Generally, owners of local businesses feel they do not require a website. Because traditionally, local business has always relied on word-of-mouth to attract customers. Websites were an unnecessary luxury, fancy toys for the big guys to play with.
A decade ago, that might have been true. However, all that has changed in the last few years.
People are looking for local businesses online
According to local SEO statistics,
46% of searches on google include local intent
97% of users use search to find local businesses
28% of users purchased an item after a local search
70% of users will visit a store because of what they found online
Your potential customers in your local area are definitely looking your services up online, and if you don’t have a website, you might as well not exist for them.
So how do you tap into this audience?
First, you get a well-made website. Then, you use a little thing called Local SEO.
So what is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Sounds fancy, it’s only a tactic to optimise websites to naturally increase their rank and visibility in search engines. In even simpler terms, it’s just knowing the right words to add to your website.
While general SEO is great for ranking your website for ranking nationally, local SEO can help you target specific audiences in your area. Read on to learn how a local SEO strategy can benefit your business-
1. Local keywords get a higher ranking on google
Consumers are far more likely to search for their business in a specific general area. This means keywords that help a business rank locally are far more useful than those that help them rank nationally. Think about it- if you run a cake shop in Ohio, you don’t really care about someone in New York finding your business. But someone in Main St finding you on their phone? That’s invaluable!
2. Local SEO can convert local searches to offline purchases
According to retail dive, 67% of consumers say they research a product or service before making a purchase. And, with 30% of all traffic going to the first page of Google, it’s no wonder that businesses that appear on the top benefit the most. With a proper local SEO strategy, you can make sure you appear in front of every person searching for your specific niche, and convert them into sales.
3. Free source of local advertising
Unlike ads, you cannot buy your way into SEO ranking. Doesn’t matter if you’re a small burger joint on the street corner or McDonald’s, you’re all on the same playing field. That means, with proper technique, you can even compete with the big player- all for free.
4. Get reviews from your local clients
People tend to buy from businesses that are trusted by other people. With Local SEO, you can encourage your local customers to leave positive reviews for your business. This builds social proof, which in turn builds your credibility.
5. Reach clients who are searching for your business NOW
When a user searches for a specific product or service, most often they want it in the very near future. Consider local restaurant searches, where 64% of searches convert immediately, or within the hour. That means, if you’re the restaurant that shows up on the first page of their search, there’s a more than 50% chance they’d decide to visit you within the next hour. This, of course, applies to all kinds of business. If a potential customer in your area looks up your niche and you show up as the closest to them, they are far more likely to choose you over your competitors that may be further away.
6. Target users on mobile devices
Did you know over 78% of users look for local businesses on their handheld devices? . That means, for local businesses, a mobile optimised local SEO strategy can be especially lucrative when it comes to promoting their services.
7. Local SEO is far more cost-effective
There’s no getting around it- ranking on google is insanely competitive. Businesses spend thousands of dollars and have dedicated employees optimising SEO 24×7, all in a bid to rank higher nationally, or even globally. But, on a local level, there are far fewer businesses competing for your chosen keywords- which means you get a far better return on your investment.
Ready to start implementing local SEO for your business? You’ll need a website. To learn more about the benefits of a well-made website, click here.