Learn why local Search Engine Optimization is important for your business and discover 6 ways to improve your sales pipeline.
Do you know Google constantly makes changes to its search algorithms? Not hundreds…but thousands of changes! In fact, Google reported 3,234 updates — an average of almost 9 per day — last year, according to Moz. This makes it challenging for everyone, from business owners and digital agencies with local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services to local SEO companies, to stay on top of best practices.
Sometimes, local search strategies may get overlooked. If they do, your business is losing not only opportunities, but qualified leads.
HubSpot captured “16 Stats that Proved the Importance of Local SEO” and the numbers may surprise you.
Here are 5 that caught our eye:
- 72% of consumers who conduct a local search visit a store within 5 miles
- Nearly 46% of all Google searches are seeking local information
- 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device, either call or visit the business within 24 hours
- Local searches result in purchases 28% of the time
- 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information
Sure, you’ve heard of traditional SEO, but don’t confuse it with local SEO, which is a bit different.
When potential customers enter local requests, search engines (predominately Google) generate the top-ranking local businesses. That means, local SEO – when it’s done correctly — can deliver more customers … especially if you have a small business, or a brick-and-mortar store that requires foot traffic.
A local SEO strategy is an essential component of a successful integrated marketing plan.
Here are our Top 6 Local SEO Tactics:
- Take Advantage of Your Google Business Profile
Google My Business is one of the best local SEO tools available. Plus, it’s free and easy to use. Your business profile shows up as soon as people are searching for your business or businesses like yours on Google Search or Google Maps. We offer 12 reasons you should use Google My Business in our last blog.
- Ask for Customer Reviews
Research shows 91% of people regularly, or occasionally read online reviews, 84% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation and 68% form an opinion after reading 1-6 online reviews, according to a Google search.
But tread cautiously. Negative reviews will hurt your reputation and a 5-star rating may not be all that. A study between Power Reviews and Northwestern University revealed consumers displayed more trust and therefore, were more likely to purchase a product, when ratings fell between 4.2 to 4.5 stars.
- Integrate Google Maps
A web-mapping service, Google Maps helps search engines find your exact location, in addition to offering satellite imagery, aerial photography and other features. It also includes an Application Programming Interface (API) which allows maps to be embedded on websites.
- Create Location Website Pages
This may seem obvious, but some businesses still overlook location-specific information on their websites. At a minimum, include your store hours, your company name, address and phone number, customer testimonials, current promotions, parking tips and Google Maps (mentioned above).
- Lock Down Your Website Security
This strategy may strike you as odd, however, cyber-crime is occurring at record levels with experts predicting damage will reach $6 trillion by 2021. And, your local competition might forget this tip. If they do, it could result in unreliable website links , viruses and other key factors search engine algorithms rank to determine the order of the results generated.
- Optimize Content for Voice Search
While this industry is still evolving,, 1 billion devices can access voice assistant technology, according to Voicebot, and that number is only going to increase. This means thinking about how people ask questions when they are talking to a voice-activated device — such as Siri, Alexa or Google — and adjusting SEO accordingly.