According to Google over 46% of all searches have a local intent. This means that nearly half of the searches done on Google are people looking for a local business that offers a product or service they need right now or in the near future. If you own a business that serves local customers, you'll want to be found quickly and accurately by those potential customers. That's where Local SEO is vital to your business and your bottom line.
Local SEO or Local Search Engine Optimization is all about increasing the online presence and online visibility of a local business. It applies to any business with a physical location as well as service business that may serve customers within a certain geographical area. Good Local SEO involves managing listings, reviews, ratings and locally focused social media. If done correctly a business will gain new customers and engage their current ones which in turn will lead to increased profits.
In our featured picture you can see what Local SEO is all about. We optimized the online presence for one of our clients Grayson-Carroll-Wythe Mutual Insurance Company. Prior to optimization there was some incorrect or missing information regarding their business name, phone number, website address, business hours and what insurance products they sell. Now the information is clear, concise and easy to find.
You might wonder why some of this information was incorrect or missing. It is often due to the way the search engines accumulate information about a business over time. Human errors, change of address, change of phone numbers, misinterpreted data etc. all add to the problems.
It’s easy to see how a consumer could get confused and turn elsewhere if they dial a wrong phone number, go to a wrong business address or send an email to a dead account. Don’t let that happen to your business!! Let us optimize and enhance your business listings and information.
Local SEO is also important to business owners that don’t have a website or social media presence. Not sure about this? Then we ask that you search for your business on Google or Bing. Do you see your business listed? If so, are your business details correct? Perhaps the phone number or address listed is wrong. Perhaps even the spelling of your business is wrong. The search engines have gotten better over the years in eliminating incorrect information, but you’ll always want to present yourself in the best way possible to new and current customers.
We realize that many businesses have invested thousands in print advertising, radio and television advertising, outdoor signages etc. Isn’t it equally worthwhile to be sure that all your business information is correct on the internet? Ask most anyone under the age of 35 how they locate a business to patronize. Odds are they’ll tell you that the internet is the first place they look.
Let’s face it. The days of people using the phone book are pretty much over. People are using their mobile phones, laptops, tablets and desktop computers to find information about local businesses.
Let’s look at some statistics
96% of PC owners conduct local searches
46% of all Google searches are local
64% of local customers use search engines and directories as their main way to find local businesses
50% of local mobile searchers look for business information (like a company’s address or phone number)
A whopping 78% of local mobile searches result in an offline purchase
The top reason people perform local searches is to find a local business. The second most common reason is to find a product or service. If you want a quick reason why Local SEO is important, this is it. Online directories (like Yelp, Citysearch, Foursquare, etc.) display a business’ name, address, phone number and sometimes additional information (like a menu or business description). Local directories dominate the first page of many local search results.
It is more than worth the time and expense of making certain your business is listed correctly, with good photos and an accurate map. It could well mean the difference between gaining or losing a new customer.
We use a multi-step process to get your business listed correctly, clear up any issues and help you manage any current online ratings or reviews. We will look at your current listings, your local competition, how customers are finding businesses like yours and even optimize your website (if applicable). We also offer a monitoring service where we will keep up with any changes to your listings and monitor new online ratings and reviews.
We do a thorough check to see how your business is listed on the internet and social media. We also look for existing online reviews and ratings, how your website (if applicable) is ranked, and if you have a Google My Business or a Bing Places for Business listing. We carefully review all of this information and begin to formulate a strategy to address any issues we find.
The second step is to find out who your local competition is, how they are listed and ranked and how customers are finding them. We do a keyword analysis on your business and your top two or three competitors to see where we can improve your business listings.
This step involves Citation Building, Local Directories, Creating or Improving your Google My Business and Bing Places for Business listings and Link Building. Depending on our research it might also involve modifying some items on your website and social media, responding to reviews and ratings and content building. Please note: This step takes some time to accomplish and results will not be had overnight.
The final step is monitoring the changes and results of our work. It may take as long as 60-90 days for some improvement to be noticed although 3-6 weeks is often the case. We will review the changes at that point and if further work is needed, we will proceed from there. If you would like extended monitoring of your Local SEO, we will be glad to discuss this with you.
Local Search Engine Optimization much like Search Engine Optimization is a lengthy and ongoing process and should be considered as such. We recommend a yearly review of your listings, reviews and ratings if constant monitoring is not in place. If you have any questions or concerns we will be glad to discuss these with you.