The Importance of Local SEO
Local SEO can harness the power of the world wide web and use it to help your business grow. Whether you offer a service or a locally produced product, potential customers are looking for you. Local SEO enables local businesses to promote themselves to consumers in their local service area right when potential customers are looking for products and services such as a bakery or a dentist.
How Local SEO Works
Local SEO uses business directories such as Yelp and Superpages, search engines like Google, and social media platforms to make local connections between businesses and customers. When a potential customer who is ready to purchase a service or product looks online for a local provider, their search will be populated by businesses that have enrolled in the online directory or search engine.
Search results in these cases are integrated with maps and contact information such as address, phone number, business hours, and website. The location feature is very popular with mobile devices continuing to gain usage. By using a mobile device, a potential customer can find your business online while they are on the go and get directions to visit.
Local SEO is a little less standardized on social media and is more dependent on the particular company’s branding approach. Generally, it involves reaching out to followers on a social site that live in a particular locale that the business is in. Here are some ways why Local SEO should be an important part of your marketing strategy.
Customers are Online
Consumers are increasingly looking for local businesses online. The telephone directory is used by under 30 percent of people looking for local business information. At the same time, another traditionally paper-based medium is on the decline. Local newspapers have experienced a huge decline in readers because they are going online for news and information. Meanwhile, online searches are ascending in popularity.
One of the features of online SEO directories that is trusted by a majority of consumers is the online business reviews. Many consumers use these reviews as a guide of where they should go locally to get the best product or service. This means that it is imperative to get online to get your business noticed locally.
Highly Targeted and Convertible
By participating in search engines and directories, your business will be seen when your customer is looking for you. This results in the highest conversion rates of all types of local advertising. Some directories have even seen 50 percent conversion rates. Make sure that you claim your business listing on Google Places, as a minority of business have taken advantage of this free opportunity to publicize your business. In fact, many directories offer free listings as well, but that could change in the future. Local SEO is efficient and a low or no cost alternative to an overwhelming majority of traditional advertising approaches.
Get Creative on Social Media
Getting local buzz on social media is more up to the creativity and engagement of the business than anything. With platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram free to use, the only cost is the time the business takes in setting up and maintaining the platforms. If you want to get a boost, Facebook will send out an update of your choice to a targeted demographic of users.
The Hamptoncreek food company has a particularly inventive way to engage locally on Instagram. It has done a summer road trip through various states and posted pictures on the site. Hampton Creek asks followers on social media what their food favorites are in each road trip area. Through their picture posts they are connecting not only with followers that live in the road trip area, but also others that have visited the area. Hampton Creek has over 270,000 likes on their Facebook page which makes sure to include links to the Instagram pictures. In the past, they have also been successful in reaching out to media opinion makers to champion their company and its products.
Facebook’s strength on mobile platforms will help as they continue to promote small businesses in their Places category. Integration of location information and the ability to see posts from both the business and their followers is an advantage as well. Twitter can be a good platform to send out coupons and other offers to loyal local followers.
The local SEO trend will become even more important in the future as the number of internet users increases. Be proactive and take charge of your businesses’ future by embracing local SEO practices now.