Going toe to toe with big and established companies may appear to be a Herculean task for small businesses. This notion is understandable considering the money and resources these large enterprises have at their disposal. However, this does not in any way mean that small and medium businesses like yours cannot compete with these industry giants. The truth is that, nowadays, small local businesses are able to outperform their bigger competitors, earning new businesses and growing their profits. One reason for their success is that they’ve capitalised on local SEO.
Why Invest in Local SEO?
Ranking high on local search results can improve your visibility amongst clients actively seeking in your area. Reports show that over 60% of local clients make an online query on search engines like Google to find local establishments. Furthermore, a recent survey stated that 60% of those who make searches using their mobile phones are more likely to click on the first three results they see. In addition, five out of ten users who do a local online search end up visiting the store on the same day.
Moreover, investing in local SEO is not just about reaching new clients. It is also about ensuring that those who are aware of your business are able to find you. It was reported that over 70% of users who are visiting a store for the first time conduct an online search to find out the location of the business. Meanwhile, 68% of local searches are performed to get directions to or the phone number of a local establishment.
These statistics clearly show what you stand to gain if you prioritise local SEO. But the advantages of investing in local SEO are not just limited to widening your reach and introducing your brand to the local audience. Studies also indicate that this endeavour can have a positive impact on revenue since almost 80% of local mobile searches end up in a purchase.
Top Factors Affecting Local SEO
If you have not optimised your website for local searches, the time to do it is now. Compared to previous years, competition in this area is now cutthroat. This is mainly attributed to the fact that more SMEs owners have realised the value of local SEO and are now including it in their overall marketing strategy. So, if you want your business or brand to become recognised, especially in your community, learn how to optimise your website for local search. Below are the top-ranking factors that affect local search engine optimisation.
Claimed and Optimised Google My Business Page
Unaware of its value, many business owners fail to claim their Google My Business (GMB) page as well as their Bing Places for Business page. These directories provide an excellent opportunity for you to advertise your business, especially if it is properly optimised. In fact, an optimised GMB listing increases your company’s chances of landing on the so-called Google three-pack.
To fully reap the benefits of this free directory, make sure you place your complete and correct business information, especially your name, address and phone number (NAP). Also, choose the right category and be specific if you can, i.e., pick “residential painter” instead of just “painter”. Furthermore, make sure your GMB title and business description contain keywords relevant to the business that you do or service that you offer. Lastly, do not forget to add photos of your business.
Relevant On-Page Content
Produce content that is useful and appealing to local customers. Mention areas or sites that surround your company. See to it that every page on your site has your NAP – this should be the same on all pages and listings.
Capitalise on the title and meta-description tags. They should be written in such a way that local searchers would get key information about your business. It must also be descriptive, interesting and unique; otherwise, users won’t be compelled to visit the page. For local SEO, a good strategy is to include the name of the city or area where your business is located or the area it serves. Avoid keyword stuffing and just focus on one targeted keyword.
Quality Link Building
Link building is also necessary for local SEO. Aside from quantity, quality also matters in this aspect. Since you are optimising for local searches, it is imperative that you have inbound links from locally relevant websites. It is also highly important that you get links from major websites, particularly review sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp.
Online review is a known ranking signal for local SEO. Some claim that this ranking signal has more effect on the snack pack than on organic search results. What’s clear, however, is that positive reviews are essential not just for improving local SEO rankings but also on creating an excellent online reputation.
Nowadays, online reviews affect consumers’ purchasing decisions. A testament to this is a report that stated that over 80% of consumers made a purchase after reading positive feedback about a company. For this factor, quantity and quality (positive or 5-star feedback) matter a lot. So, make sure that you ask your clients for feedback and deliver first-rate service to ensure that they give your company glowing reviews.
To learn more about local SEO and other factors that affect it, call us at 01 960 9023 and talk to our SEO specialists.
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