The Importance of Local SEO and Why Your Small Business Needs It

You may have heard a lot about Local SEO in discussions about digital marketing. Many experts stress making it an integral part of your marketing strategy. Before we get into the specifics of why your business needs search engine optimization in Edmonton, we’ll discuss the importance of Local SEO and why small businesses need it.

Having a clear idea of Local SEO is important for today’s business owners due to how relevant it is today, and the impact it can have on your business. This article is going to break down all the information for you so that you can understand how Local SEO can help you in growing your business.

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO is all about promoting the visibility of your business for location-based searches. It’s designed to help your business be discovered by people online, who are searching for your business in that location.

This will include searches that have different geo-qualifiers like state, city, zip code, and ‘near me’ searches where an internet user gets search results that are specific to their geo-location.

Why Is It Important?

Businesses that have brick-and-mortar stores or offer services in a specific locality can benefit greatly from Local SEO. A Forbes study found out that 95% of smartphone users tend to use their device for local searches, from which 61% of them made a call to the business’s phone number, and around 59% visited the business in person.

SearchEngineWatch also found that 70% of smartphone users will use their mobile phones to call a business directly from Google search results. These statistics clearly show that businesses can easily target potential customers through location-based searches and that these numbers will continue to grow over time. The fact that these leads are generated from people specifically searching for products and services offered by a business means that these leads are qualified and will result in higher conversion rates for the business.

Why Your Business Needs to Be on Google’s Local 3-Pack

Local SEO can also help your business get one of the most desirable spots in search engine results, by showing up in Google’s local 3-pack. In the beginning, Google’s SERP showed only the seven most popular businesses relevant to your search for Local SEO. This was known as the local-7 pack which included the phone numbers, direction links, and addresses for all the businesses.

With the evolution of browsing trends, the 7-pack was reduced by Google to show only three details in order to enhance the user experience, giving it the name the local 3-pack. We are going to show you why a spot in this list is so sought after by businesses.

A Moz study found that 45% of people that performed a local search went on to click on the local 3-pack listing, and only 8% decided to load “more local results”. This clearly shows that those searching for local listings manage to find what they are looking for in the local-3 pack options. Therefore, getting a spot in search results will help drive massive amounts of traffic and potential revenue to your business.

The Basics of Local SEO

We’ve already looked at what is Local SEO and why it’s important for your business. Now, let’s look at what you can do to help improve the Local SEO of your business. First things first, Local SEO is only meant for location-based searches. This means that a business must have a physical location or address to show up in local searches. So, if you haven’t updated your business address in online directories and Google My Business, it won’t show up whenever a customer runs a “locality name” or “near me” search.

The other important thing you need to ensure is that the NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number) of your business is the same on all online directories. Google will not list your business in the local 3-pack if there are any inconsistencies.

One of the best ways to improve the Local SEO of your business is with citations. Whenever a third-party website mentions your business as a point of reference, it is known as a citation. This will include the contact info, location or name of your business. This practice doesn’t require a backlink to your website. For example, a food blog that mentions your restaurant as a good place for dining in your locality is a citation. This information alerts the Google algorithm that your business is trustworthy, and your chances of getting in the local 3-pack will also increase.

The Impact of Local SEO on Your Business

The owners of small businesses should think about optimizing their business’s online platforms and presence for Local SEO as it can be a very rewarding experience. Some of the benefits your small business stands to gain from Local SEO include the following:

1. Makes it easier for potential customers to find your business

Most local searches are performed by people who are not from the area who want to find businesses to meet their needs. If you have done Local SEO properly, you can easily catch that audience.

2. Offers customers information they want

When information, like your café being pet-friendly or has free Wi-Fi, appears in localized search engine results, it helps in attracting customers searching for businesses. This is made possible by Local SEO. Even businesses without a website can benefit from Local SEO since local searches help increase more traffic for them with online leads.

Nearly 62% of people called the business after performing a local search. This means that Local SEO offers potential customers the chance to call businesses who can then convert a qualified lead.

3. Helps Paint a Favorable Image for Your Business

People will be more inclined to trust your business if they have more data about your business. This also helps lay down a strong foundation which you can use to build great customer relationships.

Once you’re familiar with Local SEO and the benefits it holds for your business, you can start building your client base and managing its online presence. You should seek the services of an SEO company that offers local search engine optimization in Edmonton. Good SEO practices not only enhance your organic search engine rankings but also boost the Local SEO of your website.

What Businesses Can Benefit from Local SEO & Why?

It’s important that you learn about who benefits from Local SEO, and why acquiring Local SEO services is important for your business. Therefore, we are going to look at some of the businesses that can benefit from Local SEO:

  • Lawyers & Law Firms

    One of the main benefits of Local SEO for clients is that Google will show a “Call” button directly in local search results that are viewed from mobile phones. So, when potential clients search for “attorney” on their phones, they will be shown targeted results for their locality. If done properly, Local SEO will help place the attorney right at the top of search results in that location with a clickable “Call” button. Clicking on the button will place a call to the attorney’s office.
    Anyone who gets involved in an accident or is facing major legal trouble will be on their phone trying to find attorneys that provide free consultations. This enables law firms to be in front of clients when they are looking for an attorney.
  • Doctors & Medical Practices

    Whenever someone searches for a doctor, they will always be looking for a doctor near them. They will enter search terms like “doctor near me”. People will not go out of their way or want to travel for several hours to visit a doctor. They will want to get in touch with a doctor who is nearby and can be visited on a regular basis.
    This search term will bring up a local result that offers a doctor’s name, along with a “directions” link that allows users to travel to the doctor’s office easily. When it comes to visiting a doctor, people usually want to set up an appointment over the phone and get easy directions to the doctor’s office.
  • Plumbers

    Plumbers are another business that can take advantage of Local SEO. Whenever someone is facing a plumbing emergency, the first thing they will do is search “plumber near me” on Google. The results for this search term on Google will bring up reviews, the option to call plumbers directly, and access local plumbers directly if they are facing an emergency.
  • Restaurants

    Restaurants benefit greatly from Local SEO since customers want to read reviews immediately and get the address for the eatery they want to order from or make reservations. The need to get information instantly is what helps potential customers find restaurant businesses quickly. Apart from that, it also allows them to quickly determine which restaurants offer the best quality service and food in their area.

The Best Tips for Improving Your Local SEO

When it comes to Local SEO, there are several tips out there that can help you take advantage of it. We have decided to highlight a few of them, so you can take advantage of them. These include:

1. Optimize and Create Your Google My Business Account

First, you must establish your business on Google My Business since it will help establish your presence on the search engine. This will also allow your business to appear on Google Maps. If your business is authenticated as legitimate on Google, it will also start appearing in the sidebar space of Google search.

Whenever you’re updating your listings on Google My Business or other similar services, you should try offering deep links that take searchers straight to the location details they are looking for, instead of taking them to a home page or a high-level page where they have to look around for details.

2. Build Citations for Your Business

Citations are references to the name of your business on the internet. It can also be considered as the unique online footprint of your business since it helps potential customers find information related to you. Search engines will also look at NAP consistency to ensure they deliver accurate results to users.

Therefore, you should ensure that your website is featured on online business directories and citation sites. This will allow customers to easily find your business. A complete citation will include your website URL, and your company’s name, address, and phone number. You can also improve your search rankings by adding extra information on business directories.

3. Pay Attention to Your Reviews

You should encourage your customers to write positive and honest reviews about your business. This will help local customers in buying from you and optimize your presence on Google My Business. Research shows that 91% of consumers will read online reviews before they visit a business.

A further 75% of consumers say that positive reviews help to build trust in a local business, while 85% of searchers find online reviews to be trustworthy. This clearly shows that website visitors place great importance on the opinion of strangers about your business. So, to enhance your Local SEO, you will need to get better reviews from your consumers.

4. Mobile Optimization Will Help Your Business

You must optimize your business for mobile if you want to take advantage of Local SEO. Studies have shown that 76% of all mobile searches result in visits to the store within a day. Apart from that 50% of mobile users will leave a page if it doesn’t load within the first 10 seconds. About 60% of those users won’t return to the website.

Mobile shoppers tend to be around 40% of the website traffic received by retailers. This is why a fast website that has been optimized for mobile users is vital for providing a great user experience.

5. Publish Local Website Content

If you’re based in one location, you should create an “About Us” page that offers local and relevant information. For instance, if you have a bakery shop, your “About Us” page should discuss how your bakery supplies the best-baked goods in town. If you have multiple locations, you should look to create unique content for every page.