Local SEO(Local Search Engine Optimization) also known as local search marketing began in 2003 as a way to increase the visibility of businesses based on their location. Search Engines required additional information such as business’s closing and openings times as well as business listings on Google maps to improve user experience. Over time, businesses have seen local SEO evolve from the launch of Google Local in 2004, Google maps in 2005, plus box in 2006, Google Street View in 2007, the development of the Knowledge Graph in 2012, and the launch of Google My Business to what it is now.
Today, 97% of consumers will search online for a local business. Another study revealed that internet users visit 1.5 billion locations related to their searches every month. This highlights the importance of local SEO to businesses. And as time goes by, local SEO will continue to gain importance in the business world.
So, What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a branch of SEO that is focused on optimizing websites to be found in local searches. Examples of local searches include plumber near me, electrician near me, hotels in Minnesota, etc. It is basically a way that businesses use to market their products online to customers near them. It is also a way of improving customer experience by giving them what they want and when they want it.
And why is local SEO so important to businesses?
1. Majority of Internet Users Use Google Maps to Locate a business
According to statistics, 86% of people search for the location of a business on Google Maps. You can optimize for this by claiming your Google Business page. This will ensure that your customers can easily find you. It will also help your business rank well on Google. Remember that your Google business page accounts for 14% of your ranking power. This is why it is so important for you to not only claim your business page but to also make sure you update your information regularly.
2. Majority of the People will Visit a Local Business they Found Online
46% of all Google searches are looking for local information. 72% of consumers that did local searches will visit a store within 5 miles of their location. As such, ensure that the people can tell exactly where you are and what you are offering on your homepage. Also, make sure you include the name of the city you are located in and the products and/or services you are offering in your page title tags. This will provide your customers with clear information about what you are offering and where you are offering it.
3. Local Mobile Internet Searches Matter
The use of mobile devices to perform online local searches has grown significantly. In fact, by 2021, mobile devices are expected to influence more than 1.4 trillion in local scales. Additionally, 61% of mobile users are likely to contact a local business if their website is mobile-friendly.
This highlights the importance of optimizing your website for mobile internet searches. Some of the ways you can use to optimize for mobile devices include, improving your internet loading speeds, designing mobile-friendly pop-ups, enabling Accelerated Mobile Pages(AMP), and creating a mobile app for your business. Also, test your site using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and to stay updated on the areas you need to improve on.
4. To Improve Your Business’s Google Maps Ranking
The importance of ranking well on Google maps cannot be overemphasized. In fact, statistics show that 86% of consumers will use Google maps to find a local business. As such ensure that you optimize your business for Google Maps. You can do this by
- Verifying your Google My Business page
- Building niche local business citations to help Google validate the location of your business.
- Utilizing the subcategories in Google My Business(GMB)- This will help you compete for specific categories in the local searches.
- Including schema markup in your website
- Optimizing your homepage
- Building authoritative citations and backlinks
5. Local SEO is Effective
If you are wondering if local SEO is worth your investment, here is something to think about:
“Search is 300% more effective than social media in directing website traffic”. So if you have to choose between local search marketing and social media marketing, you know the answer. It is more rewarding to invest in Local search optimization than it is to promote your business on social media.
6. Majority of Local Mobile searches Lead to Conversion
Research shows that 78% of local mobile searches will result in offline purchases. Primarily, local searches are intended to find the specific location of a business. The second reason is to find the location of a business that offers a particular product or service.
This means that although the majority of searchers have a particular business in mind, most of them are looking for a particular product or service and will purchase it locally if possible. As such, ensure that you create a page for every location if your business is in multiple locations. Also, make sure you create a page for every product or service you are offering. This will help you compete for product-specific rankings in local searches and boost your business revenue as a result.
There are many benefits that businesses stand to gain by implementing local SEO. From high conversion rates, increased visibility, generation, and retention of customers to improved ratings- businesses have all the reasons they need to use local search marketing. Simply put, local SEO holds the key to the future of businesses.
And although many businesses are in the dark about Local SEO, most of them have embraced it and are willing to learn how to optimize their websites for local online searches. Luckily with Joel House Brisbane SEO, businesses can still stay ahead of things even if they are not experts in local SEO.
Businesses that will implement local SEO are guaranteed to succeed. And businesses that will ignore local SEO are guaranteed to fail.