Many business owners are already paying attention to the importance of search engine optimization (also known as SEO), and if you own and operate a business yourself, you probably know all about things like page rankings and keyword research. You’ve probably started to develop a solid presence on social media, and you’ve definitely had to make sure your website design is up-to-date and looking all snazzy.
But there’s one aspect of search engine optimization that’s a little bit harder to grasp — not because it’s actually difficult to master, but because it doesn’t seem as important as the other aspects and it’s often just ignored, especially by small businesses.
We’re talking about local SEO, and we want to discuss why your business shouldn’t be ignoring it any longer.
Local SEO is what pops up on the very top of a search engine results page (SERP, for short), along with a map of other local businesses and their addresses. Local SEO only really comes into play when someone is searching for a business close to them, but it’s growing more important on a regular basis.
Local search engine optimization isn’t a paid search advertisement, so you can’t buy your way in there; it’s actually one of the best resources for small businesses that are trying to compete with bigger corporations. Because the customers who see these local SEO results are actually in the area and are very likely to turn into conversions, a prime space on local SERPs is a great way to make sure that your business is getting as much visibility as possible.
This is becoming more important largely because more people are using mobile devices to access the internet; it’s estimated that at least four out of five consumers now own and shop on a smartphone, and even if consumers aren’t actually shopping on their phones, almost two-thirds are researching products before making a purchase.
Recent studies have shown that over 50% of all mobile searches are specifically to find local businesses, and 61% of those searches result in an actual purchase.
In other words, when people are on the go, they’re using their smartphones in lieu of a map or address book; more specifically, they’re using a Google results page to figure out where to spend their money. And if your business isn’t on that SERP, you aren’t even an option.
Wouldn’t you say it’s about time to start seeing whether local SEO is helping or hurting your business?