As search engine optimisation is now poised as a vital marketing tool for businesses, it is fast becoming one of the harder marketing strategies to master. Getting the attention of customers online is an increasingly difficult pursuit, especially when everyone is racing to be top of the pile of search engine results. Leveraging your online strategy to focus more on your local vicinity can have a greater benefit if you’re using the internet to attract customers. Here’s why:
- Local SEO is a means of targeting the immediacy of the market available. The common mistake most businesses make when undertaking SEO is using highly competitive keywords. This ultimately means that you’re immediately competing for traffic on a global scale. You wouldn’t go running against a seasoned athlete without training? A business should take a more realistic and piecemeal approach when attracting traffic and firstly focus on the market around them whether it’s North London or Gibraltar.
- Local SEO makes your business look more authentic – focusing on a local scale increases a search engine’s ‘trust’ factor and how the business appears to consumers. For instance, having your business’ location on maps and utilising links from review sites enables a company to be more distinguishable than simply having some information online.
- Developing your local SEO benefits your overall ranking – recently local listings have risen in the major search engine results. Whilst it’s proven that users value these listings as more reliable than organic or paid search results.
- Local SEO is the best means to entice mobile traffic – prominent social media sites are focusing their efforts towards more localised results that mobile technology is harnessing. Take for instance Facebook’s graph search or the Google+ local results. You will soon be able to reap the full benefit of mobile traffic just by engaging in local SEO now.
- Local SEO increases conversion – Users searching for more localised terms are more likely to convert. If you were in Gibraltar, looking for a hair salon – naturally you’d search ‘Gibraltar Salon’. People tend to forget that for many potential transactions the person is often in the proximity of the area for which they are looking for their desired result. Many businesses are simply omitting this minor detail. It is much more likely that the person will follow through to the website and eventually connect with that business if they are in the area.
How can you immediately instigate a change?
- Ensure that you have a mobile-friendly version of your website available.
- Put your local area in your keywords!
- Take the time to check social profiles are as complete as possible.
- Be sure that contact details are accurate (test them on maps to make sure that the location is found immediately).
- Showcase your business’ name, location, and phone number on almost all pages of the site.
- Ensure that the business’ location is placed on various search engine maps.
- Make relevant media and customer reviews highly visible, to increase the trust factor of both the search engine ranking systems and prospective customers.
Local SEO is fundamentally the same as SEO on a larger scale, rankings may still change daily and a number of factors can affect your visibility. With temperamental search engine algorithms and increasing competitiveness over keywords, it can still be a challenge to rank.
There are no guarantees that your efforts will have you popping up for every relevant search in your area. If you can’t donate your time to the ongoing process of SEO, it’s important to find an SEO service provider that keeps on top of industry developments that can be utilised in your field. This way, you can focus your efforts on the strategy in other areas. Whether it be embellishing this optimisation with rich web content or even the operation of the business itself.
However, local SEO serves as a great starting point or a focus of realignment for those hoping to get their business that much-desired online traffic.