As a business owner, you know that online visibility is key to business growth. Local SEO is arguably one of the best and most economical ways to increase your visibility and attract more customers in the location in which your business operates.
In this post, you will discover what local SEO is, why it matters, and 5ways local SEO drives business growth.
If you own a local business and business growth is important to you, you won’t want to miss out on this valuable opportunity for growth.
Why Local SEO Matters In 2022?
Over 60% of all Google searches are for local businesses (up from 43% in 2018), and that number is only going to continue to grow. The top 3 organic positions receive around 55% of this search traffic.
If your business isn’t found at the top of Google for your products or services, you’re losing out on the bulk of online customers searching for your offering.
Stop for a moment and think about that. What could it mean for your business if these customers visited your website instead of your competitor’s websites?
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a specialized form of SEO that is focused on optimising a website for local search results. This can be done by optimising your website content for specific location-based keywords, ensuring that the website is listed in local directories, and building citations from other local websites, among other things.
When someone searches for a product or service online, they are typically looking for something nearby. For example, if they search for “plumber near me” or “plumber Cape Town”, they are looking for plumbers in their current or specified location.
Local SEO is all about helping businesses connect with these local customers.
It can be challenging to stand out in the local search results, especially if you are competing against businesses with well-established SEO campaigns. Implementing a local SEO strategy will help to level the playing field and beat out your competitors.
What Is The Difference Between SEO And Local SEO?
SEO is a wider term that refers to all the techniques that can be used to improve a website’s visibility and ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs), regardless of the customer’s location. This can include optimising website content, structure, and metadata for keywords, building backlinks from other websites, and improving the usability of a site for visitors.
Local SEO includes the same techniques as SEO for the most part, but with a focus on optimising a business’ website and online presence to rank higher in the SERPs when potential customers are looking for companies near their location.
Some additional techniques that form part of a local SEO strategy include compiling and submitting business listings to Google My Business and other business directories, adding keywords and phrases related to local businesses into website content, and optimising a site’s map listing.
5 Ways Local SEO Drives Business Growth
It is common knowledge that if you were to take two identical grocery stores and place one in a busy shopping mall and the other in the back streets of an industrial area, the one in the shopping mall would outperform the one in the industrial area.
Why? Firstly, because of the foot traffic and, secondly, because of the intent of that foot traffic. There are far more people going to the mall with the intention of buying groceries than there are people going into an industrial area to buy groceries.
For a business selling conveyor belts to the industrial sector, the reverse would be true.
In the same way, local businesses that are positioned online in the prime location for search traffic with the intent of buying their products or services will outperform those businesses that are not found at the top of the search results.
Local SEO is important for businesses that want to be found by consumers or other businesses in their local area. By appearing at the top of local search results, businesses can increase their chances of being seen by potential customers who are actively looking for goods or services in their area. Optimizing for local search can help businesses to attract more foot traffic, generate leads, and ultimately boost sales.
As a local business owner, it’s essential to rank as high as possible in the SERPs to maximise your chances of receiving potential customers. And as we’ve already established, local SEO can help businesses to rank higher.
If you’re not implementing local SEO yet, now is the time to start.
Here are 5 benefits your business can enjoy when it ranks in search engines like Google or Bing for targeted search terms.
1. Increased Visibility And Reach
One of the main advantages of increased visibility and reach is that a local business can reach more people in their area. This can help to grow the business and create more opportunities for customers.
Local SEO helps to increase the visibility and reach of a business by making it easier for potential customers to find the business online. When a business appears in the top results for a relevant search, this can result in increased traffic to its website and more opportunities for leads and sales.
2. Greater Customer Engagement And Conversions
Reaching more people is meaningless if those people visit your website only to immediately click away and visit the site of one of your competitors. It is important that when a visitor comes to your website, they engage with your content and are converted into a lead or customer.
By optimising your website and listing for local search, you can create a more engaging experience for customers who are already intent on purchasing from a supplier in your area.
You tick both boxes that matter to them, namely, the product or service they are looking for and the location where they want to purchase it. Add to this a seamless customer journey that guides them to the conversion and you have a recipe that can lead to increased customer engagement and even more conversions.
3. Brand Awareness And Authority
There is no denying that brand awareness and brand authority go a long way to driving sales. If customers are aware of your brand and consider you an authority in your field, they are far more likely to purchase from you than from a competitor they have never heard of.
Ranking high in local search results is one way to increase brand awareness and build brand authority. When potential customers see your business appearing consistently in the top results for relevant searches, they will start to become familiar with your brand and see you as an authority in your industry.
This can lead to increased brand loyalty and customer retention, as well as more sales.
4. Cost-Effective Marketing
Local SEO is a more cost-effective marketing strategy than many other forms of marketing. This is because it reaches customers organically, meaning that you do not pay for each visitor that clicks through to your website.
It also has a way longer ‘shelf life’ than traditional advertising. The shelf life of an ad in a newspaper can be as short as one day, while an ad in a magazine has a typical lifespan of one month. An online ad only lasts as long as you continue to pay for it.
All things being equal, the shelf life of an optimised website is indefinite. This means that you can continue to reap the benefits of your local SEO campaign long after it has been implemented.
We mentioned earlier that local SEO targets customers who are already actively looking for what you have to offer. This means that you are getting motivated prospects, which typically results in increased conversions. It goes without saying that the better your lead-to-sales conversions, the more cost-effective your online marketing becomes.
5. Increased ROI
When it comes to boosting your return on investment (ROI), local SEO is hard to beat. If we compare it to Google ads, for example, we can clearly see this.
When you run Google Ads, you are competing with other companies that are running ads that target the same traffic. The more popular the search terms you are bidding for, the more it costs to get a person to click through to your site. It is not uncommon to see the cost of a click double or even triple from one week to the next as more companies bid aggressively for these terms.
More than this, according to Google, for most industries only an estimated 15% of people click on ads, so even if your ad is at the top of Google, you are losing 85% of potential customers.
When your company website ranks organically at the top of Google, you do not pay for the people clicking through to your site and you get to take advantage of the 85% of people that do not click on ads.
Finally, people typically believe that Google places reputable companies at the top of their search results, so people naturally trust your company more when you rank at the top of Google.
In a nutshell, your cost per lead or sale can be far lower than Google Ads, your rankings can result in a significantly higher number of customers than Google Ads, and these customers generally trust your company to be reputable. This perfect mix makes for a far more attractive ROI.
Wrapping It Up
Local SEO is a segment of SEO that focuses on helping your business to connect with local customers. It accomplishes this through implementing SEO techniques that get your website to rank at the top of the local search results where it is found by people who are actively searching for your product or service.
Given that over 60% of all Google searches are for local businesses and that half of these people visit the websites of one of the top 3 search results, it is clear that local SEO matters in 2022 and is key to business growth.
The benefits to your business are increased visibility and reach, increased customer engagement and conversions, brand awareness and authority, cost-effective marketing, and increased ROI, resulting in business growth.
If you own a local business and are serious about growing your business, book a free discovery call and let’s discuss what we can do for you – Book a Free Discovery Call
We have helped many other business owners grow their businesses. We can help you too.