The buzz phrase on marketer’s lips at the moment is Local SEO. Sometimes businesses can get preoccupied with looking outwards and trying to grow their brand globally, so they end up neglecting one of their most consistent and loyal groups, the local market.
Local SEO is a super effective way to market businesses locally and not just to online customers; the information potential customers can grab from a well locally optimized business can lead them to physically visiting a business or giving them a call. Good Local SEO attracts customers according to their location, when they’re searching locally and looking to buy a similar service. Here’s why it’s important.
4 out of 5 people use their smartphone to research information locally, which isn’t a surprising stat considering how much more connected customers are and how mobile usage has exploded. People want instant results and when they’re searching locally, they’ve usually already made a decision about exactly what they want. Google claims that 95% of mobile users frequently look up local info on their smartphone and their aim is to physically visit or call a business, with 50% visiting a business within a day. This is why businesses need spot-on, accurate information displayed with tools like Google My Business, so customers can reach them easily. A website that is optimized for mobile usage is essential too, so customers can access info on the go, with 50% of mobile users preferring a mobile browser than an app.
Up to Date
As we’ve already touched on, having accurate info about a business on social media profiles, websites and targeted ads is crucial. AdWords pulls contact details from Google My Business, so ensuring that everything is up to date across platforms should be prioritised.
One of the biggest driving factors behind what motivates local customers to choose one business over the other is reviews. 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as they would a personal recommendation from someone. Yelp, Google+ Local and TripAdvisor are all prominent review sites and it’s a good idea to list businesses on sites that already generate relevant searches and attracts likely customers. Encouraging people to leave reviews in communications with customers and incentivising them to do so is a good way to help improve and increase reviews.
Getting a hold of local issues, events and trends is really important because businesses can then shape part of their content strategy around the local market. Using local keywords in URLs, heading tags, title tags and content means that you can cater marketing towards what the local community is interested in or what they’re searching for. Locally driven content that is more specific shows an appreciation and understanding of what local customers want.
Ranking in local search is highly important; it leads to more sales, visits and traffic. The local community is a valuable resource that shouldn’t be forgotten.