If you own a business and are trying to learn new strategies for marketing, you've probably heard a lot about SEO. While it is talked about generally a lot, your local business can benefit immensely from it!
In fact, 70% of marketers see SEO as a more effective tool than pay-per-click advertisements! Translation? It's time to get on board with it.
Luckily for you, that doesn't have to be difficult. Let's talk about local SEO, what it is, and what the benefits are for your business' marketing strategy!
What Is SEO?
Before we talk about local SEO, we must define search engine optimization (SEO), which is a process of optimizing your online content to rank highly on search engines like Google. This isn't your typical marketing strategy where you pay for ads or social media campaigns, it can even be done for free if you know what to do!
There are a few ways people optimize their content. Google's algorithm (along with other search engines) plays favorites for certain types of content. Content with the right amount of links, views, word count, pictures, keywords, and structures will rank the highest on these searches.
For example, if you search “best home gym equipment”, you'll see a few ads on top that were paid for, and then right below is the number 1 result. Believe it or not, that one result is already going to get a third of the traffic out of any other article on any page of that search.
Different websites are constantly competing to appear in the top 3, and each has the task of optimizing their content to make it up there for a specific search.
Why Is SEO Important?
SEO builds organic traffic to your website and business. Organic traffic is traffic that is brought by people seeking out the information you have rather than being shown an advertisement.
Organic traffic alone accounts for 53% of all website traffic, so don't skip out on this!
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is pretty straightforward. It's simply SEO that is geared toward your business' region. This is super important if your business is regional and not completely online.
If you have a completely online business, like a blog or eCommerce store, you don't need to specify a location. However, if you're a local moving company or pizza place, location is crucial for gaining business.
Why You Need To Use Local SEO
There is some very good news when it comes to local SEO, and it's that there is less competition. In fact, a lot less competition than general SEO. For example, if you run a local childcare facility in a small city, then you only need to get ahead of a few other businesses on your search results. That's good news for you!
How To Use It
Again, being the top result on Google has enormous business advantages, and that top spot could be yours if you utilize your SEO tools.
First, you should absolutely start a blog on your website. This is where you can post content relevant to your business and location so that you have more and more opportunities to show up at the top.
“Moving companies in Glasgow” could be a common search for people looking for moving searches, and if you have a moving company in Glasgow, you only have one website. However, if you have 100 blog articles on moving companies, the best ones in the region, or what to look for in a moving company, then you just increased your odds of showing up on top 100 times over.
You should create a My Business account with Google, and verify your ownership of your business. You should then be sure to follow all your analytics, see how your website is doing, respond to customer reviews, and establish an online presence for your business.
Now that we went over the importance of having an active online presence, here is how to make the most of it.
You should write articles with relevant, up-to-date content about local news stories, big events going on, and anything else you can spin to your advantage.
For example, let's say that it's all over the news and social media that a band or a sports team is coming to town and you own a restaurant and bar. You can write an article about the best places to grab dinner and watch the Chelsea game, or where to grab drinks after the concert!
Sticking to this example, always use important keywords like the name of the stadium where this will be happening. A good keyword can be “restaurants near ____ stadium”, and use it throughout your content. It doesn't have to be too difficult.
Google Analytics will also be able to help you find the right keywords if you need them!
While you can certainly take care of it yourself if you have the right knowledge, calling in the professionals is always a good idea. Getting into the top 3 spots on a search result will prove invaluable to your business, and it is often surprisingly affordable to get professional help with SEO!
How To Get Started
Now that you know a bit about local SEO, the best time to start is now. The sooner you do, the sooner you'll start building traffic, and the bigger your online presence will be down the line.
Just be sure to create relevant content, get outside help if you need it, and stay up to date on our latest digital marketing news!