While it has been around for years, local SEO has become more relevant today, especially with the spike in mobile searches. Users no longer have to rely on a desktop computer to perform a search since they can do it on their smartphones or tablets. Hence, it is crucial for businesses to offer local products or services to leverage local SEO.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO focuses on ranking websites higher in your local area or immediate proximity. It is often leveraged as an SEO strategy to increase the visibility of local businesses in search results.
Marketers or business owners should understand that Google’s algorithm for local search includes the proximity factor. This means that the search engine accounts for the user’s current location in displaying search results, prioritising businesses, or stores located in the user’s immediate vicinity.
Why Do You Need Local SEO?
Over the years, several studies have proven that users who performed local searches are more likely to visit the physical stores compared to non-local searches.
According to the findings of Google’s research on “Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior“, users perform local searches aim to achieve the following:
- find the store address;
- get directions to the physical store;
- check local store hours;
- check the availability of a specific product.
The study also produced the findings below:
- 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information
- 50% of consumers who performed local searches using their phone and 34% of users who performed local searches using their tablets or computers have visited the physical store within a day.
- 18% of local searches on smartphones lead to purchase within a day compared to 7% of non-local searches
- 80% of consumers want to see ads that are customised to their city, zip code, or immediate surroundings.
What are the Benefits of Local SEO?
Increase website traffic
While some users will only visit your website to acquire specific information, it gives your website additional exposure to users who are looking for your products and services. Leveraging local SEO helps make sure that your website is displayed in the search results for your local area, not halfway across the globe where your business is not as relevant. This makes it easier for users in your immediate vicinity to locate your store/business.
Gain customers who are ready to buy
The majority of customers who conduct local searches are usually ready to buy. They already know what they need and are looking for the nearest store/business that can provide them with the product/service they need.
Get more local reviews
Many locals are often enthusiastic in sharing their experience with certain stores/businesses. Their positive recommendations can help establish trust among local customers, leading to an increase in new customers or repeat customers.
While it’s effects are indirect, mentioning your website or social media profiles in offline promotion or events can also contribute to increasing your website’s direct traffic and visibility in search engines. Your local business will also benefit greatly from word-of-mouth and distributing printed fliers in the area.