There is no denying that the internet has changed how we approach most aspects of our lives. Gone are the days of being called A1 something or other to appear top of the page in Yellow Pages or BT directory and other local marketing techniques. If you want to be found by customers local to you, then you need to start taking local SEO seriously for your business. In this blog post, we will dig into questions such as:
1. What is local SEO?
2. How does local SEO work?
3. How can it benefit my business?
For this blog, we will talk mainly about Google local SEO as it is the world's most used search engine, handling around 8 billion searches every single day, but the process of local SEO involves optimising your online presence for all search engines.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, so local SEO is the process of optimising your online presence for your local area and local search results.
Every business has one goal in common: to serve the needs of its customers. Search engines are no different; they exist to help their users find what they are looking for. To do this, they need to sort through millions of websites and determine which best serves the user's query.
Optimising your local presence in the search engines makes your business stand out in these searches to drive more traffic to your website or generate more customers.
Notice we said online presence, not websites. This is because local SEO isn't just about your website. It involves your entire online presence, from social media to anywhere your website is mentioned, but we will get into that later.
Local SEO is traditionally more beneficial for the smaller business owner who might not have the budget to compete with the big national firms or worldwide brands in terms of dominating high-value keywords and search terms. Instead, it focuses on optimising the online presence for the local area and local customers, where traditionally, smaller businesses generally draw their customer base from.
Think of a family-run hairdresser in the town centre. Do they need to rank for "local hairdresser" in London if they are based in Warrington? How likely is a person in London looking for a Warrington based hairdresser?
They could focus on ranking in every town and city for the terms relating to their business, but it would be a waste of money and effort. By focusing on the target area of Warrington and its surrounding villages, the business is more likely to stand out in the search results and attract more local customers by doing so.
1. More Relevant Traffic: When you target local customers, you encourage web visits from people who may become customers rather than only visiting your website.
2. Reduce Ad Costs: Ads are a valuable marketing tool but are also very expensive. If you can reduce these costs by being at the top of Google, why wouldn't you?
3. Improve Online Visibility: Google has reported year on year growth in searches looking for local products and services since 2015. Optimising your business to show up in these results is one way to improve your online visibility.
4. Build a Community: You don't have to be a big business to build a community around your brand. In fact, it is arguably easier as a small business!
5. Increased Sales: More online visibility leads to more customers, and more customers increase the chances of increased sales! We have never spoken to a business owner who had an end goal NOT to make more sales!
If you own a business and want to attract more local customers, then local SEO is one sure way to do that. We talked about the Google Map pack in another of our blogs, how ranking in this map pack is part of local SEO, and how it can boost your website traffic. Our blog is packed with blogs on everything digital marketing if you are looking for SEO tips .
Here at E2E, we are experts in small businesses and how they operate and here to take the strain from your shoulders when it comes to getting an online presence that works for you. We are a team of dedicated small business specialists who know precisely what it takes and have the tools, the skills and the passion for helping your business succeed online.
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