An estimated 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine and a desire to find something. It’s pretty obvious, then, that good search engine optimization is a critical aspect of any company’s marketing campaign. However, it is also a fact that local SEO is arguably even more important for small businesses, as it provides them with a tremendous opportunity to dominate the market in their region. The beauty of the Internet is that you can create an effective local SEO campaign without breaking the bank.
What Is Local SEO?
First and foremost, it is probably the best way to ensure people in your area see your website and brand when they look for goods or services in your industry. This practice has grown exponentially in the last few years due to the flood of smartphone technologies and better, more reliable connectivity. An increasing number of people are happy to shop while out and about by using their mobile devices.
Google and other search engines have helped bring local SEO to the forefront, as they now provide results to searchers based on that person’s current location. Therefore, if you run a Chinese restaurant in Tucson, people in that city will see your restaurant first in the listings when looking for Chinese food in Tucson, provided you have optimized your website for local SEO.
More Users and More Searchers Means More Customers!
An estimated 140 billion local searches were projected in 2014, and more than 95 percent of smartphone users have looked for local information at some stage. Add in the fact that 98 percent of people choose a business on the first page of local listings and over 80 percent take action based on the results of their smartphone search, and it becomes immediately apparent that you need local SEO to ensure your business is found.
Claim Your Listing!
If you have no idea where to begin a local SEO campaign, a simple way to start is by claiming your business on Google. This process allows you to control all the details relating to your company that searchers see, including its address, hours of operation, images, and reviews.
The difference between a listing with full information and one that is blank is profound; the searcher is far more likely to choose the listing with abundant details, as a semblance of trust has been established. Claiming your listing on Google is easy; just go to www.google.com/business and follow the instructions. If you don’t have a Gmail account, set one up, because you really need a Google listing.
Optimize Your Listing
Once you have claimed your business listing, it is time to optimize it for local SEO by including the information mentioned above. It is also important to post on your Google+ page regularly in order to communicate with prospective customers, and it’s a good idea to encourage people to leave positive reviews.
While you can use the same content on Google+ as you do on other social media sites, it is better to tailor it a little for the specific Google+ audience. We would also encourage you to take advantage of the Google Business View option, which allows people to go on a virtual tour of your business — a visual representation of your premises could seal the deal.
When it comes to being found by customers, Google and local SEO in particular are your friends, so use them wisely and reap the rewards.
To take local SEO to the next level, contact us at Phoenix Online Media today!