Did you know that 97% of consumers use online resources when looking for local businesses? And 78% of local searches result in a purchase at the local business? If your business isn’t visible in local search results, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to reach new customers. When a potential customer is looking for a business to fill a need 72% go to online search as their first choice.
Local SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of optimizing your business listings and website for local results. What makes Local SEO solutions different from regular SEO strategy is that it’s focused on a smaller geographic area. It’s also more targeted since potential customers are looking for businesses in their area. This makes local search a more viable option for small and medium sized businesses because there is less competition. In stead of competing against every business in the world for the top spot in global search results, you’re only competing against businesses in your area.
There are a few ranking factors for Google when it comes to the local search results. As a business owner you will have to make a decision as to what target you want to go for. Google has over 200 ranking factors, and some carry more weight than others depending on the situation. You will want to focus on the targets and factors that give you the best result, and you will likely be looking for some quick wins. This means your approach will be slightly different. Working on seo for global or national search is different than working on seo local. So while keyword research and link building are excellent, there are a few other things a good local seo company will focus on to move the needle faster.
1) Optimized Business Listing
Make sure your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across all listings, including your website, Google My Business page, and social media profiles. This would also include relevant directories. These local citations are key signals to google about the legitimacy of your business. Inconsistent NAP information confuses search engines and can hurt your local ranking. Also try to make your listings as complete as possible, utilizing most or all of the services offered. If they allow photos, provide some.
2) Claim your Google Business Profile
It is surprising at how many businesses don’t claim their Google Business Profile. This will allow your business to show up in local results on Google Maps as well as in the regular organic search. But most importantly you get to have more control over what information is out there about your business. Google already creates a listing for you if you have a physical location, wouldn’t you want to make sure the information is accurate and Google sends customers to the right place (your business)?
3) Get good reviews
High quality, positive reviews from your customers can help improve your ranking in local search results and instill trust in potential customers. Google uses a number of factors to determine which businesses to show for Local SEO results, including reviews. This is no different from actual customers. The more positive reviews you have, the better chance you have of ranking higher in local searches. Google makes it easy to get reviews from customers that are happy with your product or service. You can also respond to any negative reviews and try to resolve the issue that led to the bad review. Often times this process wins over people searching for a business like yours.
4) Utilize Google Shopping
Google Shopping is a great way to increase your visibility in local search results, especially if you are selling products out of a physical location. You can list your products and include photos, price, and other relevant information. Google Shopping results appear at the top of the SERP (search engine results page), above both organic listings and paid ads, so you get seen first! Google Shopping is also a great way to reach mobile shoppers since it’s available on the Google Search app and Google Maps app. With 58% of searches all coming from mobile this is a tool you will want to use.
If you are a business owner it’s so much more important to work on your business than deal with SEO. Hiring an agency that provides local seo services will allow you to focus on what you’re good at. Your time is valuable and it is a much better investment spending your time in your core strengths. Especially as a small business time is not a commodity that can be wasted. Particularly when competing against big business, you’re going to want to spend every minute working on what makes your business special. Getting the right to handle your local search will leverage both experts at what they are good at while saving you time and headache in the long run. A good agency will already know the solutions to many of the issues you would face getting into this new facet of your business.
Especially for a small business it is more cost effective than hiring someone full time to do that work. The resources local seo agencies have at their disposal are also a huge advantage. Solid agencies will have tools, experience, and relationships that they can leverage to make your local online marketing successful. Most agencies also provide other services that can be helpful for small businesses. These other services can compliment and enhance your local SEO efforts. Services such as website design and development, content marketing, social media, pay per click advertising, and email marketing can all help increase your marketing ROI (return on investment).
When looking for a local SEO company find one that gets you excited. A good digital marketing company will consistently prove the value of their service. That service should be one you are happy to pay for because you see a return on your investment.
When you hire a digital marketing company for local search engine optimization services you should get a lot more than seo. The knowledge and expertise isn’t just on how to get results also but it also includes a good understanding of the latest trends. Google constantly releases updates on both local seo and global search. A good local seo agency will be on top of these changes and have a plan to make sure your business website doesn’t get penalized when the next update rolls out. For agencies like ours we are also able to help small businesses recognize trends in their own industry and help them to stay ahead of the changes.
If you have a good reputation (often in the form of reviews), it will help you in local seo. But managing your reviews and reputation is often time consuming and, in all honesty, not fun. It’s one of those things that is important but many people dread having to do it. But whether you decide to handle that task yourself or hire someone for it, a local seo agency can provide valuable guidance on how to get positive reviews from customers and respond to negative reviews.
Bad review can be a sore spot for any business, and they aren’t something any business owner looks forward to. So an advantage is that a good agency will have a plan for what to do when things go wrong and a bad review pops up. A digital marketing agency is also less connected to the business so it is often easier for them to respond in an unbiased way that helps mitigate any damage. Agencies like ours that provide services beyond digital marketing can then take the poor reviews and leverage them into a plan to help your business improve and grow. When this is paired with a solid SEO strategy the results are amazing.
When it comes to getting the most out of local SEO there are really only two options: do it yourself or hire an agency. But if you aren’t looking to take on a second career or if you have questions about how to get the best local SEO for your business please contact us. We are always happy to answer any questions you might have, even if you don’t retain us for local seo services. We also offer a 100% free consultation and seo strategy session so that we can better understand your business and what your goals are. During that call we guarantee you will walk away with something of value.
There are many web design & seo marketing companies that will require long-term contracts or lock you into their services for fear of you walking away. We believe in what we do and our ability to be effective, so much that we arent afraid to give you something of value up front. We want to prove our worth to you first and then give you the option of retaining us for local search engine optimization. And, if we do decide to work together, know that you are partnering with an agency that cares about your success as much as you do. There is zero risk to you and everything to gain!