Why Local Business Owners Shouldn’t Ignore SEO – Key Points
That’s one of the biggest arguments put forward by SEO experts to lure small businesses into getting their services.
And it works. Almost every time.
Who doesn’t want the same power on the web as say, Amazon, after all? If SEO gets you that power, you’d be down for it in a minute.
But what if you don’t want (or rather don’t need) to compete with Amazon?
Or any other global biggie for that matter!
Say you run a local bakery. You don’t need to compete with a bigger bakery with deeper pockets if it isn’t in your locale.
The same goes for other local service providers like doctors, dentists, physiotherapists, plumbers, chemists, florists, handymen, lawyers, gyms, and more.
You, of course, don’t want or expect people to drive from other states to your fitness center, do you?
So then, if you have a local business, you can ignore SEO, right?
SEO does more for you than just giving you an edge online. It can also boost your local business. And that’s exactly why local businesses shouldn’t ignore SEO.
How do local business SEO services help?
Here are 6 key ways
Read on and get local SEO services to boost your geography-specific business today.
6 ways local businesses can benefit from SEO services
With local SEO, small businesses get –
Higher local visibility and brand awareness
As of 2020, 93% of consumers used online searches to find local businesses.
This shouldn’t come as a shock given that yellow pages and classified ads have long since been irrelevant.
People are obviously not flipping through dusty old books looking for florists in their county or ZIP code. They just Google “florists near me”.
In fact, 97% of people find out about local companies online.
And by the way, these “near me” types of searches have grown by 900% in the past 2 years.
So it is obvious that online visibility via search engine optimization will also make you popular among the people in your locale.
And these people are your potential customers, so it is important for you to make sure you are visible to them. Moreover, it is good to be the popular plumber in town, right? The more people know about your brand, the more they are likely to trust and try your services/products.
More qualified website traffic
A lot of local businesses suffer from the problem of unqualified traffic.
Let’s understand it with the help of an example.
Say you are a dentist in Orange County, California. Now you want people in Orange County to visit your website and schedule a visit through the appointments WordPress plugin you are using for your clinic, right? But in the absence of proper location-based SEO, your website also shows up in the results for people in Texas. Now Texans with tooth ailments visit your website. But when they get to the appointment scheduling part on your service schedule software, they realize your clinic is in California. The result? They bounce away.
That’s a waste of their time. But more than that, it means your website is getting irrelevant traffic. And as Google sees more get leave your site disappointed, it thinks you aren’t worthy and your rankings go down. There’s no silver lining to this dark cloud.
You can, however, turn it around with thoughtful investment in local SEO services.
Did you know that 42% of local searches result in clicks on the Google Map Pack?
That means when people conduct locational searches and your website ranks in the Google Map Pack, 42% of people are likely to land on your site. That’s good, qualified website traffic for you. Imagine how many of those 42% people will also one day walk into your store and the dollar bills they’ll leave before going.
Visibility is the key to success in retail sales. You cannot expect people to shop for something that they don’t see.
The case of Google search results isn’t very different either. Unless people see your website, how do you expect them to click through and find out more about your local business?
And data suggests that 92% of people will go with businesses that appear on page 1 of the local search results.
That means if you ignore SEO, and don’t rank high enough on local search result pages, you stand a chance of losing 92% of your potential customers to competitors.
They’d certainly thank you for that. But it’s a definite no-no if you are willing to stay in the green.
More in-store traffic
A bustling storefront is every local business owner’s dream. You want people to keep coming in. After all, unless people walk into your store you won’t see money flowing into your account either.
And guess what, SEO, if done keeping in mind your business location, can help boost in-store traffic too.
The numbers prove it.
- According to HubSpot, 72% of consumers who carried out a local search visited the store if it was within 5 miles.
- 88% of people who searched for a local business on their mobile phones either visited or called the business within 24 hours.
And if you are targeting a millennial audience, it’s even better for you. That’s because 42% of millennials who perform local searches visit the business “most of the time”.
Also, millennials are 50% more likely to conduct local searches when they are already out and about. That means not long after they have done the search, they’d be walking into your store.
Advertising has always been and will always be expensive. But search engine optimization can help you lower the cost of paid ads.
Websites that are more optimized from an SEO standpoint have to pay a lower cost per click when they run Google Ads. So boosting your local web presence will make sure you are also able to advertise for cheaper with Google.
Do people even want ads, you might ask.
Statistically speaking, they do. And people don’t just want ads, they want ads customized to their city or ZIP codes. In fact, 72% of desktop/tablet users and 67% of smartphones have been vocal about wanting such customization while viewing ads.
So here’s the drill → Optimize your website’s local SEO → get to run ads at a cheaper rate + Satisfy your audience as your ad is for people in the right locale.
No matter how big or small, localized or global your business is, metrics matter. You want whatever that you invest in should bring you returns, right?
Well, guess what, local SEO is known to yield a great Return on Investment (ROI)
Back in 2016 itself, research by Think With Google proved that 28% of local and nearby searches resulted in a purchase. Now, the percentage would have become much higher.
Also, from an engagement standpoint, local SEO is great as it has a 22% session share and yields the highest ROI as it results in the most page views per session.
Get local SEO services today
Now that you know why local businesses shouldn’t be ignoring SEO, it is time to get started with local SEO services.
46% of local businesses have already started using SEO and 79% of them found it to be an effective channel. Don’t get left behind competitors and engage an SEO agency that specializes in local business SEO today.