In a world where every business has to compete online against retail giants, it’s easy to think that search engine optimization (SEO) won’t make much of a difference for local small businesses.
That belief, however, runs counter to one of the most important, and powerful, small business marketing strategies there is: Local SEO. The benefits of local SEO for small business will have you wishing you started sooner.
When you invest in local SEO, you will boost your visibility in local search, reap the benefits of investing in your website, and grow your local business.
Let’s take a look at exactly what’s in it for you.
‘Stressing the importance of local SEO for your business is because it targets potential customers near you when they perform a search on Google and other search engines.
Localizing your content by including your town or city, ZIP code, and other local information, garnering local reviews, and building links will help your business appear for any nearby search performed for your industry, products or services.
When most people don’t travel for more than 20 minutes for their day-to-day needs (93% according to Access National Consumer Study), coming up at or near the top of local searches can boost foot traffic considerably. The best local SEO strategies will keep this in mind.
Think of locals who are using their devices to search:
- Restaurants near me
- Plumbers near me
- Barber near me
And many other online searches with local intent. Foot traffic is generated when your business appears in the top results for these every day online interactions.
Local SEO Benefit #2: More Web Traffic
If you forgo local SEO, then you’ll likely be competing for web traffic with the Amazons’ and Wal-Marts’ of the world, not to mention similar small local businesses all over the country. This means your website is far more likely to be passed over by the average search user.
Local SEO will make it easier for people who are near your business (within proximity) to find you, visit your site, and give you the opportunity to convert them into an in-person or eCommerce customer.
Another example is for those same searches except with specific cities, towns, or geographic locations included:
- Where to get coffee in Springfield, MA
- Christian bookstore in Chattanooga
- Are there any food trucks outside the stadium?
These searches will bring locals to your website to get more information and probably to find out if you’re open.
Local SEO Benefit #3: Earn Reviews AND Trust
Increased web and foot traffic usually means increased business, and part of the local SEO strategy will be to use that increase in business to create even more business, by asking existing customers to leave feedback online.
Online customer reviews are one of the most trusted sources of information customers use when making decisions on where to buy from, so more reviews means more trust for your business (even when those reviews are not all positive).
In addition, most consumers place more trust in the first handful of results from a search, so being near the top will engender more trust all on its own.
Local SEO Benefit #4: Repeat Business
Some of your new customers will just be people passing through while looking to pick up a few things, never to be seen again. On the other hand, with local SEO to help, consumers from your area have the potential to become long-time customers.
Once they know you’re there and they’ve had a positive experience visiting your location, they’re far more likely to return for repeat business.
The very first sale to one local customer could generate hundreds of more sales as they return and recommend you to their friends and family.
Use it to boost your local search ranking will put your business website front and center for anyone in your area who is conducting a local search for the products or services you provide.
This is often more effective than flyers, newspaper ads, and even social media marketing, allowing you to cut back on marketing costs in those areas.
Local SEO also offers a higher return on investment, making it one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies in the long run.
Local SEO: a Powerful Business Growing Tool
As you can see, SEO that targets a local audience can be a powerful tool for any type of business.