The advent of the internet has done wonderful things for small business owners, no longer are they restricted to the confines of the saturated advertisement methods of the past such as newspaper and radio as means of proliferating their company name and message. Those who utilize the web effectively can reach potential clients in volumes never before imaginable, empowering them with a sphere of influence previously reserved for businesses on a national and international scale and with the associated commercial budgets.
Local business men and women now have the tools and the opportunity to transform their businesses that generations of the past could only dream of, yet recent studies have shown that as few as 20% of business owners have implemented an effective local SEO strategy. This is an astonishingly low number considering the fact that almost 75% of those businesses who have implemented local SEO campaigns stated it has definitely improved their overall profits.
If you are a local business owner, you may have asked yourself questions such as how can I increase my sales and/or brand awareness? Or how can I rank my business website in Google so potential customers see it when searching for specific keywords? These are questions that local SEO can answer, so let’s run through the what, why, and how of local SEO.
What is Local SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization; it is the process of optimizing one’s website through a variety of methods for specific keywords with the end goal of ranking as high as possible in the search engines. This can be targeted towards specific countries or just generally worldwide and for any kind of website, whether it be a business site or personal blog. Local SEO zooms in specifically on the location of your business and the surrounding areas with the hope that when people search for a certain business type in a certain location your business is ranked number 1 in Google for that term, such as “Plumbers in London”, therefore resulting in more clicks through to your site and in turn more sales.
Why is it Important?
46% of all Google searches are local. This is a huge number and proves people are turning to the internet in droves, not just for general, far-reaching searches but for businesses and services much closer to home. The main reason people utilize local search is to find local businesses. It is highly targeted and the primary factor behind the massive conversion rates of those companies who utilize intelligent local SEO.
How to Transform Your Business with Local SEO
You can address this in 1 of 2 ways, either by consulting a specialist SEO agency or by doing it for yourself. An agency will work with you to implement an effective local SEO strategy aimed at boosting your conversion rates and increasing your sales, they set out to achieve this goal through a number of different methods such as competitor analysis and the testing of various on and off-page factors. Implementing your own local SEO campaign may seem daunting, but it is certainly a viable option. The obvious upside is the financial saving you can make and may be something to seriously consider should you be operating on a particularly tight budget. However, it may take you a very long time to see results (if at all) due to your lack of expertise. This is an important decision that only you as the owner of your business can make, SEO is not the future it is the present, anyone not doing it is already behind.