Local search engine optimization is essential for small businesses; more so than major corporations. It is critical to small businesses because they cannot survive without their local customer base finding and using them. Let’s look at each of these three reasons in greater detail so you understand the importance of local SEO.
Local SEO Is Something You Can Win
Local search engine optimization or local SEO refers to showing up in local search results. Instead of ranking in a general search for insurance policies, local SEO would focus on insurance in X city or a car insurance suburb name. The benefit for small businesses is the relative ease of ranking well in these local searches, allowing you to dominate local searches even if you have no chance of showing up in the more generic searches. Contact experts like Snap Agency to determine which local search terms have the greatest return on investment.
Ignore Local SEO and No One Will Find You
If you ignore local search engine optimization, no one will find your business – literally. If you aren’t consistent in your business name, address and phone number, your business’ official address is unclear to search engines that rank you lower in local search results. To what degree does this matter? There are jokes that if you don’t show up on the first page of search results, no one will find you. We know this is true because the first five listings on a search results page receive about 80% of the clicks. In local search results, Google has narrowed it down to the top three. If you ignore local SEO and you are number six on the list, your best potential customers won’t see you in the local search results. This means ignoring variations like “123 Joe Court, Suite B”, “123 Joe Ct., Ste B” and “123 Joe, B” literally cost you your clients.
Use the Wrong Tactics and You’re Invisible
If you use the wrong tactics in your local search engine optimization, you’ll be invisible to your customers. Listing many different addresses to increase your local SEO confuses search engines and your business will rank lower than a business farther away but with a more consistent local presence. If you try tactics like adding keywords to your business name that aren’t part of the legal name, Google may delist you from business directories or otherwise penalize your site. If you try to put your business in multiple unrelated categories to show up in as many searches as possible, business directories may penalize your business or delist you altogether.
Local businesses should love local SEO because it is something they can beat the big boys in. If you use the wrong local SEO methods, you’ll be missed by people driving past your business or rank below people who aren’t as close to the customer. Ignore local SEO altogether and you’ll rank badly in national search results and be overlooked by your true customer base.