Seriously, when was the last time you looked up a printed phone book to find information about a local business? Let’s not ignore these statistics.
- 96 % of PC users conduct local searches
- 64 % of local customers use directories and search engines as their main way to find a local business
- 46 % of all Google searches are local
- 50 % of people look for business information (e.g. address, phone number) via mobile search
- 78 % of local mobile searches lead to an offline purchase
So, why does it make sense to focus on local SEO when running a local business?
It will improve your visibility
When you visit a Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page), those local results get prioritized, which means they can be found at the top of a results page. Let’s not forget, that the majority of people don’t look beyond a Google search page 2 when doing their search.
It’s highly targeted and timely
When people do a search, they are looking for a specific business or already have a business name that they want to check out. By using a local search strategy, you can position your business better and promote it more effectively. The timing is perfect because users are looking for something when they need it.
Higher conversion rates
Since the first page of many local search results is dominated by local directories, it’s no surprise that many companies are keen to get listed. It is proven that local directory marketing shows a higher conversion rate than other traditional marketing options. What this means is if you get your business listed with relevant details on as many high-quality online directory sites as possible, you might be able to convert 1 in 2 leads into a real customer.
Mobile internet is increasing
Since more and more users are accessing the internet via tablets and mobile phones when looking for the best local companies, applying local SEO means you never miss out an a potential client.
Great return on investment
There is very little exposure that would be wasted with local SEO. You will reach potential clients exactly when they need you. The benefit? It makes your local SEO efforts more cost-effective and efficient.
‘Google My Business’ local listing has not been claimed by every business yet
Did you know that ‘Google My Business’ is a listing that Google offers businesses for FREE and increases your chances of being listed high in local search results on Google? And not just that! Only 44 % of companies have claimed their local listing so far. That means not every business has yet realised how important digital marketing is, and this gives you the edge compared to your competitors.
Many great opportunities for FREE promotion
Your business can claim free listings using many options, such as Bing Places for Business, Google My Business, etc.
Readership of print newspapers is declining
Since more and more people are reading newspapers online, traditional advertising media is in decline. If it comes to finding out news and information about a business, consumers nowadays turn to the internet. You better be visible online!
People read and trust online reviews
For many local businesses, word of mouth is a crucial factor that can have a big impact on their company’s success and increase their credibility considerably. A company’s online reputation is now more important than ever. Several studies have shown that high percentage of people read and trust online reviews. A study by BrighLocal provides some highly useful insights into the importance of online reviews. It shows that:
- 91 % of consumers read online reviews regularly or occasionally.
- 84 % of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- 39 % of people state that reading positive reviews make them more likely to use a local business
- 73 % of consumers believe that reviews older than 3 months are not relevant
- 87 % of people expect a business to have a rating of 3-5 stars before they will use them
It is therefore wise for a business to make real efforts to get customers to review their business online. This makes it easier to attract new clients and will also have an impact on their website traffic (see graph below), as well as their bottom line.
People do search online
It doesn’t matter whether you are selling a service or a product, people nowadays are very IT savvy and do thorough research before making any buying decisions. They depend on the internet for gathering the relevant information. So, being found online is of paramount importance, otherwise you will miss out on lots of opportunities. Do you really want to do this to yourself and your business and leave it up to your competitors to lead the market? Of course not. Thus, it’s important to use various local SEO strategies to show up on the internet map for new customers.
Regardless of the type of business you are running, the time to take advantage of local SEO strategies is NOW. Knowing about local SEO is not enough, and there’s no better opportunity than now to take action. So, boost your business, stay ahead of your competition and monetize more by using smart local SEO tactics. Bear in mind that local search trends are getting stronger and more important in the future. So, don’t be asleep at the wheel– local SEO is not an option anymore, it’s a must!
Check out our tips on getting your business to the top of Google.