Local search statistics reveal that 72% of Google users who launched a search for a local business visited a location within five miles.
This statistic alone illustrates how important it is for businesses to gain traction in their local area. So how can a small business become more visible in their geographical area? The answer is local SEO.
From higher visibility to drawing in more relevant leads, the benefits of local SEO are undeniable. However, the question remains: What is local SEO and how do you use it?
Fortunately, we’re here to break down this digital marketing question and fill you in on everything you need to know to master this technique. Follow along to discover your ultimate guide to local SEO for your growing business.
What Is Local SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of improving and adjusting your website to appeal to a search engine’s algorithm. Of course, to understand how this all works, you’ll first need to know how Google works.
When you post content online, search engines like Google filter it through a three-part system. These steps are crawling, indexing, and ranking.
To get started, Google sends out bots called spiders or crawlers to ‘crawl’ through your content. These bots gather information about your content to discover what it’s about and which queries it will be relevant to. They then use links to navigate your pages and jump to the next piece of content.
Without any links to your URL via a menu or other internal navigation, the spiders won’t be able to find the content.
Once your content has been crawled the bots will store any gathered information in the index for future reference. This is where the search engine will turn to when a query is performed.
Now that your content is in the index, it has the chance of being shown to a relevant searcher. With so much content covering the same topics, Google will need to rank each URL in relation to the keywords used to deliver the best results to the user.
Since Google is simply artificial intelligence, the way it decides on rank is left up to algorithms. These specifications help the engine determine what sites are reputable and which ones aren’t worthy of the top positions.
Local SEO vs SEO
Now that you understand how Google works, you can see how using SEO techniques will elevate your position on the results page. You may even be familiar with SEO techniques such as keyword usage and backlink building.
The difference between SEO and local SEO is simple. Both techniques use the same practices, but local SEO narrows your target audience to a geographical area instead of tackling your entire niche.
You may be wondering why you’d want to narrow your reach when you are trying to grow, but the concept is actually quite straight forward. If your business relies on local customers and community visibility, spending your time and money on competing with major companies worldwide is counterproductive.
Essentially, you’ll take away the little fish in a big pond approach and focus on topping the results page when members of your community search for your services.
Benefits of Local SEO
We’ve already established that focusing on local SEO decreases your competition, but what benefits does a local approach have for your business?
When it comes to allocating your marketing dollars, these are the primary reasons you should consider local search engine optimization as an essential element.
Studies have proven that the first organic listing on a Google results page accounts for over 25% of user clicks. Furthermore, results on the second-page average only 1% click-through per position.
Essentially, if you aren’t cracking the top results or at least the first page, your chances of being found organically are very slim. This may result in having to pay for pay per click advertising or missing out on internet traffic. This gap could greatly impact your earning potential.
Practicing local SEO techniques naturally increases your rank position by using factors that Google favors to scale up.
Not only will you be easier to find on Google, but the traffic that finds you will be in your area and ready to purchase. While having a high rank for your niche is fantastic, receiving hits from another country when you offer a local service isn’t profitable.
Trust and Authority
Today’s internet users are skeptical and earning their trust can be a challenge. Fortunately, consumers have a tendency to trust Google as a reputable source for their needs.
Essentially, your customers assume that a high rank on Google means that your business has been vetted by the search engine. This translates as a trustworthy and reliable page.
In addition to this increased trust, ranking above others in your area who offer the same products or services leads consumers to believe you are the authority in your niche.
The benefits of local SEO are much more sustainable than a paid advertisement. This is because there is no expiry date on the rank boost. An ad will only draw in traffic as long as you are paying for it, SEO on the other hand maintains your results for much longer.
In fact, businesses find that maintaining a rank once you’ve optimized your page is much more achievable and affordable than other methods of digital marketing.
Local SEO Strategy
So how do you improve your search engine optimization and become more visible online? There are many factors to appealing to Google from keyword placement to technical site performance.
To start with, ensure your Google My Business listing is complete, up to date, and includes your location. This will be key to ranking in your community and must be a priority.
Carryover your keyword and backlink efforts from your broad SEO approach and amp them up by adding your location into your primary keywords and gaining links from local sources. This may be other businesses in your area, local events, or even press from a local online paper.
Getting Started With Local SEO
Now that you know what local SEO is and how it impacts your business, you can start adjusting your focus to elevate your brand. From appearing higher on Google to boosting your revenue, local SEO is the perfect digital marketing solution for your growth.
Ready to invest in your business and reap the benefits of local SEO? Get in touch with us today to find out how a professional SEO service can take your business success to the next level.