The Importance of Local SEO

Monday, April 24, 2017

As a brick-and-mortar company doing business in a particular area, your success depends largely on attracting customers who are in the same city or town that you are. For example, a restaurant in St. Louis, Missouri, will want to reach people in the St. Louis area who are looking for someplace to eat. While achieving this goal can take a number of different forms, few approaches work as well as local SEO. Local SEO can be defined as a set of online strategies designed to reach people who are in a certain area. This type of search engine optimization utilizes a variety of methods to tell search engines where the business is located. Once search engines have this information, they can include the company’s website in search results for people who are in the same area. There are many reasons to pursue local SEO, not least being the huge potential it has to boost business for companies. What follows is a look at some of the biggest reasons to consider incorporating it into your search engine optimization efforts.

Local searches make up almost half of all Google searches.

With 46 percent of all Google searches consisting of local queries, it is important for businesses to make sure that they show up in the search results for people looking for goods and services in their area. Without an effective local SEO campaign in place, they are going to lose out on customers who are in their area and looking for the products and services they can provide. In addition, local SEO tends to be more effective and more useful than other strategies for reaching local customers (such as ads placed in local newspapers) because people are increasingly turning to the Internet to find the local companies they need. For example, 64 percent of people looking for local businesses do so through the Internet. With local searches dominating the Internet, local SEO has become an important component of an effective online presence.

SEE ALSO: Long Tail Keywords and SEO: An Overview

Local searches are dominating the use of mobile devices.

Not only are more people in general turning to search engines for local information, but they are increasingly doing so on their mobile devices. For example, 60 percent of smartphone users conduct local searches on those phones. In one study, 89 percent of respondents reported using their mobile devices to conduct a local search. Not only are mobile device users looking for local information, but the steady rise in mobile device usage means that there are more and more people using mobile devices for local searches. Taking advantage of this fact with effective mobile SEO and local SEO is an important step in running an effective search engine optimization campaign.

Local searches lead to concrete action.

Of course, the real importance of local SEO lies in the impact it has on the businesses that use it. And statistics show that local search engine optimization yields results in the form of conversions, leads, and sales for businesses. For example, consider the fact that 78 percent of local searches conducted on a mobile device lead to a sale. Or that half of all local searches on mobile devices are conducted in search of business information (such as an address) that can be used to get in touch with the business. Not only does local search yield concrete action on the part of the searcher, but it does so very quickly. For example, 18 percent of local searches result in a sale within a day, and half of people who conducted a local search visited a business within 24 hours. The reason that local search tends to turn into concrete action is because people usually look for a business in a specific location when they are ready to act. For example, someone might look up restaurants in St. Louis because they are hungry and need a place to eat dinner. Or, someone might look up a souvenir shop in San Diego because they are a tourist who wants a remembrance of their trip before they leave in a few days. The immediate nature of local searches means local SEO can bring you leads and sales more quickly than many other approaches.

 

Local SEO allows you to earn qualified leads.

Not only is local SEO important because it brings you leads and sales, but it is also important because the leads it brings you tend to be much more qualified than leads you earn elsewhere. For example, if you are not running a local search engine optimization campaign, you may end up attracting people who are looking for restaurants in Boise, Idaho, or Springfield, VT. While your website might see an uptick in traffic because of these visitors, they are unlikely to turn into customers. Local SEO, on the other hand, targets people who are in your area. As a result, it targets people who are in a position to immediately and easily enjoy your products and services. While you may not earn as much traffic ranking for “Mexican restaurant, St. Louis,” as you would for a less local keyword, the traffic you do get will be people in St. Louis who are in a position to patronize your place. The result, therefore, is likely to be more actual business than you would have earned from a more generalized search engine optimization campaign. Local SEO is important for businesses for a number of reasons. Thanks to the prevalence of local searches, the dominance of local searches on mobile devices, the tendency of local searches to turn into concrete action, and the ability of local SEO to earn your business qualified leads, there are many advantages to incorporating local SEO into your search engine optimization campaign. In order to enjoy the benefits local SEO can bring, consider hiring the services of SEO experts who can guide your business toward an effective and local online presence.

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Posted in: How To, SEO, Small Business

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