Why local seo is important
Why is Local SEO important for your business?
Local SEO – More and more people are turning to their computers or smartphones to search for products or information prior to making a purchase. Whilst many businesses might consider this as a threat since it opens the market to new competitors and reduces foot traffic, it can also be considered as an opportunity to augment the customer experience and perform more targeted marketing. The idea that online search will only send customers to online stores in only a myth.
Research conducted has revealed that customers searching online tend to search for local businesses. Local searches are twice as likely to lead to a transaction, because customers are more advanced in the purchase process. Customers have come to expect that their search results are augmented with location information, making the search more relevant to them.
Have you ever been abroad looking for a good restaurant on TripAdvisor? Isn’t it useful to know how close the restaurant is, whether it is open at this time of day, what it has to offer, what other people are saying about it? I don’t imagine going abroad without TripAdvisor these days!
Similarly your business can benefit greatly from investing in local SEO. These simple tips below will ensure that your business can take advantage of the facts:
- Ensure that your business name, address, and phone or contact details (known as NAP) are clearly shown on your website. These details need to be written in a format which is understood by search engines i.e. indexable text, and not embedded in an image. Your details need to be consistent across the web e.g. if your street address is 41, Canon Street, make sure that you don’t use other variations such as 41, Canon Str. Or 41 Canon Road. Doing so will cause search engines to think that these are two different businesses. Make sure to keep consistency with your real world business name which shows up in printed material.
- Use tools such as Google My business to list all your details, including your website and your business hours, and to place you on the map. And it’s free.
- Having your business on the map will influence what search engines display for customers searching in your vicinity
- Get your business listed in local online directories as citations – consistently. This will help increase your credibility on the web. For example, getting your business listed in local business directories, with consistent up to date information, will help search engines to rank you better.
- Choose the most relevant categories when listing your business online. This will help you to describe the genre of your business and ensure you get the correct type of traffic. Category data is used by search engines to decide what search results to show for particular keywords.
And once customers get to your website……
- Putting attractive and informative photos and videos on your website will help customers get a better understanding of your products and services. Your website is your showcase just as much as your store is. Whilst this might not necessarily help your ranking, it will help customers to decide to make business with you.
- Having customer reviews on your website will help potential customers make up their mind about making a transaction with you. Customer reviews are a great way of interacting with your customers. Obviously positive reviews will help your business immensely, but having visibility and knowing about negative reviews is also of utmost importance, as it gives you a chance of handling the situation. 74% of customers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more according to BrightLocal
Research performed by Google has revealed that 34% of customers who performed a local seo search on their tablets / computers went to the store to perform an offline transaction. The rate is even higher for smartphone users (50%). This also shows the growing importance of optimizing your website for mobile devices – read our article here. As aptly put by Google,
“The consumer path to purchase is becoming increasingly mobile. Retailers that provide relevant, local information via search and online presence (mobile app and site) will increase both reach and engagement. While helping to drive shoppers in-store, such information will also improve customers’ experience once there. And customized offers and recommendations will help retailers further distinguish themselves. Digital has fundamentally reshaped the shopping journey—in a good way—and savvy retailers who make use of it to attract and engage consumers will find themselves ahead of the competition.”
Hence a strong local SEO strategy is important to drive your business forward. Any type of business can benefit from such a strategy, not only retail. Ensure that your NAP data is listed consistently in citations around the web. Get started now – contact us to find out more for local seo.