In our increasingly digital world, the focus is often on the speed, convenience, and ease of e-commerce. Yet, 50% of all search queries are local searches.
Whether you’re a national or global business hoping to garner attention in a specific community, or a small business wanting to reach out to consumers residing in your area, local SEO (search engine optimization) is an effective way to reclaim your share of local business.
Google continues to alter its algorithm to give preferential treatment to local businesses. So if 50% of all search queries are local searches, those with locally optimized Google, Yahoo, and Bing business pages will fare best. You can easily create a Google page, Bing page, or Yahoo page.
While there is an allure to shopping online, most customers would rather drive one mile down the road to get what they want than pay the shipping costs to mail it. As a local business, or a business marketing locally, you need a site with optimized design, content, and coding, and a quick load time. Read more about how site load time affects your SEO.
2. It boosts mobile interaction
Almost everyone has a mobile phone, and, according to Pew Research, more than half of Americans are carrying smartphones. When 74% of Google’s searches originate from mobile devices and many consumers utilize those easy click-t0-call features after searching for a need or business, you know it pays to optimize locally.
After building your site, make sure the address, contact info, hours, and online listings for your business are 100% accurate. Choose the correct category or categories for your business, and ensure there are no duplicate listings.
3. It helps your ranking
You know when you search for a product or business and local listings pop up, some with five-star reviews underneath and some with no reviews at all? If you had to choose one of those businesses to visit, which one would you choose?
Google feels the same way. According to a study published on Search Engine Land, Google looks at online reviews as a major factor in search engine ranking
Ask customers how they found you (Foursquare? Google? Through a friend?). Then request—in a natural way—reviews for your business on sites like Yelp, from which map app services often pull data. Add a button on your website linking to your reviews, and fairly monitor those that are given.
4. It refocuses your content
Instead of focusing solely on keywords, indexing, and search positions, you can focus on writing the kind of factual content that appeals to a local audience. Whether you discuss news, business, or events, what matters is writing the kind of helpful tips that are relevant not only to your products but to the place in which they’re sold.
This is a win for everyone: You, your writers, and your audience. And it’ll steer you clear of Google’s penalties against unnatural links and thin content.
What are you up against when it comes to local business growth? Get in touch with us today to talk more about local SEO strategies.