How can local SEO boost your local store?
If you have a local store, local SEO should be one of the key parts of your online marketing plan. It may very well lead to either massive gains or huge missed opportunities.
But before that, let’s get the basics down. What is local SEO?
Local SEO isn’t equivalent to SEO, to start with. It’s a specific subtype of it instead.
Basically, it’s the process of improving visibility for local businesses in the search engine results pages for local searches.
A local search is a search that’s geographically constrained, e.g. “Italian restaurants near me” or “daycares in Bedok”. The constraints here are obvious: the searcher’s location in the former and Bedok in the latter.
From this, you see that local search is primarily for businesses with brick-and-mortar locations.
Why is local SEO important?
So why is local SEO so important for local businesses?
All you have to do is look at the numbers: 46% of all searches on Google include local intent.
That means 46% of all Google searches are from users who want to see results that are geographically relevant to them. In general, that means results close to them.
For example, say someone Googles “cafes near me”. That already shows you local intent: this person is looking for cafes close to his physical location.
Local SEO allows you to take advantage of and prepare for this. It lets you put important information about your site online.
This information may include the address and contact info of your business, as well as highlights of the types of products or services you offer.
But let’s break down the potential advantages of this marketing technique in detail, as they’re so worthwhile. This should also underscore our point about local SEO being necessary for a lot of businesses.
How will local SEO benefit a business?
1. Improve visibility
Local SEO can help your business climb up Google's search rankings for people who are looking for your service.
With those improved search positions, you could get more visibility. That makes your business more easily discoverable for new customers.
For best results here, your local SEO plans should aim for your website or business to end up in the Google Local Pack. These are the 3 top-ranked local business listings on Google relevant to a local search.
The Google Local Pack’s prominence makes it an amazing tool for businesses. It lets you grab a customer’s attention right away for a local search and highlights you as one of the first choices they should consider.
Try to keep your business information detailed and accurate in your Google Business listing for a better chance of appearing in the Local Pack. This includes your address, contact details, operating hours, and even Google Reviews rating.
2. Increase your relevant traffic
With greater visibility usually comes greater traffic. Best of all, local SEO doesn’t just give you more traffic: it gives you qualified search traffic.
That’s because it optimises your business for a specific area. It signals to Google that your business is local and that you're relevant for queries conducted in your location.
So, you’re not just funnelling random visitors to your site this way. You’re funnelling visitors with high intent to use your products or services, or to actually visit your store.
Just think about it: instead of getting site visitors who may be 50km from your store, you’re getting ones who are nearby and thus, actually able as well as likely to visit. Instead of getting site visitors who just happen to be tangentially interested in one of your services, you’re getting ones already planning to buy.
It’s not hard to see how this is an advantage.
3. Boost your “credibility”
The prominence local SEO gets you is not just about traffic. That same visibility can also boost consumers’ trust in your business.
When consumers see you more often, they’re more likely to think of you as an established and reputable brand. So, even if people don’t use your services or products the first time they see them, they’re already more likely than before to give you a try afterwards – if only because you don’t seem like a completely unknown brand by then.
4. Market to locals cost-effectively
Local SEO is one of the most cost-effective marketing methods you can do nowadays.
It costs just a little time and zero fees to put up a business listing on places like Google My Business and Facebook, for instance. And these are the listings that arguably count the most, not the paid ones on online directories.
That’s amazing value when you consider what you can get in exchange for those free listings.
5. Get better conversion rates
As mentioned earlier, local optimisation also increases brand awareness and credibility. Both of these can generate potential leads and sales.
This works in tandem with its ability to send you qualified traffic. Your conversion rate improves as local SEO helps you reach customers in particular who are ready to buy.
This isn’t theoretical. Numbers already bear it out, especially on mobile:
88% of consumers will call or visit a business in 24 hours after doing a local search on mobile
92% of searchers select a business on the first page of local search results
80% of local searches convert on mobile
Get started on your local SEO now
Local SEO is decidedly one of the most important steps you can take to market a local store or service. As you can see, it can be key in ensuring the visibility of your business to those who live close enough to patronise it.
If you need help setting up your local SEO or getting your business listing to the Google Local Pack, get in touch with us. We can assist you in the process, as we’ve done with many other clients.
Simply contact us for a chat about your digital marketing needs and we’ll come up with ideas for your business and brand!