What Is Local SEO & Why It’s So Critical For Local Businesses

What Is Local SEO & Why It’s So Critical For Local Businesses

Local SEO is one part of the bigger search optimization picture. It is applicable to almost any local business in a town or city that is looking to expand its reach and quite literally put itself on the map. Whether you own a restaurant, clothing boutique, or specialty store within your community, take a minute to learn more about what local SEO entails and why it is something your business cannot do without.

Instant Product & Service Information

Implementing a local SEO strategy provides people searching for products and services like yours in your area with the information they need exactly when they need it. Let’s say you oversee a hairstyling salon in Branson, Missouri. A local consumer typing in “hairstyling services near me” will see your business information if you have a local SEO strategy in place. If you have a proper business address, local SEO strategies mean your business will not get lost in consumer searches.

The Right Address Across The Internet

Now that you have an idea what local SEO entails, there’s something else to keep in mind. The importance of the correct address on your website, landing pages, social media platforms, and all other applicable pages cannot be stressed enough. If your information is inconsistent, you could accidentally send customers to another business or experience other issues that do not help you rank the way you want. Check and double check your information before putting a local SEO strategy into place to avoid these complications.

The Benefits Of Local SEO

Local SEO has retained its place in the online marketing pantheon because it provides a completely unique yet completely essential service. The statistics do not lie:

  • 50% of consumers who performed local searches on their phones visited physical store locations the same day. 34% of consumers who performed searches on their tablets or laptops also visited brick-and-mortar businesses.
  • 50% of people performing local searches on their smartphones search for local business addresses.
  • 78% of local-based search queries on smartphones and tablets result in offline purchases.
  • 71% of surveyed consumers said they searched for a local business online to confirm it was still in operation before visiting it for the first time.
  • 60% of American consumers looked for local services and products on their smartphones and tablets.
  • One in three smartphone searches occur immediately prior to arrival at a brick and mortar store location.
  • 97% of consumers researched local businesses online in 2017.

Who Benefits From Local SEO The Most…And Who Doesn’t?

There are a number of businesses that benefit greatly from local SEO, however, there are few that do not need this service. See which one you are:

Businesses That Benefit

Law firms are among the top businesses that need local SEO services to get noticed. The right local SEO strategy puts law firms at the top of Google’s first page while also providing searchers with a call button so they can immediately contact their firm of choice to schedule a consultation. The call button is applicable to mobile phones only.

Other businesses that should have a local SEO presence include service companies such as plumbers and electricians. Most consumers type in “plumbers near me” or “electricians in [town or city name]” to find the people they need as opposed to dusting off the phone book to make a call. Doctors and medical practices also do well with local SEO since “doctors near me” and “physicians in [x city]” are common internet searches.

Restaurants are yet another business requiring local SEO, as most consumers use the internet to find eatery locations and read reviews before they venture out. Whether they are reading Google’s top picks, reviewing the latest customer experiences on Yelp, or performing a similar search, the internet weighs heavily into breakfast, lunch, and dinner choices.

Businesses That Don’t Need Local SEO

There are a few businesses that don’t need local SEO to help their online marketing efforts. If you own an e-commerce shop, for example, your consumers are all over the country and world rather than localized in one community. The same is true for private online sellers and businesses that simply do not want to share their personal information or for those that already have a well-established online presence.

Local Directories, Partner Websites, & Industry-Related Sites

While Google punishes businesses with too many link exchanges since it looks like an obvious page rank manipulation, there are still numerous avenues for rounding out your local SEO profile and giving your business a boost. Local directory websites help increase your site’s authority, as do industry-related sites such as those for newspapers and nearby universities. Having your site link on a reputable university website, for example, improves your credibility and makes your business seem like more of a trusted resource for information as well as products or services.

Yet another avenue is through local partner websites or the websites of your business partners. Exchanging links with your partners widens your reach while again improving credibility.

Wrapping Up

Local SEO provides the path to marketing strategy completion when it is implemented correctly. There is no secret to setting up your online profile, as it’s simply about putting the work in. Claim your profile on Google Places, Yahoo Local, or Bing Local by logging into your account and going through the verification steps before uploading images of your business, both interior and exterior. You may want to get professional photos taken to really show off what makes your business unique. Ask for reviews as well, and don’t worry if some are negative. “Bad” reviews provide the opportunity to reply to your irritated consumer and offer a solution, such as a free gift with purchase or a discount.

Also, make certain your address and phone number are visible and correct on all sites and platforms, and remember to think like your target market. What would they want to see on your profile or site? What kind of incentives would they enjoy? Thinking like a consumer is key to creating the internet stronghold you want.

Get the local SEO help you need from Softline Solutions today.