As a business owner, you’ve probably heard about how important local search is to your success. In fact, nearly half of searches performed on Google are local. That’s an incredible number when you realize that billions of searches are performed each day!
But did you know that over half of local retailers haven’t claimed their Google My Business listing? That’s a lot of local search power that these business owners are losing out on.
If you’re unaware of what Google My Business does for you, it’s a free business profile with vital contact information that appears when people search for keywords in your industry. For more in-depth information, check out our article on how to get the most out of your Google My Business listing.
Local SEO is the largest part of our marketing campaigns and our success with it is one of the many reasons we've been recognized as a top California Digital Marketing Company on DesignRush.
Local SEO Basics
Local SEO involves optimizing your business so that it shows up in the search results. Nearly 90% of people use Google (just check out this graph showing search engine market share as of January 2019), but local SEO also encompasses optimizing your listings and websites for Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, and more.
Because of this enormous market share that Google holds, most SEO guides focus on ranking in Google. And, even within Google rankings, there are two sets of search results: The “3-pack” and the “organic results.” The 3-pack is a section that appears at the top of the first page of search results. These three listings have the business name, review ratings, and even a photo. Needless to say, it draws the viewer’s eye towards these choice listings, making it more likely they’ll click on a 3-pack result than the text-only listings below.
This is how local search results appear on Google—in a nutshell. There is a lot that goes into making these listings visible in the 3-pack or even on page one, but even with this limited knowledge, it’s easy to see why it’s so important for businesses to be on Google My Business and working towards improving rankings.
Benefits of Local SEO
Okay, so you understand how local search results can make your site more visible online. But is that really going to pay off? Does that mean anything in the scheme of things?
50% of consumers who conduct local searches on their smartphones visit a store within 24 hours. 34% of those who searched on a computer or tablet did the same. That means that search results can actually bring people into your store. Furthermore, nearly 20% of local mobile searches lead to a sale within a day, while 78% of local mobile searches resulted in offline purchases (eventually—not just within a day). So local search has the power to bring people into your store and potentially result in a sale. These are customers you would not find if you were not online.
Another benefit of local SEO is that people use their smartphones to find your contact information. Aside from bringing people into the store, they might choose to call you, visit your website for more information, contact you on social media, or use something like Google maps to get directions to your store. There are many ways that people want to interact with a company in today’s online-connected world. You should make yourself available on a number of platforms so that you can reach a wider audience. Remember: Whatever YOU aren’t doing, your competitors likely ARE.
Aside from in-store visits and more visibility online, local SEO helps make your brand more popular. If more people can find you online, then more people know your name! It’s the same concept as driving a branded vehicle or putting up flyers-except everything you do online is digital instead of physical.
How to Get Started
Now that you know some of the benefits of local SEO, you may be wondering how to get started on this investment. If you want to get started on your own, your first step should be to claim your Google My Business listing. You can then follow some of our helpful tips to get your account set up.
If you’re looking for help with everything, you’re in the right place. You can call one of our personal marketing consultants or chat with us here on the site. It’s up to you! We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have!