There must have been times when you would come across the term ‘Local SEO Services’ but ignored it because you thought that it is the same as SEO Services. If this has happened with you then you are at the right place because we will be clearing the air when it comes to Local SEO Services and why do small businesses need them.
The Relation Between Small Businesses And Local SEO Services!
Let’s say you own a hair salon and you have prospects in the same area but it is tough for you to connect with them. This is where local SEO will come handy and give you and edge over your competitors. The best part is that clients are able to find you exactly when they need affordable local SEO services which is an immediate conversion for you. You offer a haircut, they want a haircut and local SEO connects you both just at the right time.
Local Seo means optimizing your website in such a way that you show up in local search when someone searches for a service that is offered by you. In order to understand local SEO better, you must understand the following concepts as well-
Basics Of Local SEO
Local searches are a way for the users to find a particular service or a store near them. They are aimed at finding something within a specific geographic area particularly during the time when they require immediate service.
Search engines are aimed at displaying the most relevant search for the queries. Google is constantly trying to interpret local intent and wants to deliver local search results. For instance, if someone types ‘grocery store near me’ then with the help of location, Google will show up the results which is physically closer to the person.
Let’s say you just moved to a new city and you want to go out for a meal but you have no idea about the neighborhood. The first thing that you might do is take your phone out and search for ‘restaurants near me’. I don’t know you but I am sure that you will give the top 3 results more importance that the other ones. That is what local SERP is. It is very important for a business to show up in local pack or the ‘3 pack’ because that is what influences the searcher’s decision to a great extent.
Google My Business
It is a free tool that businesses can utilize to manage their online presence across Google search and maps. It makes you visible and helps your audience to find you. It is really useful because we all trust Google blindly and the rating influences the customer’s decision as well. You can easily manage the information to display when the users search for you or the product/service that you offer. People will take you more seriously if the information is verified. Make sure you have updated the information like opening hours, website and contact information.
Not only this, it a great way to interact with your clients and reviews can help you out as well. Google says, ‘Businesses that add photos to their Business Profiles receive 42% more requests for directions on Google Maps, and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t.’
In old times, people used to maintain a diary with the contact information of their nearby plumber, electrician, or any other service provider. Citations are just the online and advanced version of that diary. They are a digital reference to businesses with their NAP- name, address and phone number.
Local Citations are an important part of the search algorithm and are used by the search engines to help decide where to rank your site amongst the competitors. Let’s say you own ‘Mama’s little bakery’ and you have more citations than ‘Joey’s cake club’ then you will rank above them on the SERP.
Google uses citations to verify the accuracy of the contact details in their local business listings as well. If the same name address and phone number is listed on different websites then it is likely to be genuine and Google can be more confident in displaying it to the searchers.
Top 5 reasons why You Must Opt For Local Seo Services If You Have A Brick-and-Mortar Business!
If you have a small business with a physical store or offline presence then you must opt for local seo services.
Local SEO services are useful for-
- Food businesses like food trucks, cafes, etc.
- Real Estate
- Travel Agents
- Courier services
- Car repair and many more..
If you fall in any of the above category and have not opted for local seo services yet then sorry to say but you are missing out on a lot of potential clients.
Local SEO services are important for small businesses due to the following reasons-
1. Bridge The Gap Between You And The Client!
You might not know Dan who lives 2 blocks away from your coffee house but one thing which is common is that you both use the internet. By using an expert SEO company, you have high chances of showing up the search page when Dan wants to take his girlfriend to the coffee house. This will help you to bridge the gap and attract more audience which is profitable for your business. It is the best way to find people where they spend most of their time, the internet!
2. Highly Targeted
It is a highly common incident that local searchers are looking for a specific business’ name, but many who search don’t have a specific business in mind.
By using local SEO services, you can place your business in a better position and promote what you have to local customers when they are on the lookout for your type of business. There’s no better time to connect with a potential customer than when they really need the service or product offered by you. It is like being at the right place at the right time which will surely work like a charm for you.
3. Better Conversion Rate
When it comes to searching for a service with multiple providers, people usually turn to online directories. They display a business’s name, address and phone number. At times they also display some additional information like description or menu. Online directories basically rule the first page of the local SERP. By using local SEO agency, you can increase your chances of getting a higher conversion rate. This basically means that by getting your business listed properly, you might be able to convert the leads into actual customers.
4. Not Everyone Knows About Google My Business
This is literally the best weapon at your disposal. You might be surprised by the fact that there are people who are clueless about the listings and benefits of Google my business. As per a survey, there are only 45% of the people who have claimed their listings and optimized it. Not only this, GMB is a free way to get your business associated to Google and enjoy the perks. Getting listed on Google My Business can help boost your chances of showing up in local search results on Google which will automatically make people find you more reliable.
5. Brand Awareness
Let’s say Emily wants to call a plumber but she has no idea whom to call. She will turn to Google and search for a plumber near her. It might have been difficult for her to pick one but what will help her are the reviews and ratings.
A strong review profile is a major factor in the achievement of different local businesses. There, increase your company’s online reputation, ask trusted customers to leave a positive review about your business online and attract a number of new customers like Emily!
This is one way of creating brand awareness and getting the word of mouth out there in the neighborhood.
Top 5 Local SEO Tips To Remember
Now that you know the basics of local SEO and how it can help your business, there are few things which you must keep in mind. These tips will surely come handy-
Optimize Google My Business Profile
We know that this is the third time that we are mentioning Google my business. It is not to annoy you, it is because we care for your business and we want to be sure about the fact that you understand how important it is. You should ensure that you update your profile and even if you are thinking to make a change, make sure GMB knows about it. If Google can verify your business as authentic, the search engine could potentially reward your business with a popular sidebar space in Google local search which will make you stand apart.
Apart from the logo and the picture that you’d like to appear first on Google Maps results, you can also post photos of products and events to keep customers updated and show them what you do best. If you have a website, add your website’s photos to your listings as well.
Add Schema Markup
If you were looking for a USP, schema markup it is! When you Google something, you’ll often find the information you need right there without having to click through. If you’ve searched for the opening hours of your local branch of Starbucks, you may recall that the timings were displayed as part of the search result. This type of search result is created using data the search engine knows about your business which is literally information on the go for the searchers.
How this doesn’t appear there magically. The markup is formed by adding Schema Markup code to your site which tells Google and other search engines snippets of information about your business.
Schema.org says, “Your web pages have an underlying meaning that people understand when they read the web pages. But search engines have a limited understanding of what is being discussed on those pages. By adding additional tags to the HTML of your web pages—tags that say, “Hey search engine, this information describes this specific movie, or place, or person, or video”—you can help search engines and other applications better understand your content and display it in a useful, relevant way.”
Create A Buzz On Social Media
If you have an established social media presence then it will definitely work in your favor. Create a profile on all the social media platforms which are relevant for your business. Make sure you post content on a regular basis and your clients are posting positive reviews as reviews have the power to influence a person’s decision. Many people refer to social media accounts and reviews before making a purchase so make sure you have all of that in your favor.
Create Local Content
Make sure you have relevant and local content on your website. Try to be the local authority for your industry by endorsing local industry gatherings and other educational content on your blog. Think of the content that goes beyond what your business sells and educates the users away. This is also a great way to earn backlinks.
Also, if you have different physical stores then make sure you have a dedicated landing page on your website in order to save yourself from any confusion or mix up.
Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile Friendly
Most of the users spend time on their phones and no one opens a laptop to search for something. Ensure that your website is mobile friendly and it doesn’t take ages to load as it can really increase your bounce rate. Some of the most common ways people will use your site in a mobile setting are to look up reviews, find directions to your location, and search for contact information.
Not only this, but it also influences the search engine rankings. If your website is mobile-friendly, your users will spend more time on the website which is a positive thing for your business and it will improve your ranking too. Delete any unnecessary information from your website and eliminate heavy files.
To sum up, your small business SEO packages are very important if you want to connect with the right audience at the right time and convert them into a client. Make sure you follow the above-mentioned tips which will pave the road to success for your business.