Surely, you will ask: Why is local search marketing important to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)? Will it offer significant contributions to your campaign? If you are one of the business owners who are asking these questions, you will need to read this:
But that’s not all! Over 85% of people use Google Maps to find the location of a business, and nearly 80% of them decide to pay the store a visit if it’s located within 8km. It only makes sense then that a winning local SEO campaign is a driving force behind foot traffic and high conversion rates.
According to Google, 4 out of 5 consumers use search engines to find local information. But that’s not all! Local searches actually lead to more purchases than non-local searches. 18% of smartphone users who look up local information make a purchase within a day, as opposed to 7% of those who make non-local searches.
Optimising your local business listings can make your business more visible and help you rank higher on Google Maps. You should make a point of keeping all your business information up to date and optimised for search engines since irrelevant or missing information can negatively impact your online presence and reputation. Make sure the name, address, and phone number on your website match the information on Google My Business listings and all of you social media pages.
Don’t forget to include relevant keywords to your business listing to maximize its SEO potential, and make sure you use a profile photo that will make your business stand out. Other photos in your business listing should include shots of your store’s exterior and interior, photos of products or services you sell, and a group photo of your staff.
Over 50% of consumers claim that local search results with images have more power to influence their decision than results without photos, so use engaging, high-quality photos and add geotags to each to boost your search rank.
This, of course, doesn’t mean that the world of local SEO is without competition. Businesses everywhere are now starting to put in more effort into their local SEO campaigns, so you need to do your best to make your business stand out locally. This can be done by engaging in more local link-building tactics such as attending and organizing meet-ups, sponsoring local community events, and maintaining a stable relationship with the local media.
Another effective way to increase your chances of outranking your competitors is building local citations. A local citation is any mention of your business on the Internet -and usually takes the form of your company’s name, address, phone number, or web page. Benefits of local citations include an increased degree of certainty Google has about your business information, more traffic, a stronger position of authority, and better business reputation.
If you want to build more local citations, submit your listings to a number of established, trusted sources, including niche-specific business directories, review sites, local newspapers and websites, data aggregators, local blogs, and social media platforms.
If you want to make your business stand out among the competition, keep your business name, address, and phone number consistent and up-to-date, join local small business organizations and networking groups, and try to get interviewed by the local press.
Another way to get more local customers is by making your web page inviting for reviewers. The fact that 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses and 85% of them claim online reviews are as important as personal recommendations should tell you enough about how crucial reviews are for your local SEO.
Encouraging reviews makes you more trustworthy in the eyes of potential customers and helps your business build and maintain a positive reputation. In case you get a bad review, don’t panic. If you suspect it might be a fake review, you can flag it as inappropriate and contact customer support on Google My Business. In case the negative review is genuine, try to respond as quickly as you can, engage with the unsatisfied customer directly and acknowledge your mistake.
There are a number of things you can do to make your business more complaint-friendly. These include posting a complaint phone number on your website, putting up in-store signs that encourage customers to give feedback and paying attention to the way people talk about your business on social media.
In case you get a bad review, don’t panic. If you suspect it might be a fake review, you can flag it as inappropriate and contact customer support on Google My Business. In case the negative review is genuine, try to respond as quickly as you can, engage with the unsatisfied customer directly and acknowledge your mistake.
While organic SEO is mainly concerned making your website discoverable on search engines and driving more online traffic, the focus of a local SEO campaign is to improve your website’s ranking on a local search results page. And if you want your business to rank high locally, you need to make sure your website is fully optimised for location-based searches.
Organic SEO is important because it improves your web page’s chances of showing up in content-based keyword search results, but local SEO helps you attract more local customers and get them to visit your store.
This is the most important reason you should incorporate local search marketing in your SEO. Placing your business profile in every local search listing will allow search engines such as Google and Bing to find you easily.
In your journey toward search engine optimisation, local search marketing is very important. It will considerably contribute to your visibility in search engines because your data is listed in every local map and local business listing. Make sure, however, that you are consistent with the information that you write in each of them. Or else, people will easily take you out of their list if they find inaccuracies because they will think that you are a scammer.
Another important reason why you should care about local SEO is the growing use of smartphones and their impact on business. Each day, more and more people use their mobile devices to find a local business and look up information such as the store’s location, directions, and opening and closing hours.
People are now using smartphones to perform local searches on the go and given the fact that 50% of them decide to visit a store within a day, it’s crucial to rank your local business properly. Smartphones users are conditioned to expect quick, no-nonsense solutions to their queries, which means that an effective local SEO strategy should go hand in hand with mobile optimisation.
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