When’s the last time you needed a new pair of keys made or a suit tailored? Or maybe you were looking for a new brunch spot to enjoy a Sunday at?
Chances are you used Google to find a local business to help solve your problem.
This is local SEO in action!
Almost half of all searches on Google are looking for local information, and as a small business owner you can’t afford to miss out on the potential of gaining new customers.
In this article, we take a look at 4 benefits of local SEO and provide you with key stats that will want you to invest more in your local SEO efforts. Let’s get right to it!
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is the business practice of optimising your business’ web presence to help it rank better in search engine result pages (SERPs) and reach local audiences.
Local SEO in action!
With a greater focus on local areas, local SEO will allow your business to appear in SERPs in response to relevant, local search queries. Searches like ‘barber near me’ or ‘best Chinese restaurants Sydney’ are prime examples of this.
Three main factors influence a business’ ability to appear in local SERPs:
- Proximity: how close a business is to the searcher.
- Relevance: whether or not your business offerings are relevant to a search query.
- Prominence: how trustworthy, reliable or popular you are as a business.
4 benefits of local SEO
Local SEO Benefit 1: Increased online visibility
One of the biggest benefits of local SEO is increased online visibility. 97% of people learn about a local business online than anywhere else. If that isn’t a good enough reason to start looking into SEO, we don’t know what else could be!
Local SEO has the power to increase your online presence and visibility. In other words, it brings your business in front of the eyes of the aforementioned 97% of people looking for information.
Without it, you’re potentially missing out on traffic and sales for your local business.
Key local SEO activities such as citation and link building is a great way to start growing your online presence. Citations are any mentions of your business’ name, address or phone number (NAP) on third party websites. Examples include your NAP on online directories such as Yelp or Citysearch.
Citations on Yelp.
Google uses citations and links to verify your website’s legitimacy and relevancy to search queries.
Optimising your website to target specific local keywords such as ‘near me’, ‘where to buy’ or ‘in [x city]’ are another way to increase online visibility. You’d be hard pressed not to do so as well – ‘near me’ type searches grow by more than 400% year on year!
Local SEO Benefit 2: Greater inquiries and traffic
More online visibility inevitably leads to more calls, inquiries and traffic for your local business. Here are the stats to back it up:
- 72% of people that do a local search visited a store within five miles.
- 88% of searches for local business either call or visit the business within 24 hours.
- Over 50% of ‘near me’ searches result in a physical store visit.
- Search result information will send 70% of consumers to a physical store.
As you can see, people are much more likely to engage with your business if they’ve found you on local SERPs.
Local SEO can bring more people into your store.
The traffic you gain isn’t limited to the digital variety either. If you own a brick-and-mortar store, local SEO will help you get more foot traffic and more people through the door of your store.
Strategies such as optimising your Google Business Profile can bolster your visibility not only on SERPs but on sites such as Google Maps as well – another way that local SEO generates more calls, inquiries and traffic to your website.
Another addition to the benefits of local SEO that will help your company phone buzz more often is with Google 3-Pack. The Google 3-Pack is the listing of three businesses you see first in SERPs for local search queries. The extra visibility will lead to more consumers to call your business before any of your competitors.
A Google 3-Pack example.
Local SEO Benefit 3: More reviews, more trust
One of the key pillars of strong, effective local SEO is customer reviews. According to Moz, customer reviews and testimonials increase your ranking and have been found to account for about 15.44% of SEO ranking credit.
Apart from their effect on your local search rankings, they are also integral in building trust and credibility. In fact, customers spend up to 31% more on companies with excellent reviews and an increase of just 0.1% in star ratings increase conversions by 25%! It goes to show just how important good customer reviews are.
But how do you encourage more customers to leave a review – and good ones at that?
You can ask for customer reviews in places such as your website and social media platforms, and you can encourage them by offering incentives such as store credit or charitable donations.
Customer reviews can make or break your business.
Ensuring your customer reviews are glowing is a matter of your product or service. If your overall offering is strong, it will reflect in the reviews and testimonials left by your customers. It’s important to make sure the majority of your reviews are good – 82% of shoppers won’t choose a business with less than 3 stars!
Local SEO Benefit 4: Maximised sales and conversions
Out of all the benefits of local SEO, this is the most impactful: more sales and conversions for your business. Everything we’ve talked about up to this point leads to more conversions. From a greater online presence, more traffic and better customer reviews – they all work together to increase the number of customers, purchases and profits.
Need some stats to back it up?
18% of local smartphone searches lead to a purchase within 24 hours (compared to only 7% for non-local searches). To tack on to that, 78% of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase.
Grow your customer base with local SEO.
A big reason why local SEO is so good at converting potential customers is because it is extremely relevant. A recent survey revealed that 91% of customers are more likely to shop with brands that provide relevant offers and recommendations.
Local SEO is able to do just that, providing the most relevant solutions to problems that customers are actively searching for, and if you’ve implemented it well, it will be your business that searchers will see first.
Get your business the attention it deserves with local SEO!
Local SEO is one of the best ways to grow your local business, and these 4 benefits of local SEO and the stats back it up! Get ahead of the competition and become the go-to business in your local area with local SEO today!
If you want a hand in reaping the benefits of local SEO, get in touch with us at ZipZipe Digital Marketing! Our team of SEO experts will help you set up your local SEO strategy, complete with Google My Business optimisation and citation building. Talk to us today and see what sort of SEO services we can provide for you!