Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a term that every business with an online presence should be familiar with.
SEO is the process of producing web content to get traffic organically from search pages. Think of the first results you see when searching something on Google, that’s SEO at work.
Now that we find ourselves in a digital era, SEO is an important tool in building your business or brand.
Search engines have become essential for all businesses, with 90% of customers using search engines. Of those who use search engines, 75% won’t even look past the first page while almost 30% of people go to the first link, 15% go to the second, and 10% go to the third. So optimizing your website’s search engine standing can play a big role in your success.
This is why so many businesses make an effort and put resources into appearing high on Search Engine Result Page (SERP). To accomplish this, businesses target industry-specific keywords to reach their intended audience.
When successful in SEO, your business will appear at the top of the SERP, which means more traffic, more views, and more customers. And because it’s organic and doesn’t rely on media purchases, that means a higher return on investment (ROI) and lower customer acquisition cost (CAC).
SEO is a part of digital marketing. It needs a strategy that fits your audience and your market. That’s why we’re writing this blog, to help your local business reach the heights you want it to.
It’s important to know that local SEO is different from national SEO. This is because instead of attempting to reach a general audience, it strives to appeal to people looking for your services where you are.
Any business that serves a local region or has a brick and mortar store will benefit from a local SEO strategy.
Did you know that almost 50% of Google searches are for local businesses? And that over 80% of smartphone users search “near me,” when using search engines? That means that your local business should be using a localized SEO approach!
For example, if someone searches for “dog groomer near me,” search engines will give them places near them instead of giving them a more general listing of the top ranked dog groomers nationally.
Making a small effort into your SEO strategy can produce great returns for your business, and the first step is easy. One of the most efficient ways to improve your SEO strategy is to simply make sure that your business’ name, address, and phone number (NAP) is kept up to date in your Google My Business page and also in any local directories where your business may be listed.
Local directories are also necessary for your businesses SEO success. Differences in names, addresses, hours or phone numbers between directories can not only harm your local search rankings but can also annoy customers.
Many local searches take place on search engines, yet local businesses should also look to better optimize sites like Yelp, Facebook, or Angie’s List as well.
Optimizing your local SEO shows search engines that your business can meet the needs of locals, which will then push you up the ranks and increase visibility in local searches. Search engines will increase the opportunity to become more visible with handy features, only available when a user searches with local intent.
So when you optimize your business on search engines, your company immediately ceases being a lone hyperlink in a sea of search results and turns into something far more accessible. Users get a feature-rich experience, making you all the more clickable, making your business all the more successful.
Interesting local SEO stats
- Approximately 46% of all searches include location.
- Roughly 97% of people who use online search, look for local businesses.
- 28% of local searches result in a purchase.
- Approximately 78% of mobile local searches prompt an offline purchase.
- Searches for “Near me” or “close by” keywords grew by more than 900% since 2018.
- 88% of consumer local business searches on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours.
These statistics help reaffirm the value of local SEO use for your local business. Successful local SEO use will help drive online purchasing while also physically bringing customers into businesses, whether they live in the area or are visiting.
How SEO works
Being successful in SEO is simply understanding how search engines work. And while that sounds like a steep challenge, it is easier than you would think.
Search engine performance can be broken down into three categories:
- Crawling: Search engines have crawlers that search the internet through website links to discover pages that exist in order to help identify the best web pages to be evaluated for a query. These website links bind together pages in a website and websites across the web, and in doing so, create a pathway for the crawlers to reach the trillions of interconnected website pages that exist.
- Indexing: The information accessed by crawling is then added to the search engines index, which is a collection of websites in a database.
Ranking: Finally, the search engine displays the indexed content from most to least relevant. This is based partly on the data it received in the “crawling” phase, but also how other users respond to a given set of links, how much information it contains, page traffic, and how recently it was updated.