What is Local SEO and What are the Benefits to Your Small Business?
Absolutely every small business needs some sort of marketing strategy to attract more customers, stand out from the local competition, increase brand awareness, and ultimately, increase its revenues to become more successful. However, traditional marketing via print, television, or radio advertising can quickly become expensive and provide you with few tangible benefits. There are more cost-efficient ways to connect with new customers, and Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO, is at the top of that list.
You may have already heard of it, but you may not yet understand is how effective and helpful it can be for a businesses trying to target a local customers and out-perform their competitors. In fact, local SEO is growing so important for business owners and entrepreneurs, that it is now a specific sub-category of SEO, and it is no longer just an alternative option and additional costs, but rather a necessity and a vital investment for every business out there.
But what is local Search Engine Optimization?
Customers have never been more informed than they are in 2016. They are connected to each other through online social networks and lead flexible lifestyles thanks to their mobile devices. Recently, Google revealed that the vast majority of people use their smartphones and tablets to make queries and nearly half of these queries have a local intent. Local SEO is precisely about targeting potential customers in your area who are already looking for the services your provide, but aren’t likely to look beyond the first page of a search engine to find what they want. Search engines already take geographic location into account when people use them to find new products and services, so it is vital that services like Google, Bing, and Yahoo are easily able to understand where your business is located and how your products and services are relevant to customers.
As more people begin to search for local businesses using mobile devices, it becomes increasingly important to make sure people find you, instead of a competitor.
Can You Manage Your Own SEO Strategy?
There are many ways to boost the local search presence of your website and increase the traffic generated by it. You may be able to handle many aspects on your own or using your in-house marketing team, but a truly effective local SEO strategy of requires special knowledge and expertise, and can suck up a lot of your valuable time in the process.
Here are some of the most important aspects you should consider:
- Identify the right keywords for your local audience
- Optimize your website using those keywords
- Create your own content through a blog or subject matter pages
- Optimize your social media profiles
- Make your website responsive for mobile devices
- Encourage customers to review you online
- Track and analyze your results using analytics
What are the Benefits of Local SEO?
The biggest advantage of focusing on your local market versus embarking on a generalized SEO strategy is that you don’t just target the whole world, you are able to target specific geographic areas – states, counties, towns, even some neighborhoods. Google, for example, loves local businesses and by properly managing of your local search engine optimization, you will gain a significant advantage over your direct competitors. As you begin to rank higher in search results, more people will naturally find you before they find your competitor’s website.
You can Outrank the Directories
Sometimes, search engines have a tendency to prioritize websites like Yelp or YP.com. A properly managed SEO campaign, focused on your local area will utilize other services like those to help you eventually gain a more prominent presence in a wide-variety of search terms to help find as many customers as possible, no matter which search terms they use to discover your business.
It will be Easier for Mobile Users to Find You
Once again, we can’t emphasize the importance of mobile users. If your website and digital presence is set up to target local searches, you will be able to capture more of the mobile market before your competition. Google, Bing, and Yahoo all automatically take the geographic location of mobile users into account, giving you a significant advantage.
You will Save Money
Small businesses can easily spend thousands of dollars trying to reach customers through traditional marketing like print advertising or radio. In addition, you won’t be able to confirm how many of the people who see or hear your ad are interested in your business. By optimizing your web presence, you will be able to focus on pre-qualified customers and reduce your marketing budget by as much as 50%, and in some cases more.
One of the greatest benefits of local SEO is that you will significantly increase the awareness of your business among all interested customers. The more traffic your website generates, the more you increase the opportunities to turn pre-qualified sales leads into revenue.
The benefits of local SEO are undeniable, and it can mean the difference between a successful small business and one that struggles to meet the needs of its customers in 2016. Local competition for the top spots in search rankings has become much greater than even a couple of years ago, but there are still many opportunities to build a successful online presence for your business. Local optimization can significantly increase your business’ visibility, boosting the traffic generated by your website and allowing you to capitalize on the local audience.
Cyberpunk Interactive specializes in Local SEO and has the tools and expertise to help you grow your business, while reducing your overall marketing budget. Set up a time to meet one of our experts today!