Local SEO: A Guide for Small Businesses
Newer digital tools and the growing adoption of mobile devices have changed how people search for businesses. When it comes to local search, businesses can no longer rely on directories (primarily phone books) or Google alone. Instead, there are now several other platforms that are accessible through desktop or mobile devices and lead users directly to a business’s website. These third-party sites are also known as local search engines or local directory sites, and they play an important role in connecting searchers with local businesses. Understanding these sites and how they can positively impact your small business is essential to developing a successful affordable local seo service strategy that’ll drive more customers your way.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO refers to optimising a website for local search to boost its rank on third-party local search engines. It’s essentially generating more foot traffic to your business by appearing at the top of search results. While SEO might be more familiar to many, local search optimization is a newer term that’s more in line with how businesses are using these tools. If you want to grow your business but don’t have an online presence, you’re essentially invisible. That’s why local search optimization is so important it’s how you get your business online and make it visible to potential customers.
Why Is Local SEO Important?
Local search engines and directories are the gateway to your online presence and the best way to attract potential customers. If you don’t have an online presence, you’re not likely to get repeat business. Once people have found your business online, the likelihood that they’ll make a purchase is higher than if they’ve only been to your physical store.
This is especially true for those who have never heard of you before; they might know the name of your company but have no idea what you do. Local search engines give customers what they want: a list of nearby businesses that enables them to quickly find what they need.
How to Achieve Local SEO Success
To attract more customers, you’ll need to increase your visibility on local search engines. The good news is that optimising your website for local search is easier than ever thanks to the latest technological advancements. Once you’ve optimised your website, you can also look into optimising your business’s hours, location, contact information, and more in local directories. This can include editing your Google My Business information (which we’ll discuss later) or adding your information to third-party sites.
The Importance of Having a Responsive Website
A big part of local SEO is ensuring that your website is optimised for all types of devices. With more people accessing the internet via a mobile device, having a responsive website is essential. A responsive website adapts its layout and content so that visitors can easily navigate it regardless of the device they’re using. This is especially important if you’re targeting a local audience.
Local businesses aim to provide an optimal experience to their customers, and if your website isn’t optimised for mobile devices, then it’ll be tough for them to do so. If your website isn’t responsive, you’re likely losing out on customers and encouraging them to shop at a competitor’s place instead.
Google My Business and Google Ads
Google My Business is Google’s local business directory. If you’ve ever seen a map with local businesses listed in the top left corner, you’ve seen a result from Google My Business. Google My Business is home to plenty of information on how to optimise your local business listing including an option to add a Google Ad. Google Ads are the business’s equivalent of PPC ads and a great way to get new customers. You’ll simply create a campaign, select your target audience, and Google will help you find the right people to show your ad to.
At the end of the day, there’s no denying that the internet has transformed how people shop. Instead of rummaging through a phone book and hoping they’ve found the right listing, they can now use a search engine to more quickly and easily find a nearby business. With this in mind, local businesses must use all the tools at their disposal to increase their online presence. All it takes is one click of a button for a potential customer to be redirected to a competitor’s website. That’s why it’s so important to invest in local SEO and have a strong online presence. By properly optimising your website for local search, you’ll be able to increase your visibility and attract more customers to your business.