When you’re looking for a business near you that will print your holiday photos, repair your favourite pair of shoes, or whatever else you may need - how do you find it?
You Google it!
Appearing in local search result pages (SERPs) can generate highly targeted traffic to your site and to your physical business, which in turn can result in increased brand awareness, generate leads, and boost sales.
You may already have strong SEO practices in place and may ask: why is local SEO important? There are additional signals that Google uses to rank your business locally rather than nationally. Keep reading to have your question answered.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a branch of search engine optimisation (SEO) that involves a strategy that optimises a business and its website to help them appear more visible in local search results on search engines, such as Google.
On top of the usual ranking factors for Google, its local search algorithm uses three factors to present the best result to match the search query- relevancy, distance, and prominence. Relevancy is based on how closely related a result is to the searcher’s query. Distance is how far Google believes a searcher is from the location of the business, and prominence is how important Google considers a business to its competitors.
Google then displays two types of search results for local searchers- the ‘local pack’ results, which involves Google Business Profiles and a map, as well as organic search results. The local pack, or map pack as it is otherwise known, features at the top of and half-way down the local Google search results displaying the top local business listings and a map.
Organic search results appear below the local pack and are the blue text link search results that we are all used to seeing on Google. A good local SEO strategy means your business can get seen in these results.
Any business that has a physical location or serves a particular geographic area can benefit from local SEO. Google’s local search algorithm relies on particular signals, such as local content, social media pages, backlinks, and citations, to provide the most relevant local search results to its users. Local SEO formulates a strategy to optimise the particular signals that Google relies on, such as local keyword targeting, localised content and backlinks, local business directories, social media, and positive reviews. By optimising these aspects, not only will Google view your business as more relevant and prominent, but the customers in your local area will more likely view your business and be more inclined to travel further down the marketing funnel.
Adhering to Google’s algorithm and guidelines while creating an excellent user experience on your website are, in general, the best SEO practices, but they are also crucial for your business to rank in search results which Google has deemed to have local intent.
Why Local SEO Matters
Optimising your website with SEO is good practice and highly beneficial but taking it one step further to local SEO can help drive highly targeted traffic towards your site and business. These are a few of the reasons why local SEO matters:
Generates brand awareness
Local SEO optimises your website to draw in traffic at the top of the marketing funnel, the awareness stage. Good SEO practice is to keep the content your brand produces informative, fresh, relevant to users in this initial stage and high quality. By creating content of this nature, you can start to build trust and gain the brand recognition you desire. Local SEO encompasses local keyword targeting that can be incorporated into the content your brand produces, but it is not all just about keywords in the content. This content and website optimisation allows your brand to build a story surrounding it that will resonate with your customers.
Connects you with your local audience
There are billions of Google searches each day, and 46% of those searches are looking for local information. Incorporating local SEO into your marketing strategy helps you to be more visible in these search results. Local SEO optimises your website and content so that search engines know when customers are seeking your products or services in the area. Unlike traditional advertising methods, such as radio or print ads, local SEO targets users who are actively searching for the products and services in your area, which in turn could make it more likely that they will convert to customers.
Generates foot and web traffic
Whether you have one storefront or hundreds, a strong local SEO strategy is key to driving more people to your store and website. Strategic local keyword targeting and ranking for these keywords can drive highly targeted traffic towards your website and send more customers your way.
Out of all the people that conduct a local search on their smartphone, 88% of them visit a related store within a week. Without a strong local SEO strategy, you will miss out on ranking for a large majority of Google searches, making it difficult for people to find, locate, and visit your business.
Builds your credibility
Local SEO, particularly when trying to rank in the local or map pack, includes managing your online reputation. This is done by monitoring reviews and responding to customer feedback. Doing this not only helps you to qualify for the local pack but also helps to build credibility and trust with potential customers, which can lead to more sales, repeated business, and brand loyalty. Surveys have shown that last year 95% of consumers read reviews before purchasing a product, and 56% of those consumers said they would pay more for a product from brands with good reviews.
Local SEO also helps your brand to rank better in organic search results, which in turn improves your chances of ranking in the local pack. Appearing at the top of SERPs means that Google deems your brand to be credible, which is a belief that is then passed on to your consumers. It also drives more organic traffic to your site and encourages more brand searches.
Generates leads and sales
There are billions of Google searches each day, and the majority of them are conducted on smartphones. Out of all the local searches conducted on a smartphone, 76% of the users conducting the local search visited a relevant physical store within 24 hours, and 28% of those searches resulted in a purchase.
By those statistics, ranking well on SERPs is one of the most important factors for local lead generation. Not only does ranking well in local SERPs drive highly targeted traffic to your site, but ranking well in organic search results can lead to higher conversion rates and an increase in ROI for your brand. A good local SEO strategy will focus on building your brand's reputation. By doing this, you can boost your bottom line and grow your local customer base.
Local SEO with Anchor Digital
If you have a storefront, multiple fronts, or serve a geographic area, you should now see that local SEO matters immensely to your business. Not only can it drive highly targeted traffic to your site, but this traffic can result in leads and sales. Local SEO helps to build the credibility of your business, while the best general practices optimise your site to build brand awareness.
At Anchor, we build our strategies with transparency which are tailored to your business goals by our highly skilled team of experts. We use tried and proven tactics to get the best results for your goals as a brand. For more information as to why local SEO matters and how Anchor can help with your optimisation, have a look at our SEO services or contact us.