Have you tried local SEO as part of your E-commerce strategy? It can be a crucial boost for your digital marketing efforts. Here's why.
Whether you're a small business or a large corporation, Google gives equal chances. In fact, Google has options to help newer and smaller companies, allowing them to compete against corporate giants. This gives you a better chance of getting customers via the search engine. However, you can only utilise it with good local search engine optimisation techniques.
But if you already have an SEO campaign, is a local strategy still worth it? The answer is a straightaway yes!
You want to drive the search engine users to visit your store. However, you don't want to leave your chances to random chances. You want to target people in your general vicinity, not a searcher who's in another country. Around 77% of smartphone owners will contact a business after getting information through a local search. So these are your targets - those who will contact you.
Let's explore how local SEO helps you get customers through search.
Local SEO Increases your Brand Visibility
SEO is all about increasing your visibility in the search engines. It comes in two variations: local SEO and national SEO. In many ways local optimisation seems similar to national SEO: they both require extensive keyword research and link-building strategies. The difference is that their target audiences come from either a small, niche area or beyond that, up to a nation-wide scale.
Local optimisation targets potential customers in a specific town. National SEO aims to build brand reputation in the whole country. Big companies do this because they can afford it. Local search engine optimisation, on the other hand, focuses on making sure people in your area know you exist.
Thankfully, you can do this not just by boosting your website. You can also have listings on online directories or explore other methods. Having great visibility for your website is important because of the following points.
Around 46% of All Google Searches is Local
Yes, people turn to Google to search for practically anything under the sun. But did you know that nearly half of these searches are local? This means people are often looking for information related to their area, including businesses.
When we delve deeper, we see that 64% of these local searchers use the internet as their preferred method of finding and contacting local businesses. On mobile, 50% of local searchers use the internet to look up information, such as the address or phone number. You're invisible if your business site doesn't cater to these local searches.
Google Algorithm Prioritises Businesses with Relevant Information
Because local searches are prominent, Google decided to capitalise on that. This works because they're giving the consumers the information they want. To give relevant results, Google prioritises businesses with consistent information. This means making sure the address and contact number on one of your pages should be the same on your social media pages, Google My Business listing, and directory listings.
You should also make sure the content of your site is consistent. Does your site focus on providing roof repairs for a local town? Make sure the blog posts all relate to roof repair services instead of suddenly adding one about organic juices.
Local Searches Allow a More Customised Approach
Do you know why businesses should target local searchers? The reason is that local searches return more relevant information than organic search results. For example, looking up "pizza" might bring up restaurants. There will be general articles about it as well. A Wikipedia entry will likely show up in the first page along with maybe a recipe or two.
Now, this is great if that's what you're looking for. However, if you're hungry, you're more likely to look for "pizza in *your area*" to look for restaurants. This caters to people looking for something specific and within your vicinity.
Customers Search for Businesses Near Them
In line with the point above, customers are also likely to put "near me" in their local searches. As a result, the algorithms started to adapt to this kind of activity. In 2012, Google published the first update that enabled the search engine to display results based on the keyword and the user's location. To this day, Google uses the same system but with a few upgrades.
Now, the search engine directly displays the business' name, address, and phone number. With a good local SEO campaign, Google will prefer to display your business.
Mobile and Wearable Devices Provide Easy Access
In Q4 2017, 51% of the worldwide website traffic came from mobile devices. Compare that to the 48.33% of website traffic in the same period in 2016. You'll see that more people now rely on their mobile devices more than they do desktop computers.
These devices allow consumers to access any information even when they're on the go. With that privilege, they don't bother memorising your business's address or your products. They expect that information will be on the web when they want it. With that said, you need a local SEO campaign to fulfil your customers' expectations.
Google My Business Listing Gives you a Head Start
Very few businesses utilise the full function of Google My Business. This gives you plenty of room for a head start against competitors.
If only a few businesses in your area claimed their listing, you have higher chances of showing up in the top three results. You want your business in there because Google's 3-pack appears in 93% of local searches.
To optimise it, make sure your listing is up-to-date with the following information:
• Name, address, phone Number
• Business hours
• Logos and photos
• Additional information about your business
The good thing about it is that it's free. It also makes you visible on Google Maps. This makes it easier for customers to find you and confirm that you're indeed a real business.
Local SEO Advertising Produces Higher Conversion Rates
Aside from a website and a GMB listing, you also want your information on online directories. Websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor typically appear on the first page of search results, so you want them to display the same information as above about your business.
Furthermore, local directory marketing has a higher conversion rate than other advertising techniques. In some indexes, you can expect a 50% rate, which means that 1 in 2 searchers will convert to an actual customer.
Additionally, nearly 80% of local searches turn into a sale. Of the 78% conversion rate, 73% were physical purchases, 11% were online purchases, and 16% were by phone. Note that these figures represent sales within 24 hours of a local search.
Customers Go Online to Find a Product or Service's Details
Before buying a product or service, consumers look it up on the internet to know more about it. This is essentially the first step in the buying process and not when they visit you. If you want to lure in more customers, make it easy for them to find information about your products or services.
A good SEO campaign will also put your products on the front page. This increases the chances that the local customers will go to your business instead. Having information readily available also helps them decide to go for it. Hopefully, they decide in your favour.
Consumers Trust Online Reviews
One of the reasons why consumers search for a product or service before purchasing is to look at reviews. 88% of searchers trust the reviews they read on the internet, especially on reputable websites.
If you have a good product, there will be organic reviews of it somewhere. If you find that there are not enough reviews on Yelp and other websites, it's time to fire up a local SEO campaign. Encourage your customers to leave a review about your business by making it easy for them. You don't need to offer an incentive. Most will gladly tell the world about their experience anyway.
Also, make sure you get a review right away by email or other methods. The longer you wait after a customer has purchased a product, the less likely you'll get a review.
Customers Go Online to Find a Business's Information
Around 71% of the survey participants look up a business on a search engine before they go to a store. This is why you want a local SEO strategy. You want your customers to see the details they want about you to encourage them to visit you.
Keep in mind that you still want your business to appear even when your customers aren't looking for you. According to Google, 98% of users choose one of the businesses on the front page. The research further stated that 50% of mobile searches led to a store visit within a day.
Make sure that your local SEO campaign includes making your business information easy to search and consistent. If not, your potential customers will become actual customers to other businesses that have better visibility.
CTA Buttons Work Better than you Think
Some ads may be intrusive or annoying, but they sure work. When you roll out a mobile ad, make sure to include call-to-action buttons. Click to Call and Get Directions are the usual ones, which make it easier for customers to reach you.
Around 68% of mobile users use these buttons. This equates to higher chances of turning a user into an actual customer. Local SEO takes advantage of this. You'll have a stronger CTA if customers see your business is within their reach.
Need Help with Local SEO?
Need marketing solutions for your website and business? Aside from local SEO, general SEO, and other digital marketing tactics, we also create websites that will help you stay ahead of your competitors.
Get in touch with us now and let's discuss your latest project.