When someone new walks into your store looking for assistance, you go above and beyond to make them happy. Without realizing it, though, you may be letting hundreds of other potential customers slip away every day. How?
Well, if you’re not using local search engine optimization, it’s like falling asleep while fishing. You have your hook in the water but can’t see how many “nibbles” you’re missing. Why is local SEO important for modern businesses, and how does it work?
How Does Local SEO Work?
Local SEO is a type of marketing that focuses on customers who live in your area. Think of it as combining the vast reach of the Internet with the personalized feel of a city phone directory.
Local SEO has five main pillars:
- Geo-targeted landing pages: Web pages designed for specific neighborhoods, cities, or regions
- Location-based keywords: Search terms that include a geographical reference (such as Houston, TX, or Southern California)
- Google Business Profile: Information about your company that shows up on Google Maps and local searches
- Customer reviews: Positive ratings and comments from clients who live in your area
- Local Directories: Consistent and accurate business information across various online directories (such as Yelp or Nextdoor)
If you mainly sell products to clients in your local market, it’s better to focus your marketing efforts on that group of people.
Why Is Local SEO Important for Modern Businesses?
Nowadays, to find new customers — even locally — you need to go online.
Today’s Customers Search for Local Businesses Online
Nearly all of today’s consumers (97%) get their information about local businesses from the Internet. If you want to make an impression, your business must stand out online.
Over 60% of shoppers perform some type of local search every day!
Local SEO Focuses on Your Main Audience
Investing in local SEO helps you spend your marketing dollars wisely. You focus on the people most likely to hire you, buy your products, visit your store, or become loyal customers.
Many people who make local searches know what they want; they just need to figure out who to purchase it from. Almost 80% of local searches end up with clients visiting a store to buy something.
Local Searches Drive Website Traffic
You can’t hope to catch fish if you don’t put any bait on the hook. To attract local clients to your website, you need location-based keywords. Nearly half of all Google searches are people looking for local information.
Local SEO Techniques Help You Advertise To Multiple Markets Simultaneously
Local SEO can help your business reach a wide variety of customers at the same time. Instead of ranking only for general web searches, you can rank for search results in many cities and neighborhoods.
In many cases, the more local, the better. If you only aim to rank for search terms with Miami, FL, you would have to compete with hundreds of businesses. By focusing on neighborhoods and suburbs, you can rank for smaller audiences simultaneously, such as Wynwood, South Beach, Pinecrest, and Weston.
Which Businesses Benefit the Most From Local SEO?
Local SEO is a good fit for any company that markets products or services to a local audience:
- Healthcare businesses, including doctors, dentists, chiropractors, and veterinarians
- Restaurants and coffee shops
- Real estate businesses
- Construction companies, plumbers, HVAC technicians, carpet cleaners, and other service businesses
- Stores and retailers
- Lawyers, tax professionals, and accountants
- Residential and commercial companies
What Are the Benefits of Local SEO for Your Business?
Paying attention to local SEO can help your company grow in many ways.
Waiting for people to stumble across your website isn’t the ideal way to do things. With a local SEO strategy, you can actively find new customers. When residents search the web, your business is there to greet them.
Local SEO works. Three out of four mobile users who search for local products or services visit a nearby business in less than a day! Almost 30% of those searches lead to a sale. That’s the type of customer you want to “reel in.”
The more your brand name appears in local searches, the more people talk about you. For example, friends often ask each other for recommendations:
“Have you ever heard of ABCD Air Conditioning Company?”
“Yes, they’re great. Came out to fix my AC right away. You should call.”
Just like that, you have a new customer.
Your business already provides excellent customer service. With local SEO, you can show off your reputation online. Google often highlights helpful reviews in search results. Positive ratings can convince new visitors to choose you over the competition.
Equal Playing Field
Normally, there’s no chance for businesses to compete with national brands and their huge ad budget. The tables turn when it comes to local SEO, however. For local search results, Google mainly looks at factors such as distance, prominence, and relevance to the user’s needs, not ad spend. You can beat the big brands!
How Can You Use Local SEO Successfully?
Now that you know why local SEO is important, your next step is to use it. Follow this essential checklist for SEO success.
Google Business Profile
A Google Business Profile is one of the most critical tools for location-based marketing. It connects your business with Google Maps and Google Search. Your profile allows you to share accurate business information with your potential clients:
- Name, address, phone number (NAP)
- Business description
- Store hours
- List of services and products
- Photos of your business, staff, or products
- Features that make your company unique (e.g., 24/7 emergency plumbing)
Social Media Content
Social media helps you build a strong relationship with local customers. Sites like Facebook and Instagram highlight your company’s friendly qualities and expertise. Share blogs, special promotions, and pro tips. Over time, visitors become curious and check out your website.
High-Quality Web Content
Many people searching online have questions, including families and other business owners. Great content provides the answers with:
- How-to posts
- Expert tips
- Product guides
- Blogs about topics of interest
Your high-quality website shows local residents that you offer the solutions they need. It helps new customers trust you as a resource.
The Right Keywords
For success with local SEO, geo-targeted keywords are a must. Many people use geo references in online searches:
- “Best plumbers in Chicago”
- “Wedding planners near me”
- “Window installers in South Florida”
- “Where to buy a prom dress in Dallas, TX”
Combined with your business’s location data, these keywords show Google which users to direct your way.
Local Review Sites and Listings
Businesses can benefit immensely from local review sites, such as Yelp, Angie’s List, and the online Yellow Pages. When Yelp has a rating for your business, you can expect the review to appear in the top five search results 90% of the time. Good reviews on these sites may influence potential customers more than anything you say.
Why Choose Our Local SEO Services?
At Digital Neighbor – SEO Agency, we’re experts in online marketing, including local SEO. We can help you create an effective local marketing plan that fits your business’s needs and budget.
With our help, you can finally reach a vast audience that’s right outside your grasp. We design fantastic content, build geo-targeted landing pages, use the right keywords, and even help manage your social media accounts.
Don’t wait for customers to find you by accident – take advantage of local SEO to grab attention. Be the business that local residents turn to for solutions. Let us help you get started with local SEO today.