Local consumers make use of different devices to search for local businesses around them. Small business owners who do not capitalize on this opportunity are missing out. Local SEO is not an option for your business. It is an important aspect you must not overlook.
Local search engine optimization is the process of targeting specific location of your business with keywords and geo-location data. There are many benefits you can derive from utilizing local SEO for your business, such as:
High ranking in search engine result pages
According to Bright local’s 2014 Local consumer review survey - 98% of searchers choose a business on the first page of the search engine results of their local search.
Consumers will come in contact with your product/services
According to BIA/kelseygroup- 97% of consumers use online media when researching products or services in their local area.
Sell more product/services
A research carried out by Google into local search behavior revealed that "50% consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day and 34% who search on computer/tablet did the same"
Basically, the benefits of using local search engine optimization for your small business is to increase its visibility in search engine result pages, this will enable more people to come in contact with your product or service and this will lead to more sales for your business.
Now that you know the benefits of local SEO, how do you utilize it for your business?
Below are ways you can ensure that your business shows up on Google's search result page.
1. List your business on top review websites
Brigthlocal's 2014 local consumer review survey revealed that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
More consumers are turning to Google to search for positive reviews of local businesses. You can leverage on this by positioning your business where local consumers will come in contact with it on the internet. There are several review sites you can use for this purpose, but the top ones are Yelp, Google+ Local, Angie's List, Urbanspoon, Yahoo Local and Tripadvisor.
Before you list your business on these websites, you need to first search for the keywords your prospects are using to look for your business, then see which review site comes up. For instance, if you have a Computer Repair services in New Jersey, you will type in "Computer repair services in New Jersey" and see which review site comes up. Below is the screenshot of the search result.
In the image above, you can see that Yelp comes up. So for such services, Yelp is one of the best review sites to use for it.
2. Rank your website for local search terms
It is a must for you to have a business website. According to bright Local business website survey, 32% of consumers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a website. Secondly, your website must rank for local search terms for people to see it easily when looking for your business. Below are two ways you can ensure you rank your business high in search engine results.
a. List your business on Google my business. It is free to use and it connects you directly with your consumers when they are searching for your business on search engines, maps or Google+. Make sure you fill in your profile appropriately.
b. Use local keywords in your post URLs, heading tags, title tags, content etc. For this to work out well, you will need a content management system, such as WordPress that will allow you to easily add all these elements to your page.
3. Optimize your website for mobile
The research carried out by Nielsen, xAd and Telmerics, revealed that 55% of mobile retail shoppers ultimately make a purchase. If your website is not optimized for mobile, you are leaving money on the table.
Optimizing your website for mobile increases your search rankings and traffic. To find out if your website is optimized or not, visit Google's mobile-friendly test page.
4. Use Google AdWords
In Google's research into local search behavior referenced above, they found out that “67% of smartphone users wants ads customized via city and ZIP code, and 61% wants ads customized to their surroundings”. When you use Google AdWords, you can target your ads for local consumers by location and location extensions. This is why you need to list your business on Google my business, because AdWords pulls your contact from the listing.
5. Use Twitter Engagements
Twitter is one of the social media giants out there. Google and Twitter agreed that tweets with higher engagement will be indexed in Google search. If you have an active large following on twitter, it will boost your social signals for your website, thereby moving your website up in search engines and helping your business to build trust.
As seen in the content above, local search engine optimization is not a choice for any small business. It should be part of your marketing strategy. Mobile marketing is on the rise and this will make local marketing grow at a fast pace. You can have more customers and sales by simply utilizing local SEO for your business. Local search engine optimization is not a rocket science, start by listing your business on a top review site, ranking your business website for local search terms, optimizing your website for mobile, using Google AdWords and Twitter engagements.
Now is the right time to start optimizing your small business for local search engine optimization.