Have you heard that famous quote – “If it doesn’t exist on the internet, it doesn’t exist,” I’m sure you did. Back in the early 2000s, when the internet evolved, all the local businesses came online, and as a result, search engines now show thousands of local business websites for almost every product/service you search for.
Nowadays, if your business doesn’t exist on the top of SERP (Search Engine Result Pages), it doesn’t exist for most of your customers.
Because of so much competition, the majority of the searchers don’t even visit the second page, and search results ranking at the top get the most web traffic. Here comes the importance of local SEO for small businesses.
Local SEO improves the online visibility of your businesses for local search queries and helps you attract more customers. This method is more beneficial for local businesses that cater to a particular geographical location.
What is Local SEO
In the most simple terms, Local SEO is a practice of Search Engine Optimization that focuses on improving ranking for local search queries.
For instance, when you search for ‘carpet cleaning near me’ from your home in San Diego, you will see a list of 3 carpet cleaners in your locality in San Diego along with their location and contact details.
These local results (also known as map pack) are the most common examples of Local SEO. Apart from that, local listing sites, location pages, regional keywords, etc. are some of the other Local SEO practices.
Importance of Local SEO for Small Businesses
1. More Online Visibility and Higher CTR
In recent years, “near me” searches have increased by 500% percent. That means, more and more people are looking for local businesses, and local SEO is the best way to show up at the top of SERPs for your business-related search query.
Implementing the best local SEO strategies, helps you gain higher rankings and more online visibility. Also, according to Sistrix, the top results on the SERP have more than 55% CTR in total.
That means a higher ranking improves your Click-Through Rate (CTR) and with suitable local SEO strategies, you can start ranking at the top for the relevant local search queries, which will help you get more online visibility and a higher CTR.
2. Increased Web Traffic
When you optimize your site, you are competing with large brands and businesses from different locations, which reduces your chance of getting noticed by your potential customers. With the help of local SEO, you will start raking at the top for local search queries, which will improve your CTR and increase your web traffic.
It is more helpful for local service providers like cleaners, janitors, plumbers, contractors, etc. Map Packs, local listing sites provide the website link along with the other contact details making it more convenient for visitors to go through your business site.
3. More Qualified Leads
97% of users search online to find a local business, and search engines strive to provide their users with the most relevant search results for their queries. So, when someone searches for ‘water damage restoration services near me’ he/she must be looking for a reliable restoration contractor.
With Local SEO, you can attract relevant traffic and get quality leads for your business. Local SEO methods like Google Business Profile Optimization help you provide all the required information like contact details, offers, a list of products/services, and prices. That helps you convert your leads into customers.
4. Higher Conversion Rate
According to a study by Google, 76% of people visit the related store/place after conducting a local search, whereas 28% of those searches result in purchases. Isn’t it a great opportunity for local businesses to increase their revenue?
Using the right local SEO strategies, you can target the local residents, as well as visitors, and attract them to your online/offline shop. It will help boost the calls, visits, and query forms and result in a higher conversion rate.
5. Builds Trust
Local SEO brings your local business to the top of search results for a relevant local search which gains you more online visibility and brand awareness, which results in enhanced trust levels.
Being in the local listing sites and Google map pack makes you a legitimate business with a physical presence. Also, with positive reviews and testimonials (which are significant local SEO ranking factors), your business will gain more credibility and trust. This helps in improving customer retention rate and also getting more mouth publicity and referrals.
What Businesses Can be Benefitted From Local SEO?
Local SEO is helpful for almost every type of business but it is most beneficial for local and small businesses that operate in a particular region. Here are a few of them –
⇒ Food & Hospitality
Businesses like restaurants, hotels, and cafes can benefit from local SEO. Locals and visitors often search for places to eat and stay which is beneficial for local businesses. Also, people can easily compare the pricing and reviews with local search results which helps in building trust and increasing store traffic.
Hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities like pharmacies can take the advantage of local SEO. In situations like emergencies people are looking for quick solutions and with local SEO, you can attract customers by showing up on the top of search results.
⇒ Home Improvement Businesses
Businesses like cleaning, electricals, plumbing, restoration services, pressure washing, handyman, etc; can be benefitted from local SEO. These are the commonly required services, and people often look for a business from neighbors.
⇒ General Local Businesses
Other local businesses like Clothing, groceries, salon, departmental stores, florists, etc can also take the advantage of local SEO. Because even though brands have their own customer base, many people still look for local businesses and trust them. Also, local SEO can help you in case of last-minute purchases where local businesses are the best options customers have.
Local SEO is of utmost importance for improving your ranking for local search results. By optimizing your website and local directories, you will gain more online visibility and qualified leads which can be converted into customers. Local and small businesses can also leverage local SEO for increasing website traffic and building trust.
Local SEO is an inexpensive and simple process. By using relevant keywords, optimizing your Google Business Profile, and improving citations in local directories, you can get the most out of it. However, the credibility of your business is also a local ranking factor.
The bottom line is, local SEO is a helpful tool for small businesses that can produce results with fewer efforts. So, if you are a small business owner, invest in local SEO today.