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While anyone with the least bit of knowledge about internet marketing knows about search engine optimisation (SEO), few people are aware of local search engine optimisation and the immense benefits it could provide to their business.
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Local SEO is search engine optimisation aimed at making your business visible in local search engine results (SERPs). When locally optimised, your business will appear in SERPs for search queries that contain the words “nearby”, “local”, “name of city or locality” and other words that indicate to Google that the user is looking for a business that operates close to where they are performing the search from.
“Can my business benefit from local SEO?” you might be asking yourself. The answer to this is simple: if your business has a brick and mortar outlet/ presence, or provides services in a specific geographic location such as a city or town; then local SEO could do wonders to increase you overall sales.
And with ever increasing competition in the global SEO realm, local SEO is now more important than ever for local small businesses that want to pull free traffic from search engines such as Google.
Why is local search important for your business?
There’re tonnes of reasons why any local business should be optimised for local search. Here we’ll keep it simple and give you the top 5 reasons why you need to hop on the bandwagon for local SEO.
- Compete with big brands.Often, big brands don’t have the physical presence in each and every neighbourhood. But because they have huge budgets to throw at SEO, their businesses appear first in search results leaving small businesses that operate locally to compete for scraps.
With local SEO, businesses that appear on top of the search results are those that operate near the person who conducted the search. By being locally optimised, your business will outrank huge cooperation’s in local search results giving you the lions share of the traffic.
- It’s cheaper.In 2020, SEO is much different from what it used to be back in the early 2000’s. Back then, all it took was a simple website and your business would appear on top of the SERPs. Those days, unfortunately for small businesses, are long gone. To capture the top spots in SERPs, you’ll now need to have a sizeable budget to hire a professional SEO or have lots of technical know-how if you want to do it yourself.
Local SEO gives the little guy a chance to do well in SEO by tilting the odds in their favour. Optimising for local SEO is a lot easier and cheaper than waging an all-out SEO offensive. You don’t even need to have a website to be visible in local search – but we do recommend that you have one.
- Qualified web and foot traffic.It’s estimated that more than half of the people who perform searches for local business end up visiting the business within a few days. These are people who are actually in search of the product or service that you are offering. This means that they’re very likely to convert into buying customers once they visit your shop/office.
Alternatively, potential customers who find you through local search will follow your link to your website where you can take them through your sales funnel and eventually convert them into buying customers.
- Credibility for your business.The modern consumer is “spoilt” with an abundance of information about whatever they want to purchase. As such, they want to know as much about a business before they carry out any transactions with them. And where do they get this information? You’re right, the internet.
Optimising your business for local search provides your business credibility through citations in online directories, reviews, and visibility in Google maps. With access to such information, potential customers can be sure that your business actually exists and it’s actually legitimate.
- Long-term visibility.In its unending quest to satisfy its search customers, Google is constantly reworking and tweaking its algorithm. The effect of this is that top positions in search results are not permanent. One day you’re on top, the next you’re in oblivion.
You don’t need to worry about this volatility with local search. Success here is more long-term thanks to lesser competition and fewer moving pieces that can be rearranged. The traffic from local search is therefore steady over longer durations providing more stability for businesses that get it right.
The importance of local search engine optimisation cannot be emphasised enough. It’s prudent – now, more than ever – for any business serving a specific geographic location or locality to engage in Local SEO to increase their online visibility and boost sales.
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