46% of searches on Google are for local businesses.
Let’s imagine a scenario. You have been in a fender bender just outside your home in San Antonio (don’t worry, everyone’s fine) and you need to get your car repaired as soon as possible so that you can attend a meeting that will assure you of that long-anticipated promotion. What do you do?
You go onto the Internet and find a reputable, local repair shop that can get the job done quickly and efficiently. You’re not interested in a repair shop in Los Angeles or for that matter Anchorage. You need a local service provider.
Now the repair company that has optimized its website by using local SEO strategies will be at, or near the top of the search engine results page.
That is why it is important for a company to have a structured and strategic local Search Engine Optimization plan. It’s interesting to note that the latest research indicates that around 46% of searches on Google are for local companies.
So what are the guidelines for attracting local customers and ensuring their loyalty?
The first step is to ensure that those keyword-based phrases are localized. In the above thought exercise that would mean phrases such as ‘Chicago SEO analyst.’
According to Wordstream research, about 50% of those doing a search for a local business would visit that business within 24 hours of going that search – in short, local SEO supercharges a business sales funnel.
One of the most important first steps that any business can taker is to register for a ‘Google my Business listing. This ensures that someone doing a local search by business name, information about products and services, and by relevant keywords and phrases will be exposed to a link directing them to a local company. The link will also appear on Google maps. The more detailed the listing is the more effective it will be so the business should make sure to include hours of operation, customer reviews (these are extremely important), photos of the location, company logos, and types of services/products.
There are also an enormous number of business directories and listings on the internet. The company needs to have a presence on as many of these as possible. Again, the business should make sure that it includes authentic customer reviews, as well as in-depth information on these sites.
The best way to ensure that a business benefits from local SEO efforts is to enlist the help of an expert SEO company. They will assist in developing those all-important SEO keywords and phrases and handle the listings that are required. they will also use specialist tools to ensure that the SEO efforts are successful – and fine-tune those efforts when required.
Any business that serves a specific community and does not have a local SEO strategy in place will be at a significant competitive disadvantage – make sure that your business is not one of these.