One might feel that there is no point in investing time and money in local SEO considering that industry giants are spending a huge sum of money with a dedicated professional team working specifically on doing SEO. But here is a catch, though it is quite difficult to beat them in SEO it is fairly easy to beat them in local SEO, especially when business as a brick and mortar store.
Google also recognizes this fact and has set local SEO ranking factors that decide the ranking for near me search queries. Local shoppers are also more interested in local stores rather than global stores which are located far from their geographic locations.
This means that in local SEO, competition is among local businesses rather than with industry leaders which makes the game fair and interesting.
What Local SEO?
Like regular SEO, local SEO is a combination of activities that are intended to increase visibility if a business over digital means. The only difference between regular SEO and local SEO is regular SEO is intended for visibility across multiple geographic locations or across the country or even countries, whereas local SEO is intended to increase visibility in a particular location, the location in which a business is situated.
The elements which decide your ranking though local SEO are proximity, relevance, and prominence. Proximity plays a vital role in deciding to rank as shoppers may travel up to a certain distance only and Google recognizes this fact and will show relevant results that are closest to your current location followed by results in ascending order.
Benefits of local SEO
- More visibility through citation When a business adds its address, phone number, products, operating hours, it is creating citations over the internet.
When a query comes with a location specification, the Google algorithm will show your business to a potential customer. As the person is looking for a specific location and intent, there are high chances that a person may visit the store and may end up becoming a customer.
As more and more people will see your business, awareness regarding your business will increase gradually which will translate into more traffic to your store and there are high chances of getting converted into customers due to proximity and buyer intent.
Citations in local directories do the same thing for you and are one of the important aspects of doing local SEO and every local SEO service provider will recommend a business the same as it will bring more local organic traffic.
- Optimized Local SEO for relevant searches Much like traditional SEO, in local SEO also, a business has to consider multiple off-page and on-page factors. One of the prominent factors is enabling business websites for mobile and tablet friendly use. Many of the potential customers will search while on a go and at that time most probably they will be using either mobile or tablet which makes it an important factor to consider.
Also, studies have proved that when search is made through mobile and tablet the user is much more impatient than while searching through a laptop which makes site speed necessary. Slow loading speed means that a business might lose a potential customer.
So, as a part of the local SEO strategy, a business needs a mobile and tablet friendly website with a low loading speed and optimized for small screen reading. These steps will increase visibility to relevant searches which will bring quality traffic.
- Influence of Google my business Google my business, a free directory for business to get listed with relevant information which includes a location on Google map, contact number, business hours, photos, etc.
Google my business also has a section where your customers can give reviews and star ratings. Having positive ratings and reviews influence not only local SEO but traditional SEO as well. Any business looking to perform local SEO or even hire a Digital Marketing service, the first step is to create Google my business page.
There, businesses can run campaigns offering special discounts or showcase their latest collection of products. When a potential customer searches relevant to your business, Google will show your business details along with photos which further increase the chance of getting more traffic.
- Positive reviews influence decisions-People will trust more what others have to say about business rather than what business has to say. Which makes the importance of reviews and ratings even more prominent.
Reviews will influence potential buyers to decide whether to transact with business or not. So, management of reviews and ratings come up as an important and difficult task to perform. It is recommended to hire a local SEO service provider to carefully manage the reputation of a business.
Local SEO Advantages
Local SEO is similar to traditional SEO but it makes the game of ranking for local businesses fair where they can outperform industry leaders. The most important and first step is to set up Google my business page where a business can add all relevant information which attracts a lot of local traffic which has the maximum potential to translate into potential customers.
The next step can be to build a website that is compatible with small screens and optimized for reading on a small screen.
When businesses start getting reviews and ratings, then management of reputation becomes important where tackling negative reviews must be taken care of with utmost care as that situation may even get worse and may portray a negative image of business digitally.
Citations on online directories will help a business to gain more visibility which will attract more local organic traffic that can be converted into customers with a lot more ease and effort.
To sum up, local SEO is the way forward for small scale business where they can get visibility with almost zero investment or low investments. Hiring a professional local SEO service provider is also a good idea in this competitive scenario.