SEO (search engine optimization) makes a business easier to find online by making them show up higher in search results for a given keyword, but “Local SEO” takes that targeting to another level.
Local SEO is about people searching for a product or a service in a specific geographic area. So, not only does traffic go to the website, it can also potentially lead to someone visiting a physical establishment. This extra visibility is often the edge needed to become the dominant business in your area.
Medical clinics, retail stores, lawyers, car dealerships, and restaurants are just a few of the businesses that can benefit from Local SEO.
Why Local SEO?
1. Show Up at the Top of Search Results
There are generally two types of search results: organic and local map. The organic results are sorted based on keywords, content, and relevance, while the local map also takes the users actual (and queried) physical location into account.
For example, if a user searched for keywords “yoga clermont fl” that would identify that:
- They’re searching for information about yoga
- They’re searching for information about yoga in Clermont, and more specifically Clermont, Florida
In most cases the map results will show above everything but a few ad results. So, getting to the top of the first page for a “local search” (like the yoga example we used) is going to be about getting into the map results.
2. Double Dip in the Benefits of SEO
This means that your business can show up at least twice in the search results for a given keyword. You could potentially show up in the local map results, as well as in the organic search results.
Based on the “yoga clermont fl” search above, they’re most likely searching for a yoga studio in Clermont, Florida. So, as part of the search results your business can display on the local map results, and in the organic results because you indeed have a yoga business in Clermont, Florida.
Acquiring the second organic result will help you drive more traffic and look better (and bigger) to potential customers and clients, as well. You’ll quickly notice a THIRD opportunity to appear in the search results by purchasing an ad based on the keyword (aka PPC or pay per click / Google AdWords). And even a 4th PLUS one by having multiple results appearing within all of those results, so there’s even a chance to “own the entire page.”
3. High Success Rate and Quick Results
Most business owners neglect their online presence because they simply don’t have the time or resources. This often means there’s sometimes an incorrect phone number, address, or even lack of service offering as it relates to the business in question. This bad info could show up anywhere from on an online directory to on their very own website! Imagine how this impacts word of mouth and referral business.
Simply by having the correct information listed to contact your business, and an accurate representation of what your business has to offer, you can get yourself in the Local SEO game almost immediately.
Here’s why… Every business LOSES customers because they become satisfied, dissatisfied, or move away. More than 9 out of 10 people go right to Google when they’re searching for a business or their replacement. In many cases you can see results just because you have checked a box that someone is looking for.
For example, imagine someone using an online business directory, looking at two competitive plumbers, and one of them check the box on their profile that said they do “emergency service.” Now, they both may offer the service, but because one neglected to update their profile, the consumer is going to get in the touch with the person that shows they have what their looking for (in this case: emergency service).
By enhancing your Local SEO you can start to show up when people search for the products and services you have for sell. Because you have a physical location, you have an additional opportunity to optimize your online presence due to the sheer exclusivity of having a physical location in the proximity the user is looking for.
Instead of competing with the entire Internet, you’re only competing with businesses in your physical area, of which their can only be so many of. It is for that reason the results are often much faster with Local SEO (a small geographic area) than with standard SEO (across the entire Internet).
With mobile devices enabling more searches each day, it’s imperative that local businesses adopt a local SEO strategy that will allow them to leverage their business presence to where their customers are. It’s not a matter of simply increasing traffic to your site, it’s about staying geographically relevant to your audience and not losing out to your competitors.