In a span of years, the way small businesses can run its operation and successfully tap into the market has changed. Thanks to several updates and improvements in search engines, it is now easier for consumers to find businesses, products and services which they need and these have also change users’ search behavior.
As a result of this change, the competition is now heating up. With users no longer have to use specific location to search for nearby businesses, local SEO is now more important than ever. The thing is, not everyone has realized how important the role of local SEO in their business is. These days, if you are not on top, someone else will be. They will have greater chances of getting traffic, leads and eventually sales.
So keep on reading to know why local SEO is still important and why you should never ignore it.
Young Consumers Still Trust The Locals
The small business industry is experiencing a dramatic shift to digital. It is about time for local businesses to take their businesses to the digital marketing world so local consumers can connect to them.
Millennials are digital natives. Most of them would rely on using search engines and directories to search for local businesses. Most of them don’t even have a precise business in mind. Optimizing through top keyword searches will give you a competitive advantage to tap into the millennial market. Through local SEO you can actually provide essential information such as business name, address and phone number (NAP) which is crucial so you can convert these users into local consumers
Millennial consumers have already surpassed the number of consumers of generations before them. It would be a great opportunity for your business to grow if you can successfully connect, drive leads and sales from them. You can effectively do that if you know how to use local SEO for your business benefit.
Some Local SEO Tactics Never Get Old
Through the years, local SEO has experienced a lot of changes. Gone are the days where you can go easy-peasy in doing your local SEO marketing. While these are for the greater good which allows searchers for safe browsing, it has become extra challenging for small businesses to successfully market their business in local search.
But there are still local SEO strategies that never get old. Take a look at some of them.
Meta Title, Description and Structured Data Markup
The meta title and description of your content are still very crucial in your marketing campaign. It reflects your business and how it is displayed in search results. With Google increasing the width of the main search results column, it gives you an opportunity to craft a short but compelling title and descriptions for your business. So make sure to use these additional spaces wisely.
Otherwise known as schema markup, structured data markup helps Google spiders to crawl and determine what your site content is all about. Structured data markup is still very important so search engines such as Google can fetch information about your business, the products and the services you offer and other relevant information.
Google My Business
Whether you like it or not, Google My Business page is still very crucial for your local business. Complete your Google My Business page and fill in all other information aside from NAP including payment modes, opening hours, description and categories so you can get exposure in local searches.
So claim and optimize your Google My Business page. Besides, you have nothing to lose. It’s free.
Online Business Listings And Reviews
Yelp, Yellowpages and Merchant Circle. These are some online business directories you should never ignore. When searching for products, services or businesses online, the first thing most consumers do is to search online. Thus, you need to be consistent with your information in different local business listings to create brand retention.
Online reviews are also crucial. These days, consumers trust reviews as much as they trust personal referrals. Encourage reviews from previous customers to boost the reputation and try to monitor them consistently so you can address any negative reviews as soon as they arise.
While local SEO gets harder every day, it is important for you to know which strategies should you keep and which should rather be tossed out.
Local SEO And Mobile Marketing Working Together
Early 2016, Hitwise Mobile Search revealed how much mobile search is initiated by users in every industry.
These revealed that although some industries such as banking may be lower than other industries, there is still a huge opportunity for local businesses to leverage on local mobile searching. This is an indication that mobile searching could bring a huge impact to local SEO if businesses know how to make these two searching factors work together. There are several studies that show how local searches in smartphones can actually direct to actual purchases in physical stores.
Here are some statistics which shows proof that users of today are actually using local mobile searches in searching for businesses.
Statistics from Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior (May 2014):
- 4 out of 5 consumers use their smartphones, tablets and computers to search for local information (store address, business hours, product availability and directions) in search engines.
- About 50% of consumers who did a local search in smartphones visited the physical store within a day as compared to 34% from tablets and computers.
- 18% of local searches in smartphones lead to a purchase vs. 7% of non-local searches.
- 4 out 5 consumers wants ads tailored according to their zip code, city and nearby surroundings.
These are clear indication that for your local SEO tactics you should not overlook mobile searching. You have to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. Make sure your website is responsive whatever devices the consumers are using. Also, don’t forget to make your call-to-action clear.
As more and more people prefer smartphones over the desktop in searching, you should now start involving mobile searching in your local SEO strategies so you won’t get left behind.
The importance of local SEO never falters. In fact, it is getting more and more crucial. Now that more and more consumers are changing their path to purchase, it is about time for you to step up your SEO game and digitally bridge your business to consumers.