What Are the Benefits of Local SEO?
Whether you’re a wedding photographer in Seattle, a small Italian restaurant in Los Angeles, or a local contractor in Columbus, local search engine optimization (SEO) can do wonders when it comes to generating traffic and attracting new customers.
And while it may seem like an impossible feat to take on your larger, more established competitors, the truth is that local SEO can give any business a fighting chance in terms of ranking high in the Google search results.
But the benefits of local SEO don’t stop with Google rankings – you can expect greater brand visibility, more website visitors, better leads, and so much more. And with nearly half (46%) of Google searches consisting of localized searches, you can’t afford to miss out on this traffic.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of local SEO and how to use it to grow your local business.
What Is Local SEO and Why Is it Important?
Local SEO is a type of search engine marketing that involves optimizing your business website and online profiles for local search. It’s a method for ranking your website for geo-specific searches so your site gets found by users searching for local businesses like yours.
If you’re a wedding photographer in Seattle, and a user searches for “Seattle wedding photographer”, you want to rank for this keyword in the Google search results so you can grab this user’s attention and, hopefully, turn them into a new client.
But ranking in local search doesn’t always happen naturally.
You need a local SEO strategy that’s based on what your target audience is looking for, which keywords seem like the best fit for your site, and what methods your competitors are using to outrank you. Then, you can employ a variety of local SEO tactics to rise above the competition and attract new local customers to you.
The Benefits of Local SEO
The most obvious benefit to search engine optimization in general is the ability to increase your rankings in Google search and other search engines. All businesses – local or otherwise – crave that #1 spot because they then have the best chance of attracting new website visitors.
But there are many other benefits to local SEO:
- Higher rankings in Google search means more foot traffic to your physical office/storefront.
- Local SEO helps increase online visibility so you get noticed by new customers.
- Google Maps and Google My Business optimization can generate more direct calls, leads, and sales.
- Optimizing your website for localized terms means you attract targeted traffic and better leads.
- Citation building (a local SEO practice) increases website authority and rankings.
- Reputation management can increase brand awareness and attract new business opportunities.
- Content marketing and blogging can attract more website visitors and build brand trust.
- Website optimization can improve your conversion rate, turning more visitors into paying customers.
These benefits of local SEO can all make a huge difference when it comes to your business’s online visibility – attracting new customers in-person and through your website. And the good news is that you can tap into this potential by implementing local SEO best practices.
Take a look at these key benefits in more detail to find out how you can attract more traffic and customers from local search.
Benefit 1: Higher rankings in Google search means more foot traffic to your physical office/storefront.
When a user does a Google search of a specific type of business near them, Google’s algorithm shows them a list of top-ranking businesses that suit their search. This algorithm takes a variety of factors into consideration and plays a major role in what users see in the search results.
So, the top-ranking businesses are then displayed in the organic search results as well as in Google Maps, where the user can click to find out more information about the business, get directions to the business, find the business’s phone number, and more.
If your business implements local SEO, you increase your chances of being shown to potential customers who can then use your physical address and the directions provided by Google Maps to visit your physical location.
Higher rankings in Google Maps could mean more foot traffic, which could lead to more revenue for your business.
Benefit 2: Local SEO helps increase online visibility so you get noticed by new customers.
It can be difficult to attract new customers, especially if you are a small and/or new business. People might not even know your business exists, so you need the power of Google on your side to get noticed.
With local SEO, you can outrank even your largest, most established competitors and get found by new customers. This can be game changing for your business, as it can skyrocket your visibility and attract sustainable traffic for months (or even years) to come.
Benefit 3: Google Maps and Google My Business optimization can generate more direct calls, leads, and sales.
Local SEO involves optimizing your website to rank higher in Google Maps and attracting more customers through your Google My Business profile.
Google My Business is Google’s free platform that allows you to publish your business address, contact information, website URL, photos, reviews, and more so you can generate direct calls, leads, and sales.
Without a local presence, you risk not getting found by potential customers who are looking for businesses like yours in their local area.
Benefit 4: Optimizing your website for localized terms means you attract targeted traffic and better leads.
Generic keywords like “digital marketing agency” or “family lawyer” might generate a ton of searches, but they are also broad and highly competitive. If you target these broad terms, you’ll struggle to compete with countless other businesses and you’ll risk attracting unqualified leads.
If you serve a specific geographic area – or have a physical location in a specific geographic area – then you want to attract people who are in that area. It makes no sense to rank for “digital marketing agency” on a national level if you only serve the Boise area, for example.
Targeted traffic means targeted leads that are more likely to turn into customers.
Benefit 5: Citation building (a local SEO practice) increases website authority and rankings.
One component of local SEO is citation building, or link building. This involves attracting high-quality links from other websites to your website.
These high-quality links are essentially votes of confidence from other websites that your business is legitimate and provides valuable information. Google likes this, so attracting links can certainly boost your business’s online authority.
Grow your local listings by submitting your business information to reputable directories, review sites (like Yelp or Acxiom), and by guest posting on high-authority websites.
Benefit 6: Reputation management can increase brand awareness and attract new business opportunities.
You can use local SEO to drum up great PR for your business. This might include reaching out to websites for features, asking clients for positive reviews, submitting guest posts, or otherwise improving your online reputation.
And since potential customers want to know that your business is worth doing business with and has generated amazing results for past clients, this kind of PR can help you attract even more customers over time.
Benefit 7: Content marketing and blogging can attract more website visitors and build brand trust.
Keep your business blog up to date with fresh, search engine optimized content. You can use keyword research tools like SEMrush.com to find relevant, geo-specific keywords to target in your content. Then, you can attract new visitors from organic search or by sharing your articles on social media.
Benefit 8: Website optimization can improve your conversion rate, turning more visitors into paying customers,
There are many components to local SEO and they all work together to improve user experience on your website, increase your rankings, and generate more sales for your business.
Some of these components include optimizing your site for mobile search, implementing a user-friendly site structure, improving website load time, and optimizing your site for conversions. The easier it is for users to navigate your site, the easier it will be for them to find the information they’re looking for, buy your products, or contact you regarding your services.
So, local SEO isn’t only about rankings and traffic – it’s also about turning that traffic into paying customers and loyal fans for your local business.
Experience the Benefits of Local SEO for Your Business
If you want to experience the benefits of local SEO for your own local business, the time to start is now. Implement the local SEO best practices above to improve your local rankings, attract traffic, and land more customers.
Of course, you’re a busy business owner with loads of tasks on your plate, so if you’re looking for a pro to optimize your site for local search, give us a ring. We’d be happy to discuss your options and create a customized local SEO strategy to help you dominate the local search results in your market.