One of the best things about the internet is that is that it means small businesses can now operate on a bigger, sometimes global, scale – an opportunity only previously enjoyed by big-spending multi-national companies.
With VoIP calls, webinar software and of course e-mail businesses can now work with clients anywhere in the world thanks to virtual meetings, so it’s no longer as important to have an office where clients can pop in.
Despite that though 46% of all searches on Google are still local so it pays to remember who you are and where you are when it comes to search engine optimisation.
That’s why we focus on web design, web optimisation and e-commerce on the Wirral first and foremost.
- 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles. (WordStream, 2016)
- 30% of mobile searches are related to a location. (Google, 2016)
- 28% of searches for something nearby result in a purchase. (Google, 2016)
- 78% of local-mobile searches result in offline purchases. (Search Engine Land, 2014) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
How to achieve a local presence
In a lot of ways, a local presence is easier to achieve a national one, if you know what you’re doing, after all, you know your local market better than anyone, or you can do with a bit of research.
As well as adding your location to all of your social media profiles, which will help hugely with local SEO, there are a variety of free business directories you need to make sure you’re listed on to help attract new customers as well as take advantage of current ones.
To start with there’s the all-important Google my Business listing but there are plenty of others that we recommend getting listed on all as a minimum.
Starting with Yelp, which is used by Apple maps, Superpages, Four Square, Yellowbook and Bing Places for a business page. All of these listings will not only help with your visibility but you can also use them to get clients to review your business which will help even further with your SEO as well as your brand.
Research by BrightLocal revealed that as many as 88% of local users trust online business reviews, so it’s essential to make sure you get your regulars to share their experiences – after all word of mouth is the best form of marketing and it’s free!
Reviews are also frequently likened to links when it comes to local SEO so they can also have a dramatically positive effect on your SEO.
Only 44% of businesses are believed to have claimed their Google My Business local listing so the chances are some of those are your competition. By making sure you have claimed yours it increases your chances of being spotted.
Consistency is key
There can often be different deviations of your address, but to be seen the same information needs to be displayed everywhere. Your business name, address and telephone number should appear in as many places as possible, starting with every single page of your website. The easiest way is to put it in the footer so it will appear on every new page too, so you don’t have to remember to add it.
With 76% of all local searches resulting in a phone call it’s also essential to have a local number – but don’t worry, that doesn’t have to be a restrictive landline, instead, you can get a local virtual number which diverts straight through to your mobile.
A click-to-call call to action should also appear where possible, so consumers can act on their impulse immediately.
Know who’s talking about you
Once you are on the internet it’s important to know who’s saying what about you. so make sure you factor in time to google your business at least once a week.
It’s not only about mentions on social media and review sites but blogs too. You’d be surprised how many mentions there are but if there are no links to your website it’s unlikely to generate any conversions.
Once you find any mentions that don’t include a link back to your business site, why not contact the website to see if they would add the link for you.
As well as placing the business name, address and telephone number on every page there are plenty of other simple ways you can improve your ranking with just a few tags and we’re not talking about packing your tags with keywords!
This option is simple but can have a huge impact on your local SEO ranking.
- Add your city/region within your landing page title tag
- Add your city/region within your landing page H1 tag
- Add your city/region within your landing page URL
- Add your city/region within your landing page content
- Add your city/region within your landing page image ALT attributes
Embedding a Google map with your business marker on your landing page will also help you move up the rankings and coupled with the fact that 86% of people look up the location of a business on google maps – you are making life easier for customers to find you.
Despite everything we’ve said so far, not every business is bricks and mortar so you might not want your location made public, but that doesn’t matter, there are still plenty of other reasons why you should focus on local marketing.
Better return on investment
Spending money on advertising can seem like throwing money into a big black hole, as we struggle to assess the return on investment but by targeting a local audience you are reaching out to the exact audience you are looking for. You can select the target audience based on search terms, location, age, sex and interests.
In the past when local businesses wanted to increase awareness they went down the traditional marketing route of leaflets, or newspaper and radio advertising.
We know that those methods are in decline – you only have to look at the number of local newspapers which are now no longer in existence.
Figures from Poynter found that some local newspapers have lost as much as 80% of their readership in the last 20 years because the internet means people can get the news and information as it happens.
Local SEO means you are reaching potential clients when they need you and not when they don’t!
Better conversion rates
Local directory marketing has a higher conversion rate than any other more traditional advertising options – with up to a 50% conversion rate on some directories, meaning you could be converting as many as one in two leads to an actual paying customer.
The internet is the font of all knowledge
We all do it, you hear of something or meet someone and the first thing you do is ‘google’ them.
If you do it, so do your potential clients so it’s essential that when they do, your business is top of their search results.
- 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product when conducting a search on their smartphone. (Google, 2015)
- 48% of consumers start mobile research with a search engine. (Smart Insights, 2016) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
Almost half of all searches on Google are local, so even if your business enjoys a national or international presence it is essential to remember the local angle. That was you can enjoy a better return on investment, when it comes to advertising, take advantage of your current customers on business directory websites and dramatically improve your local SEO.
Here at Webthinking, we can not only help you with your SEO but also your website as a whole. After all, there’s no point people finding your site if it doesn’t do your business proud – let us help you achieve a website that will get you results by contacting us now!