7 reasons why you need local SEO (seriously)

There are countless small business owners I have spoken to who have no idea why their website won’t shop up at the top of the Google search results.

Trying to explain all the algorithms and signals that go into ranking a website just adds to their confusion.

From my experience, the majority of the time, the answer is simple:

There is no reason for Google to place you at the #1 spot.

Which often leaves you begging the question:

“Why doesn’t my website show up?”

Well…here are 7 reasons why you need a local SEO strategy

7 reasons that will force your website to “show up”

 

1. Internet vs. Oldschool

A shifting focus:

Out with old, in with the new – a notion that has emerged countless times throughout history.

So in today’s day and age, what does it mean for your business?

With the ever increasing digital takeover of the business landscape, it doesn’t mean that you need to shift your entire focus online.

In fact, there are many SEO strategies you can implement on offline media.

Think flyers, business cards and the like, which then translate into online results. A great trick!

#hashtags, asking for a review or placing a search phrase on any of these mediums is an easy, almost effortless way to drive customers to one of your online business portals, as general web traffic and CTR carry an SEO benefit.

 

2. Local search marketing is incredibly targeted

There is no better time to connect with a customer as there is when they really need you.

Take any trade business, landscaping, for example.

Now run this process in your head:

Pretend you have moved into a new town.

As such, you have no pre-existing knowledge of any local landscaping business you can call upon off the top of your head. So, how would you first go about finding a landscaping business?

The internet.

On your phone or on your computer, it doesn’t matter how you search, it just matters that you do.

More often than not, your search phrase will be very generic, something along the lines of “landscapers Sydney”.

It’s a simple process but that is generally how local search works. You can apply this methodology to any local business, in any city.

Your local SEO goal as a business is to be in front of as many of these queries as possible.

That simple search methodology translates into revenue very quickly, and as such, you need a local SEO strategy.

 

3. Great ROI

Google has revealed what smart phone users are looking for, and you need to pay attention.

People are searching for things such as opening hours, menus, phone numbers and price ranges with the intent to act soon, if not straight away.

In fact, there is a 50% in-store visit rate the NEXT DAY.

From these Google insights, we know people are looking to act, and all these numbers scream ROI.

Local SEO provides a greater ROI than traditional advertising methods as it is personal, it is actionable and it is real time.

 

4. Partnerships

Locals want to do business with local companies.

And partnerships are just as much about relationship building as they are about SEO, yet people seem to miss the obvious SEO benefits.

Basically, a partnership can translate into the added benefit of 2 key SEO elements:

  1. Accelerated content marketing

Partnerships will allow your businesses content to reach a wider audience by amplifying it across a new audience provided by a partner, and vise versa.

As content marketing is one of the most efficient ways to build your own audience, this method can prove to be killer for brand awareness.

     2. Link building

This may be one of the easiest SEO wins for your business.

If you already have a pre-existing relationship with another local business and are yet to link to each others website, then do so!

Expanding from point 1, content marketing is also an awesome way to earn links.

Syndication doesn’t always translate into backlinks, but as a local business, it is a very easy way to earn links at no extra effort.

I know these benefits sounds great, but they do not come for free.

You need to be bringing the goods to the table, as unless you are contributing real value, no one will be interested in partnering with you.

So be careful not to over commit in a partnership, establish the online basics, then build up.

Before you know it, you’ll end up with co-branded content and might even be facilitating events with another business.

 

5. Huge trust by consumers in online reviews

How many times have you sifted through reviews when buying a product online, such as a book, a new laptop or a new piece of business software?

I myself check out the reviews before I buy anything online.

I mean, people even compete for rankings in review related terms!

You may be able to figure out already that reviews mean a lot – but here are the facts to back it up:

A Nielsen survey on trust in advertising and brand messages

68% of consumers interviewed stated that they trust online reviews – that is quite a large percent of people you could potentially sway just by showcasing a review on your website.

Best of all, reviews are free! Although they may be hard to come by.

Your best bet to attract positive reviews is to give the customer an incentive and direction.

 

6. Local search real estate

Local SEO is a different ballgame compared to traditional organic SEO and PPC.

You’ve probably noticed these results before:

north shore pizza serp example

And how they tend to interrupt the flow of a results page in Google – these are local results.

In laymans terms:

Local SEO results come with the added benefit of placing your website among a key set of competing businesses that are pulled by Google in aim of providing not only a service relevancy in comparison to your search term, but also a local proximity based on your location.

Having an effective local SEO approach will ensure your business has a targeted and relevant focus on a nearby audience – a value you do not want to be missing out on.

Local rankings will also help bolster your wider targeted, organic rankings, especially if your business has multiple locations state-wide, or nationally.

Picture your website as a pyramid.

With your local pages at the bottom, your regional pages in the middle, and your top level domain at the top.

If you add to the foundations (location specific pages), the rest of your website will feel the boost with it.

So whilst local SEO doesn’t necessarily translate into top level rankings for non location based terms, it does help the overall authority of your website.

 

7. Everyone and everything has gone mobile

Ready or not, the second screen boom is well under way.

So what does that mean for a local business?

A study done by BrightLocal revealed that 61% of users on mobile devices are more likely to contact a local business that has a mobile site.

Why?

Information accessibility.

Like many many others, I am sure at some point in time you have performed a Google search on your phone, have landed on a website, and it was nearly impossible to navigate.

You had to zoom in multiple times just to ALMOST click on the right menu link.

Frustrating, right?

non mobile optimized website

Sites like this are not mobile friendly, and people as a result give up on that website, and find another that works easily.

You don’t want people giving up on yours.

Not only is a non mobile friendly website impeding your SEO results, it is also annoying potential customers and causing a large opportunity dropout.

  • 38% of users are likely to leave your website if they cannot find an address
  • 35% of users are also likely to leave if they cannot find your phone number

That’s a large chunk that leave due to a lack of displaying some very basic information.

Website expectations are growing – people want easy information in a user friendly setting.

Think of any popular app you may use on a regular basis, or any website you visit daily on the train during your commute to work.

It’s as much about user experience as it is about SEO.

The difference is:

A customer doesn’t care, or even know about added SEO value you get, but they most definitely care about user experience.

User experience is what creates returning visitors, SEO is what gets them there in the first place.

 

Next Steps

Do you have a plan to tackle the local SEO landscape?

Or maybe you have a few questions.

Either way, let me know by leaving a quick comment below.

2015-11-23T05:37:50+00:00