Is Local SEO Important?
You’re a brick and mortar store. You might have an online store, but your main concern is getting people into that physical store. Isn’t print advertising or word of mouth still the best way for physical stores to get traffic? Not in this technologically advanced age. Especially when it comes to advertising venues like the yellow pages, almost no one uses them. Sure, they may use yellow to prop up their toddler at the dinner table, or to rip in half as a neat parlor trick, but very few people think to themselves, “I’d like to find a clothing store in town. Why don’t I open up the yellow pages and see what it has to say.”
Instead, most people will turn to the internet, even if they want to find something locally. It’s faster, more comprehensive, and just far more convenient. That means that if you want to draw in new customers and connect with current customers, you need to have a thriving—and most of all, findable—web presence. How is this achieved? Through local SEO (search engine optimization).
What is search engine optimization?
Search engine optimization is a process of on-page changes and off-page actions that improve your website’s ranking in search engine results. Some of the on-page strategies include writing keyword rich content, both for the individual pages on the site, but also for a blog that is regularly updated. These keywords need to be carefully researched and properly implemented, so that they both relate to your business and have a high likelihood of being searched by users, as well as have low competition from other websites.
Off-site strategies could include backlinking and guest blogging—anything that improves the likelihood that someone looking for products or services like yours can find you as they are searching the internet for those products or services.
Search engine optimization is the foundation for any marketing campaign. If you are making efforts to have your name distributed around town through other platforms, you need to make it possible for those hearing your name and about your website, easily find you through search engines.
Most of all, SEO is about providing real value to your page visitors. It is about delivering on the promises you made in advertising and off-site optimization efforts. Additionally, SEO is a great way to get your message across to potential customers. SEO gets them to your page, yes, but the content that does that should also be worth reading and provide answers to the questions that your page visitors have.
What is local search engine optimization?
Local SEO is identical to general SEO in every way but one—instead of being focused on drawing traffic from all over the world, it is focused just on drawing traffic from your immediate area. If you have a brick and mortar store and want to draw people from your area to that shop, you need to be able to be found on search engines, but local users.
Local SEO works in much the same was as any other SEO endeavor. It still requires keywords, off-site optimization, and time to get a foothold in the search results. Because the field for local SEO is much narrower than all other SEO, it is often easier to find the foothold that you need in order to get a leg-up over competitors.
Is local SEO important for my business?
When it comes to the success of a business that has a physical location and does not just offer its products and services online, local SEO is vitally important. It is how new customers are going to find you. Just like having the right physical position—visible with lots of traffic—you want to have the right online position—which is, of course, visible, with lots of traffic.
This doesn’t just happen. Even if you are the only real estate company in the county, you need to build a bank of valuable content, rich with keywords, which will effectively drive people towards your business. The last thing you want to do is just let SEO “take care of itself.” If you aren’t actively working to make sure that you company is at the top of the search results, some other company will be. Even if you hit the first page, you may not be ahead of other companies that are actively working to provide real value to their customers.
How to Implement Local SEO
Local SEO, like any SEO endeavor, is a multi-faceted undertaking. There are keywords that need to be researched, content that needs to be written, off-site campaigns to stay on top of. All SEO campaigns have a lot of moving parts. With all that is involved in SEO, it is also important that you monitor how consumers respond to your SEO efforts. It could easily become overwhelming for a local business owner. If you do not have enough time to take care of all of this yourself, do not be afraid to outsource to an account manager.