Running a local business is hard graft and getting found is so difficult, particularly at the start. It can feel like nobody is ever going to walk through the door. You find yourself constantly out there putting flyers through doors, standing outside supermarkets, plastering posters all over local parks and libraries, and doing everything possible to make people in the local area aware of you. It may be working a little bit, but it just doesn’t seem to be driving as many customers through the door as you hoped (or need!) to be successful.
Now wouldn’t it be easier if you simply just automatically popped up in front of their eyes every time they googled a ‘near me’ search, or asked Siri for a business recommendation in their area?
It can seem impossible to rank on search results, particularly if you’ve got a lot of local competition. However, with the right strategy, and expert advice, it’s a lot easier than you think.
Organic search results bring the most traffic to your website, but did you know there is a specific branch of SEO designed to optimise your site to target customers in your area?
A local SEO strategy focuses on getting your website to rank for local search terms, ensuring you’re appearing in front of the eyes of people in the surrounding area of your business.
It’s different to general SEO as it’s way more localised, preventing you from appealing to people who will never use your business purely due to their geographical location. Local SEO is particularly important for local businesses which rely on foot traffic and in-person sales alone, helping to get people through the door and make conversions.
When correctly used, a local SEO strategy is incredibly beneficial for so many reasons. From brand awareness to sales, it improves most aspects of your business. Some of these ways are reasonably obvious. Some of though, are quite unexpected…
How A Local SEO Service Will Boost Your Business…
Local SEO can help you to achieve the majority of general marketing objectives you have for your business, and without optimising for it you’re missing a massive trick. There are plenty of ways local SEO can boost your business, both quite obvious and strange. Here are the most common ways…
1. Higher Conversion Rate…
Are you sick of calls from keen potential customers, who then turn out to be on the other side of the country? Local SEO allows you to target very specific areas, from a single town, to several towns or counties. The possibilities are endless on where you want to target, but the point is you can target specific areas in which you want to work.
Rather than appearing in search results for those 50+ miles away, local SEO ensures that you’re appearing in local search engine results. 28% of local searches become purchases so the chance of conversion is much higher. Your potential customers want a local business that provides the product or service they desire, and Google’s local SEO results provide that information, leaving them likely to come to you.
2. Brand Awareness…
When you recognise a brand, it makes them much more trustworthy. Being recognised on a global scale is incredibly difficult, and not particularly worth it for a lot of businesses, especially smaller ones, but it’s much more achievable to become a recognisable brand on a local level.
It all starts with local SEO.
When you’ve optimised your website correctly for local SEO, your brand awareness will increase as you begin to appear in more search engine results for those in your area. The more people who see and recognise your brand, the more likely traffic will convert as people will have heard of you, inciting trust.
3. More Repeat Business…
Those who have visited your business based on a local Google search are more likely to return back to you, as long as they had a pleasant customer experience. Repeat business is the holy grail, and those who live around the corner will come back again and again. Not only that, they’ll recommend you to their friends and family in the area when they need your business due to both your great service and the convenience of being close to home.
Therefore, as long as your local SEO is working hard for you, and you’re great at what you do, you will attract plenty of locals who will come back to you time and again, and happily promote you through word of mouth.
4. A Better User Experience…
When your website has been fully optimised, customers can find any information that they need about your business with ease. In turn, this creates a better user experience for any potential and current customers, increasing the chances of making a sale.
Google will also be pleased that your users are able to use your website and will likely rank you higher in the SERPs.
Current search engine algorithms prioritise content that offers the best possible user experience. So, the fact that your website visitors are landing on a business that is conveniently located, and easily contactable will make Google happy.
The fact Google is happy will send more local customers to your website.
Who will be pleased by their experience.
Leading Google to bump you further up the SERPs.
And round and round it goes…
5. Bypass Your Competition…
There has been a 900% increase in “near me” or “close by” searches in the past two years, which is why local SEO is now more important than ever.
Of course, if you optimise well for local SEO, you’re going to bypass your local competitors who aren’t optimised properly. For example, if you’re Googling to find a product or service, are you going to go for the business on page one which is close by, or keep scrolling through the pages of results because you really want to go to a different company, over an hour’s drive away?
We know you want quick results and convenience, so it’s clear which company you would choose.
6. Local SEO Is More Cost-Effective…
Local SEO is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies. This will help to boost your business as it’s an investment, working out a lot cheaper than running PPC ads in the long run. This is because when you place a PPC ad, they will only appear as long as you keep paying and the cash you’ve spent is gone. Local SEO when properly optimised will cause your page to appear in front of potential customers for plenty of time to come. It may take longer to get yourself to page one of Google, but once you’re there you’ll stay there until you’re outranked by another page. For more information on this, you can read our blog on how SEO never dies…
SEO is great for small businesses with low budgets. It will help you to save money as if your optimisation is done correctly, you’ll make more than you’ll spend. Of course, you have to put the work in to grow your business online presence, but the results are longer lasting.
The Weird Ways Local SEO Boosts Business…
Local SEO is a marketing strategy that you’d expect to help you hit your marketing goals. However it’s quite peculiar as it has some super weird side effects which you probably hadn’t thought about, never mind wanted to achieve. Yet when they happen, they are extremely useful.
7. You Start Ranking For Random Things…
If your SEO is done right, you’ll start showing up in local searches that have nothing to do with your actual business. This is because other terms will naturally get mentioned in blogs and other content which you have published on your site.
This may seem irrelevant, but it’s actually great. You end up outranking businesses that actually sell the random stuff you’re ranking for, so people click through, land on your website, don’t find what they were looking for, but learn about you and what you do.
For example, Acrylic Digital’s website currently ranks for local yoga search terms because this blog post mentions yoga. While we don’t offer yoga classes, we do offer marketing, and some people who like yoga also need marketing.
We had two new leads just last month from people Googling yoga who suddenly decided marketing was actually a really good idea!
People who find you through random search results might not want or need your products or services at that moment in time, but thenext time they do, they’ll think of you.
8. You’ll Get Invited To All Sorts Of Shenanigans…
Once you’re ranking for local search terms, anyone running a local event is going to find you.
You’ll get invited to participate in round tables, networking events, farmers markets, charity dos, and all sorts. You can then choose which would be beneficial for publicity, and make connections with other companies in the area.
Of course, you don’t have to get involved in every single event which crops up, but some may be worth it.
9. Other Local Businesses Will Suddenly Love You…
You know those competitors who’ve always been absolute d*£%$? Well, once you outrank them (and everyone else in the area) they’re suddenly going to want to ‘collaborate’.
Because, if they can get a guest blog or a mention on your website, linking back to theirs, they can improve their own ranking using all your hard work.
Politely decline their offer.
Guest posting swaps and collaborations are great with other local businesses but only if they are non-competitors! Ensure to do your research before accepting a guest post or collaboration, work with those that are beneficial, and watch your SEO rise and rise!
Need help getting the ball rolling with local SEO? Contact us below to book a free consultation and discover how we can help you…
Our Junior Copywriter Shann Greenway is a creative wordsmith. Blogging is her passion, and she spends most of her time writing and editing. As a self-confessed music addict, she loves reviewing albums and interviewing artists, a hobby and skill which transfers well into her role here.