agents. Companies that offer services like web design or sell products online are less likely to gain anything from these types of SEO services.
Helps You Beat the Competition on Search Engines
Even if you are not investing in local SEO, your competition might be. This means that any local searches that should return your business as one of the results will show a competitor instead.
Local SEO is important for you to beat the competition.
Let’s say you run a pizzeria in Orlando. It’s unlikely that you run the only pizzeria in Orlando, so you will have competitors. To beat these competitors in SERPs, you need hyper-local content on your business’s website that is also relevant to your business.
Sticking with the pizzeria example, you need to ensure your business name and location appear on every single webpage of your website somewhere. You should also have blog content focused on pizza, restaurants, and Orlando.
And you do not have to write the blog content yourself. You can outsource these marketing services to a quality SEO company.
This will leave Google in no doubt about where you are and what service you provide. Plus, the more web pages you have, the more content there is for Google to show in search results.
Focuses on Phone Searches
Local SEO is important because it zeros in on the most relevant type of search: phone searches. 76% of local searches on smartphones lead to someone visiting a physical place within 24 hours.
Most smartphone users have their location data switched on. This means Google knows where they are when they search for “pizzeria near me” or “great pizzeria” without specifying a location.
You do not want someone searching for a “pizzeria near me” in Chicago to see your restaurant pop up. It is unhelpful to both you and the person searching. And that’s why it is so important to list your location everywhere.
Mobile-Friendly Web Design
Because so many local searches happen on smartphones, your website needs to have a mobile-friendly design. This is everything you should consider when designing a mobile-friendly website:
- Site speed
- Clear information
- Typography and graphics
If the mobile version of your site is slow, users will click off it straight away. It is likely that they want information fast and will not wait for your site to load before moving on to a competitor.
Your mobile site also needs clean and intuitive navigation. Use a hamburger menu on the top left corner of your mobile website so visitors will know where to find information.
Think about what information visitors who click onto your website will be looking for. They might want your contact information, so your site needs to have an easy-to-find contact page. Also, think about adding your contact information in the footer of every webpage.
Again, Google needs to have no doubt what your location is!
If you do own a pizzeria, they might be looking for a menu or reservations page. Make the information as easy as possible to find by including it right on the web page and not a downloadable document.
And be mindful of the font and graphics you use on the mobile version of your website. Do not place two clickable elements close together where someone might press one button instead of the other. Make sure the colors and fonts are large and clear, too.
All these aspects are vital to good local SEO.
Attracts Customers That Are Ready to Buy
Nothing is more important to any business than paying customers and clients. And using local SEO techniques will help you find people who are already in the buying mindset.
It would be a terrible shame for customers to find your business without the correct details to buy from you. Make sure your business contact information is up to date in the following places:
- Google My Business
And any other site (like TripAdvisor, for example) that is relevant to your business. Upload attractive professional photos and be active on every platform.
People who are looking to buy a product or service almost always read reviews before they do so. Do not fall at the last hurdle by not prioritizing reviews! Google business reviews, in particular, are important to local SEO.
Always reply to every review, both good and bad, on all platforms. Encourage customers to leave reviews on your business cards, menus, receipts, website, and anywhere else relevant.
Though earning lots of Google reviews is helpful, quality is better than quantity. Would you rather visit a restaurant with 10 five-star reviews or 37 four-star reviews?
Use Local SEO to Boost Your Business
After reading this, you should be clear on why local SEO is so important for your business to grow and thrive. It is not difficult to put into place, but it is necessary. Even a few local SEO techniques could go a long way in helping your business thrive.
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