Why is Local SEO Important to Small Businesses?
If you’re a start up, or small business, it’s likely that local customers are a key factor in your ongoing growth. Which means that one of your digital marketing goals is likely to focus on people using ‘near me’ searches on their phones. Local SEO helps you to stand out in local phone searches by getting your business featured in Google’s local 3-pack.
Local SEO works differently, and more quickly, than organic SEO. This blog will look at what it is, what it does, and how to get it working for you.
What is Local SEO?
For local shops, or service providers (plumbers, electricians, decorators), being found by potential clients is critical to business growth. Most new customers will find you by using a Google search on their phones. They’ll most likely type in ‘plumbers near me’. In the search results they’ll see sponsored ads at the top of the page, followed by what’s called the Google 3-Pack. This comprises 3 featured local businesses under a local map. These are the businesses that searchers are most likely to choose.
Local SEO optimises your business for local searches. The rewards are clear. You’ll see a growth in the number of local customers who’ve found you through searching for exactly the products or services you’re providing. And with 94% of local searches happening by phone, this is a business opportunity it would be mad to miss.
Google My Business
Local SEO requires Google to be able to locate your business location accurately and consistently. It does this via the Google My Business profile. All businesses wanting to appear in the featured 3-Pack slot need to populate this profile. It’s important to ensure that the business address you use is consistent across every application (social media, website, forums) otherwise Google won’t promote it.
Other ways Local SEO maximises your chances for the ‘top spot’ are:
- Reviews. Having reviews from local customers will improve your chances of searchers following through. It will also strengthen your Google My Business profile.
- Citations. These include online mentions from local businesses, journals and newspapers, and listings in local business directories.
- Social Media. A lively Facebook page, or Twitter following, demonstrates that you’re part of a local community, especially if there’s plenty of engagement with your posts.
- Optimised Website. A website that is optimised for mobile provides user-friendly landing pages for searchers. A slow-to-load, or non-optimised website will clicked away from.
Work Involved in Setting Up Local SEO
- Google My Business. This involves completing your profile, cross-checking business address accuracy across all applications, requesting reviews, and creating regular featured snippets.
- Website Optimisation. Ensuring that your website is fully responsive, and that the loading speed is under 5 seconds. Creating local landing pages, and local blog posts utilising SEO.
- Social Media & Citations. Maintaining a local Facebook page, Instagram account or Twitter feed. Create opportunities for local citations.
About Outsource Your Marketing
We’re a tightly-knit network of marketing specialists offering a comprehensive range of outsourced services to businesses. Outsource Your Marketing provides local SEO for a number of businesses and we’ve had excellent results with our clients consistently appearing in the local Google 3-Pack. They tell us that the resulting surge in visitor numbers is tangible evidence of its effectiveness as a digital marketing strategy.