You already know the importance of having a website for your business. It puts you in front of millions of online users from every corner of the world. With such a large audience, sales are bound to go through the roof.
Sometimes, though, you don’t want to market your goods and services to the entire world. Targeting an audience in a city with your offices or stores brings in more revenue. To do that, you’ll need to work on local SEO.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a way of optimizing your business to a local market online. It’s an effective strategy for promoting products and services to local customers searching online.
That means Google and other search engines will direct all local relevant searches to your website, after a successful local SEO campaign.
Sounds like something your business could benefit from? If you answered with a yes, get ready to learn all about local SEO and all the benefits that come with it.
Before that though, it’s probably important to note that 80% of your local SEO efforts will be directed to Google’s ranking. That’s because Google enjoys an 87% market share, which means 8 out of every 10 visitors visiting your site use Google.
So, while it’s important to optimize for other search engines, there are potentially better results by focusing most of your efforts on Google.
Why You Want to Get on Google’s Snack Pack Results
Ever searched for a local restaurant, or any other local business, on Google? If you have, you probably noticed the results were split into two distinctive parts.
There’s the Google organic results section, and right above them is the Snack Pack results. It’s the boxed area on the first results page that shows up after a local search and displays the top 3 local businesses relevant to the search query.
You’ll want to get your business listed on Google’s Snack Pack section for a couple of reasons:
1. More Traffic
According to experts, businesses listed in Google’s Snack Pack results get 33% of all clicks while 40% of clicks go to regular organic results.
If your business gets listed in the Snack Pack, you’re only competing with two other businesses for 33% of Google’s traffic. That beats having to compete with more than 10 listings on Google’s regular organic results, wouldn’t you agree? And since you’re bound to be doing local SEO in tandem with organic SEO, you’re soon going rank in the Snack Pack and the organic results section increasing the number of potential customers coming to your site.
2. More Local Social Media Followers
Believe it or not, local SEO isn’t all about search engines. It’s also about growing your local business profile. Mentioning your business together with the local city inevitably leads to more social media followers, and consequently, more traffic on your website. One way or another, Google and other search engines will pick up on social signals and return your site for relevant local searches.
3. Local SEO Transforms Your Business into a Market Leader
Even if you’re one of the many millions of small businesses competing for a share of the online market pie, getting favorable local rankings transforms you into an authority in that market. When visitors come across your business on Google’s Snack Pack section or local listings on other search engines, they’re bound to view you as the market leader in the product or service they need.
4. Local SEO Bolsters Your Marketing Campaign
It’s easier to market a site that’s optimized locally compared to ones optimized for organic traffic. That’s because marketing to a local audience is easier than a global market, no matter how you slice it. Since you already know what the searcher wants in your market segment, it’s easy to come up with an effective marketing plan addressing all their needs.
Which Businesses Need Local SEO
These are some of the benefits you’re missing out by not doing local SEO. Here are a few businesses that do exceedingly well after locally optimizing their sites.
Dentists, chiropractors, emergency centers, and physicians, to name a few, all need a steady stream of new patients. In a crowded marketplace, getting new patients can be extremely difficult. More so if you’re a small practice. There are dozens of healthcare facilities in any given city, and frankly, not enough patients to sustain all of them.
How do you stay relevant in such a market? By separating from the rest of the pack through the proven marketing techniques. Local SEO is one of these techniques to help increase your conversion rates. Since most patients are more likely to use a search engine to find a practice close to them instead of the Yellow Pages, it makes sense to focus on local search engine optimization.
One study noted that 54% of patients under 40 use search engines to find local medical practices. Even older generations have started using search engines with estimates showing that 27% of people between 55 and 64 used a search engine to find a doctor.
These numbers underline why local optimization is so important. If your practice gets listed on Google’s Snack Pack or in the local listings of other search engines, you have the chance of converting the 54% of under 40 patients using search engines to find medical practitioners. Moreover, having your business show up after a local search builds credibility and reduces the cost of patient acquisition.
As a contractor, you mostly work with clients from or around your city. Rarely do plumbers, painters or roofers get work from clients several cities over. That’s why organic SEO never quite cuts it for contractors.
Local optimization, on the other hand, propels your business to the elite category of contractors. Once your renovation or plumbing business starts showing up on relevant local queries, it gains all the trappings of a professional, reliable, and capable service locals can rely on. In short, local SEO helps you gain credibility in your city.
That’s not even the half of it.
Contractors who optimized their site locally reported a drop in their marketing budgets. They also reported that they received more leads through calls and inbound traffic than previously. That means apart from higher revenues, contractors also get to qualified traffic ready for conversion coming to their websites.
Accountants, IT consultants, financial planners, and other professional service offerors stand to benefit greatly from local search engine optimization. Like we already saw, very few people turn to the local business directory to find a service or product. Rather, they jump on their favorite search engine to find what they need.
That’s why advertising your professional services business on the Yellow Pages and other business directories simply won’t cut it. You’ll need to do a bit extra to drive attention to your business, like associating your accounting services with your local city.
Local SEO helps professional service providers drum up business, advertise their services at no extra cost, and perhaps more importantly, establish credibility and confidence with potential customers.
Online businesses can also bank on local SEO to drum up business, increase their revenue, and establish credibility. If you own an online store and you’re looking to increase sales, optimizing the store for local searches might do the trick.
After your business starts ranking for relevant local searches, expect a permanent jump in revenue and traffic. Ranking on Google’s Snack Pack, or its equivalent, also creates an opportunity to expand your local social media following.
Local SEO is what most small online businesses need to punch above their weight. It is a way for small online entrepreneurs to compete on equal footing with the big boys.
If you’re going to be a success in buying and selling property, you’ll need to make a name for yourself first. Local people need to know you’re the go-to-guy for homes, condos, and other properties. A website and a Facebook page won’t help you corner the market, but local SEO will.
When your site appears in local listing results pages it won’t be long before it becomes synonymous with real estate. That’s all you need in this niche to succeed. You want potential clients presold before they come to your site. Getting your real estate business on the local results section does this for you every day on autopilot.
Bars and Restaurants
Google’s Local Search Results section has undergone a few changes over the years. With each change, more and more businesses get affected, as you’ll learn in a couple of seconds. Google unveiled its local results algorithm way back in 2008. Back then, businesses had a chance get one of the 10 spots o the local listing results section. The 10 Pack would come down to 7 in late 2009, and as in 2015, the Local 7 was cut down to three relevant listings. For Bars and Restaurants that occupied the 4th position downwards, the change from 7-plus listings to a 3-pack meant a considerable loss in traffic and business.
The business at the top of the 3-pack though gets the lion’s share of the clicks though. Getting to the top of the 3-pack always guarantees more traffic, both online and offline. The 33% of traffic that goes to the Snack Pack section means a considerable amount of traffic going to the business on the number one spot. Since most of this traffic is prequalified, chances are that searchers end up either making an inquiry or purchasing from the business.
Like every other business on this list, only local residents are interested in your venture. If you don’t get your local optimization right, be prepared to lose on a lot of revenue. You see, when someone does an online search for a pet babysitter, dog walker, or pet groomer, they’re not looking for someone who’s 20 miles out. They want a local, close enough that they can drop their pets on their way to work. Pet services business owners experienced a significant increase in business and consultations after doing local search optimization. You can replicate their results by engaging local SEO services firms.
Gyms and Personal Trainers
Another business model that benefits from local search optimization. People looking to get in shape rarely head to a gym in another city. Rather, they want a conveniently located gym equipped with the right equipment and personnel. If you can get your gym ranked as one of the top 3 gyms in your city, you’ll probably have to rent out additional space to keep up with the influx of new customers.
Now that you know what local SEO is, its benefits, and which businesses stand to benefit from it, why not get started by securing your Google Business Profile? Local SEO helps to promote your products or services while online searchers are on the path to purchase. You will need to start by optimizing for your city and local address so you can reach your target audience faster
Get Started Today
If you have still not considered a Local SEO campaign into your marketing strategy, now is the time. Want to learn more information about how we can work together? Whether you’re looking for done for you services or consulting, you can view the various options we have here at Lazaro Lifestyle Media. You can learn more about our Toronto SEO process by clicking here. We look forward to hearing from you!