Local SEO Is Important For All Companies
Local SEO is often misunderstood by marketers and businesses. It sounds like it has something to do with your location. You might want to pass on it because of your global outreach. But local SEO is actually more relevant to your customers’ location than your own.
Thanks to handheld devices and mobile connectivity, the importance of location is now more significant the ever. Imagine being near Fairmount Avenue and looking for the closest place to eat. Will you search online for ‘restaurants near Fairmount Avenue, Baltimore‘ or ‘restaurants in Maryland‘?
Neither. You are most likely to search for ‘nearby restaurants’ or simply type in ‘restaurants’ and wait for Google to show you all the nearby cafes and restaurants.
This is what local SEO is all about. It helps businesses promote their services and products to local customers when they are looking for a local business.
Search engines like Google, in particular, are now focused on the intention and purpose behind users search terms. This means that only the most relevant results are displayed, especially on the first page. Hence, location is now one of the most important factors and metrics for building relevance between a business and its prospects. This makes it just as important for small businesses as it is for multinational companies. You may have a global outreach, but you need to focus on each market individually in order to appear higher on the SERPS.
To further highlight the importance of local SEO, let’s take a look at some of the benefits it can deliver.
Local SEO Improves Segmentation
The number of your online prospects is only multiplying with time. You need to increase focus on particular target markets in order to capture the right market segments. While market segmentation is not as easy as it sounds, it is the key to creating targeted campaigns. You can segment your market based on several criteria such as age, gender and most importantly, location.
Without local SEO, your business might not even appear on the first page for a certain area, particularly if it is new.
Local SEO is All about Targeting
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to marketing. For example, if you own a shoe shop, you won’t be showing a stiletto to an eight-year-old boy. Similarly, if your shop is in Baltimore, there is no point in targeting a person looking for similar shops in Rockville.
Local search marketing is highly targeted. You can work on a campaign that focuses on the area you are actually serving. If the customer isn’t searching for a business using a particular name, then the playing field is open. Through local SEO, you can easily gain exposure and connect with potential customers.
Local Builds Competitive Advantage
If you have a sports gear brand that only sells in Maryland, your biggest competitors would be other brands that sell similar products in that particular area. There is no point in focusing on global brands such as Nike and Adidas unless you have established a lead over local competitors. Similarly, bigger brands need to focus on locally available brands when expanding their outreach into new territories.
Assuming that you do not need local SEO because of your size or the diversity of your target market will only stop you from reaching hundreds of potential customers.
SEO & Local Directories
Compared with the local marketing channels such as print media, the highest conversion rate is enjoyed by online directories. Your business should be listed in all the local directories such as Yelp and Foursquare. Then, users looking for relevant services or products in your area can successfully connect with you.
Through presence on local directories, your local SEO can be enhanced. Even if you have a weak online presence, being listed in local directories would allow customers to find you with relative ease.
Google: My Business
‘Google My Business’ listing is a free to use feature by Google. This is a powerful business profile tool and another way to advertise your business. For example, your hairdressing business might be listed on Google along with the location of your shop. But other information such as your business hours, official website, owner/manager name, etc. might be omitted from the given information.
Online reviews/ratings provided by users also encourage potential customers to determine the quality of your services/products. 88% of local customers trust these reviews and base their final buying decisions on them.
Local SEO is what allows potential customers to find you. Thereby, helping you acquire qualified leads. It doesn’t matter what services or products you are offering or what the size of your company is. Local SEO efforts improve your business and drive more sales.
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