Why Your Small Business Can’t Afford to Skip Local SEO Marketing
To make the best donuts on this side of the Ottawa River you have to follow a recipe without skipping an ingredient. The same principle applies for business management. Too often the things that can help your business are neglected. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in the game for years, your business can’t afford to skip local SEO marketing. Local SEO improves your website’s visibility when potential customers search for products and services on search engines. Many consumers also prefer to support local businesses over big chain stores, giving you an opportunity to get a leg up on your competition with local listings. Local results appear at the top of a search results page, so local SEO is absolutely necessary for long-term success. While the research and implementation of a successful SEO strategy may seem like a lot of work, agencies are always available to lend a hand. From leads to increasing your bottom line, a local SEO service can help you reach your business goals. Here’s how.
Take the First Step: Get Online
About four out of five consumers search for products and services online via search engines. 86% of consumers use the Internet to find a local business. Online search is also the first choice to find information on local businesses for 72% of consumers. If your business doesn’t have an online presence yet, especially a local listing, you are missing out on being found by hundreds if not thousands of users each day. Think of all the donuts you could be selling! If you haven’t already, get online, create a local listing, and start reaching a larger customer base. But having a website isn’t enough. If you don’t rank well (i.e. on the first page) of search engine results pages (SERPs), you will still have limited visibility online since the majority of search users (some estimate peg as many as 90%) don’t look past the first page. But when SEO is paired with other online marketing strategies, such as social media and blogs, you can boost your search rankings and visibility online, along with your brand awareness. In turn, this ultimately leads to more business for you and more tasty treats for your customers. Yum.
Go Mobile for a Local SEO Focus
More consumers are using their smartphones and other mobile devices for online search and activity instead of desktop computers. So to reach this growing mobile audience, you need a mobile-friendly site. Sites that promote user experience, especially mobile-friendly sites, will rank higher on SERPs than sites that don’t have a mobile version. You also need to ensure that all versions of your website, social profiles, and web presences have complete, up-to-date contact information (i.e. business name, location, phone number) to make use of local SEO on social media platforms and for mobile users. Business location is the main search focus amongst local search users. Once a local search has been made by mobile users, about half of them will visit the business within 24 hours. Local searches, local visits, and local sales are all related. Many people search for a local business in their area while in transit, with the intent of visiting the business soon after.
Local SEO Improves Business Visibility
Better visibility online directly correlates with an increase in sales. If your business appears near the top of a SERP, more people searching for your products or services will see your business and be more likely to click on your website. And if they like what they see on your website, then you’ll have a better chance at increasing conversions and sales.
Build Brand Awareness and Trust
While having a website is better than nothing, you still need to build brand awareness online. Brand awareness is one of the benefits of ranking higher on SERPs with the help of local SEO. But you have to work to maintain a high ranking. Posting useful, quality content with relevant keywords on your website will help. As will a strong online presence on social media that utilizes SEO best practices.
Make Your Brand More Trustworthy
Search users usually only look at the first SERP because they are more likely to trust brands that appear at the top of the results. Local SEO helps you rank higher because your local listing is placed in a different class than PPC and organic results. Search engines, like Google, are placing local results at the top of SERPs. By boosting your rankings with local SEO, you can build brand awareness and appear more trustworthy to consumers. Users also tend to favour local listings on SERPs. These listings appear more authentic and trustworthy, especially when maps, verified contact information, photos, and customer reviews are present.
Increase Traffic and Conversion Rates
Local SEO services use intensive research and keyword analysis to find effective keywords that are relevant to your business. These are keywords used by a target consumer population searching for products and services related to your business. This process will target consumers who are more likely to contact you and visit your website and/or storefront. And when geolocations are added to the mix, users searching for products or services in your area will see your site. As a result, SEO generates high traffic and conversion rates.
Get Ahead of Your Competition
There’s a very good chance that your competition is already using local SEO. Try searching for them now and see for yourself. Are you confident that when people search for the best donut shop in Ottawa that your going to be visible on the page? If you want to have a chance at success in your industry, you need to implement an effective SEO strategy that will get you on the same page as your competition, and then eventually ahead of them with a higher search engine ranking. Even if your competition is much bigger than your business, small businesses can outrank larger businesses with the proper use of local SEO.
Deliver High ROI
When done properly, SEO is a cost-effective and affordable marketing tool that provides an excellent return on investment (ROI). The ROI is long-term since SEO provides non-stop organic traffic that would otherwise cost a fortune with paid advertising strategies alone. SEO is also customizable to your budget and the needs of your business.
How Bad SEO Marketing Can Negatively Impact Your Business
A poor SEO strategy will directly affect your bottom line. No one will be able to find your business online as your rankings will be too low or non-existent. This means no one will be able to read your content or learn about your brand. Simply put – your donuts will go stale before anyone gets to take a box home. Ultimately, bad SEO results in your business spending resources without any ROI. You won’t have web traffic, leads, or sales generated from search.
Why A Professional Kick-Start Is the Best Option
When done correctly, SEO works. It can deliver constant traffic to your site and boost conversions. But it’s not a simple feat. The world of SEO is constantly changing as Google releases updates and algorithms. These can change your ranking in a heartbeat. But there are professionals who stay up-to-date with SEO best practices so you don’t have to worry about it. Contact your local Ottawa advertising agency today to get started with local SEO services.