Regardless of whether or not you own a seafood restaurant or a heating company, the importance of ranking for “near me” searches cannot be overstated.
According to Google, 46% of all searches involve local businesses. This is why local SEO is so critical to you as a business owner.
Before you can begin dominating for local SEO searches, you have to have a comprehensive understanding of the subject.
Here’s everything you need to know about local SEO.
1. What is meant by local SEO?
Local SEO is the ongoing process of improving your brand’s online visibility in a specific town, city, or geographic area.
Optimizing for a location like this will enhance your website’s credibility in that area, enabling you to increase your number of high-authority backlinks. Your organic traffic increases tremendously when you engage your audience with relevant and useful posts.
It’s become very uncommon that a person will use Yellow Pages or another printed resource to find a local dentist or pet hospital. Search engines search as Bing, Google, and Yahoo are the Yellow Pages of today because everybody has a smartphone and easy access to the internet.
2. What is the difference between SEO and local SEO?
There is, in fact, a fundamental difference between regular SEO and local SEO.
When we look at a business’ local SEO performance, we are trying to put together an understanding of a brand’s ability to outrank its competitors within particular geographical boundaries.
A business can build out relevant signals such as citations that point towards their specified geographic area where the target market resides.
SEO (without the local) is all about boosting a website’s visibility without any regard to geographical limits.
For instance, when you type “best NBA player 2018” you’ll see ESPN appearing at the top of the list. It doesn’t matter whether you’re accessing the Internet from America or Zimbabwe.
Global brands rely on SEO to market their products in all continents, or with a focus on one entire country in particular.
For instance, when you go to Google and search “Office laser printer” you’re more likely to see HP’s and Xerox’s websites in the top positions, rather than a local printing shop.
Is My Business Ready for Local SEO?
In helping you assess if local SEO is the right marketing play for your business, there are some simple criteria to take a look that we here at Fannit usually ask business owners.
1. Do you own a company operating in several cities?
Let’s assume that your business is thriving and you’re ready to open a couple of branches soon. In order to fit in and establish a dominant presence in the new area, you need to create relevant content that meets the needs of that city or town.
Why is local SEO important? Because you need all the citations you can get so that potential customers can locate your business easily. Plus, it helps you beat competitors who still rely on printed Yellow Pages copy to gain new customers.
2. Have you just opened a local business?
In business, the amount of exposure a product or service receives determines how far it will go in the market. Perhaps you did thorough market research and opened a business that has little competition. That’s great, but to establish yourself the market needs to recognize your presence.
Thanks to local SEO, you can establish and maintain a highly visible online presence by capitalizing on unique keywords. Businesses that use this approach have better search engine rankings than competitors who ignore local SEO.
Nowadays, navigation apps help people get to job interviews on time, visit loved ones, and plan stopovers during road trips. If you’re visiting a new state that’s thousands of miles away from home, you’ll want to buy a souvenir. How will you get one? By using a navigation app to find the nearest souvenir shops.
All smartphones come preinstalled with navigation apps, and you can’t ignore the amount of exposure a business gets when it appears on popular apps. Local SEO enables you to use relevant marketing platforms instead of wasting money printing and handing out fliers.
4. Do you own a franchise?
Franchises usually have advantages over surrounding competition due to a huge brand presence. In fact, you’ll have an easier time staying at the top page rankings by utilizing local SEO to cement your position.
Using this approach enables you to boost your credibility by gaining online reviews and ratings. Search engines regard them as trust signals. People are more likely to post their opinions and ratings on a franchise website or on Google Maps compared to a relatively unknown businesses.
Businesses that don’t appear on navigation apps or online directories really miss out on maximizing exposure. Local SEO also makes it easier for your suppliers to locate your franchise store.
5. Increase your presence in online directories
Online directories help people locate businesses or companies. What makes them better than printed hard copies? You can rate a business and post reviews that help other people interested in the same make informed decisions. Plus, you can link your profile directly to your social media accounts for better exposure.
Using this search engine approach helps you to identify the best directories based on domain authority. Eventually, your business gains more reviews and ratings when it appears on directories receiving millions of visitors every day.
In addition to making it easier for you to gain ratings and reviews, appearing on major directories such as FourSquare and Yelp improves your business’ credibility.
Why is Local SEO Important?
1. Enables you to stay relevant to consumer needs
Each city has its own unique terms for different products and services. You’ll also find variations in pricing and quantity. In today’s world, businesses that speak the customer’s language have higher conversions than competitors who use generic words.
Let’s look at the recently-legalized cannabis industry. Consumers in Fresno, CA, have a high preference for certain strains. When you analyze the San Francisco market, you might get a different list of best selling strains. Local SEO enables you to identify what each city likes and the common terms used by customers in that area.
2. More accurate compared to traditional advertising methods
Nowadays, everyone has a smartphone or an internet-enabled device within easy reach. As long as you have Twitter, you can keep up with developing global news. The newspaper industry is fighting a losing battle because more people prefer getting their news online to buying a paper copy of New York Times or Washington Post.
The truth is, print advertisements are becoming irrelevant because newspaper sales aren’t doing well. Plus, it’s hard to quantify the impact of your advertisement, making it difficult to tell whether you’re losing or making money.
Why is local SEO the better option? Because you can actually learn the steps in your sales funnel that potential customers use to purchase your product. You’ll also have access to analytical software that shows which online directory or navigation map generates the most leads. The biggest advantage is that you can check your conversion rates with the click of a button and figure out whether your online marketing is making money.
3. Online reviews have just as much credibility as word of mouth
Online directories enable members to post reviews and ratings on any registered business. If you frequently purchase products on Amazon, you’ll base your final decision on the reviews at the bottom of the page. Most customers avoid products without ratings because they don’t appear credible.
How does one draw trust in their business? By getting customers to share their personal experiences with your products or services. You actually get higher conversions when you have ratings in a number of online directories and Facebook. Why does this happen? Because online reviews seem just as honest as word of mouth.
4. Boosts your conversion rates
Have you ever wondered why it might be hard to get customers even when you’re having a huge ongoing offer? Well, despite having a low price, a potential customer has to feel convinced before money exchanges hands.
Earlier on, we saw that local SEO is important because it enables you to identify unique keywords relevant to a particular market. If you create fantastic articles and high-quality videos using this content, you’ll draw more traffic than your competition. Posting content frequently enables you to win trust easily and get more sales.
5. High chances of appearing on top of the list
Did you know that only 44% of businesses actually appear on Google My Business?
When you look at it from a business perspective, you’ll realize that this is an amazing opportunity that’s being overlooked by your competitors. Google doesn’t charge you anything to register your business on the app. Plus, you get credible citations and reviews from the most-trusted search engine in the world.
If you own a franchise, register your business today because you might appear on the top of the list when someone wants to buy the products you have.
- Do I need an SEO company?
SEO companies are great because they implement strategies designed for long-term growth. On the other hand, some people feel that these services are costly. You could decide to learn everything from scratch and even enroll in a few online courses – but, is this the best approach for a business owner?
No it isn’t, due to several reasons. SEO is a rapidly dynamic field, which means that you need to spend at least two hours a day to stay abreast of your site’s SEO.
Plus, you need to be focusing on your company’s mission and vision. Local SEO is just one of the approaches under your overall marketing strategy. Spending lots of time learning things by yourself might lead to a decline in your overall productivity. The best approach is to outsource your online marketing to an SEO company.
4 Advantages of Using an SEO Company
1. Packages Designed for Long-term Growth
SEO companies specialize in market research of unique keywords to help you outrank the competition. The team of experts also analyzes your rivals’ websites to identify the strengths that enable them to dominate your targeted keywords.
Your team will guide you on how to create unique content that stacks on top of each other. Doing this enables you to provide unique and engaging content consistently, allowing you to boost your conversion rates.
2. Exponential Benefits
When you let a qualified team of experts handle your local SEO, you position your business for tremendous growth. A professional SEO team will ensure that you have citations in the right places and high-quality backlinks that support our online marketing strategy.
How does this benefit your brand?
If you have a hot-selling product or service, people will want to share your links with their friends and social media followers. This leads to increased sales and might even enable you to surpass your target goal. As long as your citations and backlinks remain active, you’ll still draw a huge amount of traffic for several years.
3. Outsource Your Weakness
As a business owner, you might choose to learn local SEO by yourself. However, we’ve seen some of the disadvantages that come with a DIY approach – for instance, sacrificing important meetings in order to watch SEO tutorials.
Hiring an SEO company prevents you from costly blunders that might kill your website traffic. You have professionals who’ve spent several hours learning and implementing their skills for a variety of clients. Plus, having a team of experienced minds on one project provides better results.
4. Access to the Best SEO Tools
When you search “best SEO tools” on Google, you’ll find a list containing more than 15 different softwares. Some of them are just replicas of the hottest tools on the market, but the useful one’s require a significant amount of time to learn how the tool operates.
Rather than risk your time and money figuring out different software, just hire a good SEO company. Most techs use more than two premium tools to help you get the most accurate market-related information for your business. You also won’t have to learn how the tool operates because the team of SEO experts can break down the facts in simple terms.
What Local SEO Services Should I Expect?
Backlinking is one of the most reliable ways of establishing consistent long-term traffic to your website. Otherwise, you might end up spending a lot of money on Pay Per Click ads (PPC). SEO companies focus on getting you many high-quality backlinks because doing so increases your brand’s recognition online in the eyes of Google.
Second, having several backlinks also boosts your website’s domain authority. This makes it easier for your landing pages to appear at the top of the SERPs for targeted keywords because you can link them to your most popular web-pages.
2. Definite Localization Strategy
Localization is the process of identifying unique terms used by customers in your city or town. SEO experts carry out this process to help them create a content strategy that enables the business to attract and retain customers.
Apart from content creation, your team will help you get higher traffic by using these keywords in your citations. Doing this helps you outrank competitors in search engines as well as navigation apps.
3. Obtaining Customer Reviews and Ratings
In order for your brand to grow, you need to get people talking about your business online. SEO companies use persuasive call-to-action statements to encourage your customers to post ratings. Doing this increases the number of trust signals related to your website and boosts your domain authority.
4. Citation Building
A citation is any text or URL containing your business’ name, address, and phone number. You need citations to enable search engines to direct potential customers to your store or offices. We’ve talked about how to create citations in online directories. Hiring an SEO company enables you to get better citations from sources that are more credible.
5. Market Analysis
Why is hiring an SEO company ideal when doing market research? An excellent SEO company will use the best tools to identify trending keywords that you should capitalize on. Plus, they also help you understand your market better by providing demographic reports for analysis.
Online market analysis enables you to identify the best times of the day, week, or month to post advertisements. You also learn how to optimize content for different users by analyzing the number of visitors viewing your website through computers and mobile phones.
6. Content Creation
How do you get potential customers to have confidence in your products or services? One of the ways this is accomplished is by posting unique and relevant content consistently. Your team will come up with ideas around the keywords in your market that enable you to solve various customer needs.
Take Advantage of Local SEO Today!
As a business owner, your priority is getting returns out of each investment you make, especially when it comes to marketing; you need to meet your sales targets.
Local SEO enables you to stay ahead of your competition and identify the unique characteristics of your market by analyzing demographics. Contact Fannit today and let us help you gain the benefits of local SEO.