Affordable & Cost-Effective
Many listing and local directory sites allow you to list your business for free. So it’s very unlikely that you’ll have to invest a significant amount of money in your local SEO efforts. Your biggest investment will be time as you’ll need to go through all your listings and make sure they’re completely filled out and that they have all the correct information displayed. That’s a relatively small price to pay considering the increased exposure your business will receive. Essentially, these sites make it easy for you to promote your business for free or at a low cost. And while you should go back and regularly check your listings for accuracy (or respond to reviews where necessary), there’s usually not too much upkeep involved. Once your listing is set up, you can typically leave it alone and let it drive customers to your website or into your business.
If you do invest money in your local SEO efforts, you’ll be reaching only those people who are specifically searching for businesses like yours. That means you won’t be wasting money on advertising to individuals who are unlikely to become customers.
What better time to reach a potential customer than when they’re actively in need of your goods or services? Local SEO is incredibly effective at reaching your target audience. As many internet searchers engage in general searches when they need something, effective local search marketing techniques will ensure that your business ranks higher in search results. For many local searches, Google will display a local listing map pack that shows the top three results along with a map. As you might expect, the majority of clicks go to these top three listings. As such, it’s very important that you strive to be among the top three results when the occasion calls for it.
High Conversion Rates
If you’re looking for a strategy that offers serious conversion rates, then you’ll be delighted with local search engine optimization. It’s estimated that almost 80% of local mobile searches result in an offline purchase. Local directory sites also boast a high conversion rate. A 2016 Nielsen study suggested that Yelp seems to drive the highest conversion rates of all, with 92% of respondents “at least sometimes, frequently or almost always” making a purchase after visiting a business’ listing on the site. If you can secure a high local ranking for your small business’ website and you have solid listings with good reviews on local directory sites, you are making it easier for potential customers to choose your business.
Reach Mobile Users
The majority of internet searches are performed on mobile devices. And about half of all mobile searchers are looking for specific business information like addresses and business hours. Frequently, much of this information can be found in local search results. Many mobile users rely on these results as they intend to visit or do business with the company in question. So, if this information isn’t correct, you’ll be missing on out on sales. Similarly, not having a strong local search presence will also impact your sales. The second most common type of mobile searches is general business searches, wherein the searcher is looking for a type of business. As mobile devices are likely to continue to account for the majority of internet searches, you’ll be helping to ensure that your company gets the attention it deserves when you focus on creating an unparalleled local search presence.
Increased Website Traffic
The higher your small business ranks in search results, the more clicks you’ll get, and the more traffic your site will receive. While there’s not always a positive correlation between website traffic and sales (although ideally there will be), traffic from local search results tends to produce higher conversion rates. Getting more visitors to your site plays other beneficial roles, too. First off, your site and all of its content will help to establish your brand in the mind of your audience. For your new customers, your site is the first impression they’ll get, so make it a good one.
Secondly, once you have a visitor on your site, you’ll have the opportunity to see how they interact with it. Tools like Google Analytics make it quite easy to see how long visitors spend on different pages, your website’s bounce rates, and much more. You may be wondering, why does this matter? Well, when you know how people are using your site, you can adjust your website to provide a better user experience. This process will involve testing, tweaks, and time but it will be worth it.
The user experience is an essential part of search engine optimization. If your website visitors have a difficult time reading or using your website, high bounce rates and other statistics will signal this to search engines. As search engines are in the business of providing quality, usable results, it’s not worthwhile for them to rank these types of sites highly. But when you tailor your site to meet your customer’s needs, this reflects well not only on your website but on your brand, too.