Local S.E.O is found everywhere, then it’s not. One minute it’s the flavor of the month, the next it feels like everybody is ignoring it.
So as a local business owner you may be wondering:
Is local SEO still relevant?
YES! As a matter of fact, we would argue that it’s more important than ever before. Here’s why.
What Makes Local SEO Relevant Today?
Let’s begin by examining some key stats regarding regional SEO.
- 50% of customers who do a neighborhood search on their smart device, and also 34% of those that look on a tablet computer, make a visit to a neighborhood business in the next 24 hours.
- 18% of all mobile searches result in a purchase within 1 day.
- 93% of Google searches with local key phrases return the 3-pack at the top of the online search engine results page.
- 60% of all adults utilize their smart phones to research local services.
This is proof that local SEO can still pay huge dividends by bringing in customers who are ready to purchase. Is your business missing out?
How Will Ignoring Local SEO Affect Your Business?
Perhaps you’re not persuaded? Enhancing your site for local search can be time-consuming as well as costly, specifically if you need to hire somebody to manage it for you.
Ignoring local SEO for your business can hurt your business results!
- Incorrect online listings, also referred to as NAP listings, could confuse potential customers and adversely impact your rank on Google.
- The lower your Google ranking, the less organic web traffic your web site will obtain.
- You’ll likely lose out on a Google 3-pack listing, but your competitors will still be there!
- Your competitors will certainly get the lion’s share of web traffic and the resulting business.
Do you want to take the risk of missing out on website traffic and business?
5 Tips to Improve Your Local SEO
To make sure you don’t lose out on the benefits of local SEO, you’ve got to take action. You do not always need to invest a lot of time or money on regional SEO, but you do need to have a plan and execute it.
Here are 5 steps you can start on today to improve your local SEO.
# 1: Claim and Standardize Your Listings
Whenever your business name and address shows up online, the info must match. We recommend you match your name, address, phone and website exactly to your Google My Business Listing.
Here’s why. Your NAP listings build credibility for the search engines. Each time the search engine robots see your business listing, they make a note of it. Minute adjustments in your listing, such as an abbreviation in one vs. using the full word in another, causes the search engines to question the accuracy of the listings and can influence your ranking.
# 2: Include Local Terms in Tags and Descriptions
This step is missed by nearly every local business we consult with.
Tags as well as descriptions play an important function in informing the search engines like Google and Bing (and individuals who use them) where and who you are. That’s why using your city and state (or various other identifying neighborhood information) is so important.
When your business appears on Google’s SERP, users see your title and meta description. The title and description increase the chances that local users will click your web link.
To get the most value from this tip, put the local information as close to the beginning of your tag as and description as possible so it won’t get cut off when displayed.
#3: Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
Don’t ignore the importance of mobile friendliness. As of 2015, mobile searches have overtaken desktop searches. Remember that statistic that 18% of local mobile searches result in store visits within 1 day?
If you’re not providing an awesome mobile experience for your customers, then you’re going to suffer the consequences of fewer visitors. Your page needs to look great on any mobile device from a tiny cell phone to a huge tablet.
Here are some other mobile optimization tips:
- Make sure content is in one column and can be read without scrolling horizontally.
- Compress images as needed so they load swiftly.
- Make buttons large enough that users won’t hit them by mistake or be unable to hit them on the first try.
You don’t want mobile users to abandon your site because they can’t use it, so don’t skip this step.
#4: Make the Most of Google My Business
No local business can afford to ignore Google My Business. Because of its association with Google, it can have a huge impact on your local SEO.
To get started, simply click the above link and verify your business. (You’ll need to wait to get a postcard in the mail.) Once it’s been verified, you can update your information, add photos and descriptions, and increase your profile on Google at the same time.
#5: Use Schema Markup
This last tip is the most technical of the bunch, but it can make a huge difference to your SEO.
Schema markup is code you add to your website. It provides Google with vital information about your business, including:
- Business hours
- Payment methods
There’s a big list of things you can use Schema to highlight. You can find a complete run-down here. You don’t have to use Schema code for everything, but the things you want to highlight will appear on Google and help potential customers find you.
The History of SEO
If you are convinced of the importance of SEO for your business, and now you are curious about how SEO has evolved, then carve out 40 minutes (or less if you playback at a higher speed) to watch SEO: The Movie. This documentary that was released in June 2017 “covers the early days of SEO when people were “spammin and jamming,” affiliates vs. main stream, black hat vs. white hat, the unique and often rocky stories of the industry’s pioneers, how Matt Cutts changed the industry, the history of Google updates and even has commentary on the future of SEO from the industry’s top minds.”
Local SEO Matters More Than Ever
Don’t let anybody fool you. No brick and mortar business can afford to ignore local SEO. It’s the bread and butter of local online marketing. Failing to use it to your advantage can cost you time, money, and customers.
Jucebox Local Marketing Partners can help your local business get found for local search terms today. Contact us today to get more information on our affordable and effective local SEO packages. We provide search engine optimization for businesses in Roseville, CA and across the U.S.A.