Why Local SEO
In my last post, I talked about the benefits of SEO for small businesses. And I emphasized the possibilities offered by SEO. If anything, I introduced SEO as a “great leveler” that allows small businesses to compete with large regardless of budget.
And all of that is true. SEO does allow small businesses to reach far beyond their size and physical location.
However, in terms of ROI, optimizing for location still offers the best return for small businesses. This is where local SEO comes in. But what is local SEO and why should you care about it?
Like SEO in a more general sense, local SEO is optimizing for search engines – only for local search results. And this important, because according to the people at GoogleHQ, 46% of all searches have ‘local intent’. Moreover, according to the same Google reps, this number is on the rise. So if you’re not already optimizing for local, then you need to be.
And about that great ROI I mentioned? I have some statistics on that too.
72% of customers who search for local businesses end up visiting stores within five miles. Even better, almost a quarter of local organic traffic converts to a lead.
That is the best ROI out of any form of online marketing! Which is why we at Misfit have put together this easy list of tips to help get you started.
Three Easy Ways To Boost Your Local SEO
Grab Your Google My Business Listing
The easiest thing you can do to boost your local SEO is to claim your Google My Business listing. Google My Business is an awesome free service that was introduced in 2014 that allows business owners to take charge of their online presence.
I’m not going to lie, it does take a couple of hours to set up and maintain, but the benefits far outweigh the time expense. Because for the outrageous price of ‘free’, you get to ensure that search engine information about your business is consistent. You also get to create a better first impression and enjoy visibility throughout the web. But even better, you get access to insights, make posts, conduct bookings, and manage customer reviews.
So go out and claim that free Google My Business Listing! (You’ll be putting yourself ahead of the 56% of businesses who haven’t.)
Overhaul Your On-Page SEO
The next step is to overhaul your on-page SEO. This time though, the focus isn’t on the quality of your content, but rather the consistency of your overall picture. But what do I mean by this?
In my last post I talked about the user value of a website. The ways in which we optimize in order to make our websites useful and even attractive to visit.
That is still important.
But search engines predominantly still want to know what product/service you offer, and your location. And if these things are not clear, then you’re already losing at the local SEO game.
Thankfully, there are plenty of on-page opportunities to ensure that dear old Google doesn’t get confused. Take some time to go through your title tags, meta tags, and header tags. Make sure that the picture they give of who and where you are is consistent. And speaking of pictures, make sure that images and their alt attributes add to your consistency too.
It’s also worth creating some locally-focused content. The temptation here can be to resort to keyword stuffing (i.e adding local keywords like “Gettysburg SEO company”). But you really need to avoid this at all costs. Because although it’s relatively quick to do, the algorithms are getting smart to it. Most importantly though, it detracts from user value. Keyword-stuffed articles just read like a delivery system for keywords. We can do better, and our customers know it too.
So try to create content with a local audience in mind. What kinds of things do people in your local area care about? A good deal of content creation is knowing your audience. You have the home team advantage here.
Finally, make sure your NAP details (name, address, phone number) are on every page, and that they’re correct. This might seem basic, but you’d be surprised how many businesses don’t do this!
Yes, I know I talked about this in the last post. But 82% of small business websites don’t have social media accounts, so it bears repeating.
Local SEO is all about those local connections. Because despite the fact we can buy products from China (or wherever) for dirt cheap, we still mostly prefer local. It’s more personal, and more immediate. There’s no waiting for shipping! Remember that ROI I mentioned? When you get to mobile search, it gets even more impressive. Local business searches on mobile devices leads to a call or visit within 24 hours 88% of the time! (So make sure your mobile site is on point too!)
It’s also more trustworthy, and word of mouth counts for a lot.
This is where social comes in. Because although search still beats social in terms of lead generation, search and social are a winning combination.
Try thinking of it this way. Imagine that your website is as “real” as your physical storefront. You want it to look as appealing as possible, right? Great! But it isn’t enough to have a nicely merchandised store with great products. You need people to know the products are great too.
This is where social marketing can help you interact with your local community beyond your usual customer base. Reviews, conversations between customers, and positive mentions can all help you make hay locally.
So crawl out of that 82% (if you haven’t already), get social, and go dominate your local search!
Look, we get it. There’s a lot of work involved in this SEO business. If it’s not the technical, it’s the content. And if it’s not the content or social, it’s the local optimization. Which is why companies like ours exist. We at Misfit have been around for a while now, providing big business SEO services at small business prices. We offer a range of SEO packages with the option to customize, so you can get what you need. And our testimonials speak for themselves.
So why not leave your SEO to us?