If you’re looking for a business and want to ensure your experience is a good one, chances are you start with an online search. You might look for just a name and street address, or you could be browsing online reviews to weigh your options.
But when you’re doing that search, chances are you don’t want the best businesses in that category nationwide. You want the best experiences locally.
Local SEO has been a huge focus for Google and likewise search engine marketers since 2014, when Google My Business launched. It focuses on keywords that end with the phrase “near me” or “near” a destination that the user is looking for.
Whether anything SEO-related makes your eyes glaze over, or you’re looking for the next way to boost your domain authority, you should consider investing in localized SEO.
Customers Google Before They Buy
According to a survey by KPMG, 47% of users visit a business’s website before visiting in-person or making a purchase. By simply creating a digital presence, you’ll immediately improve your brand’s reputation over competitors who hadn’t yet established themselves online.
Optimizing your website is one of the key steps for any kind of SEO project — after all, you want to give visitors a nice landing after finding your site in organic or local search results.
That’s why being mobile-friendly is more important than ever. More and more people are accessing the internet from smartphones. Mobile friendliness is so important, it made our top 7 list of things to optimize for SEO twice last year.
More Local Visibility
Chances are, if you’re building a small or medium-sized business that’s not entirely online, you want to appeal to more people in your area. Running a national SEO campaign wouldn’t make sense — a local SEO campaign, however, does.
By building an audience that’s looking for businesses like yours near them, you’re more likely to connect with customers both interested and able to patron your products and services. Increasing visibility improves your traffic, which in turn improves the likelihood that you’ll receive leads and sales.
More Reviews Makes You a More Trusted Brand
According to a survey by Brightlocal, consumers will read an average of 10 online reviews before they feel they can trust a local business. Not only that, your business is more likely to pop up in relevant search results if you have a sizable number of positive reviews on that site’s review platform.
As a result, businesses have taken notice. Another survey by Clutch, a reviews site, says that 54% of business owners find managing their reputation online to be extremely important. Nearly half monitor their brand’s reputation over social media, but only a quarter look at Google search results.
Having a more expansive view of your online reputation will help you identify weak points in your brand. Local SEO is not just about getting your name out there — doing it the wrong way can hurt your business instead of helping your growth. Develop a strategy to earn more reviews from customers on Google and key sites.
Or, find an experienced professional agency to make those plans for you.
There’s More to Search Than Google
Google may be the main search engine for most consumers, but Yelp, Amazon, and industry-specific platforms like TripAdvisor use similar algorithms — and can get a hearty share of visibility with your target audience. By optimizing for your visibility on Google, you’ll see gains from searches across the board.
Even having an online reputation builds your reputation. For example, due to our proven ability to deliver to our clients, you can find us on The Manifest — a buyer’s resource with data-driven articles and shortlists — as a top Cleveland-based SEO service provider. Companies like us are also listed on Visual Objects, a digital portfolio-sharing platform and another sister site of Clutch.
We practice what we teach, and we’re learning more and more about the SEO marketplace everyday. That’s why we’re a great fit for any business who doesn’t have the time or money to invest in SEO in-house.
If you think SEO is out of reach, start thinking local. Contact us today to learn more about how 216 Marketing can boost your local search visibility.
A combined 20+ years of digital & traditional marketing, web design, marketing strategy, SEO, PPC, marketing automation, and inbound marketing.