Undertaking local SEO is a foundational step to building a solid local online presence. Data shows that 75% of local searches result in an in-store visit. For any business owner, this statistic alone gives a good reason for undertaking local search optimization.
The entire consumer industry has undertaken a big shift in this digital age: In-store visits are down, online research is up and smartphones are becoming increasingly important to the consumer’s shopping journey.
Have you ever used your phone to find out information on the move, such as finding out where your nearest coffee shop is? When people find your business through a local search (especially on mobile) it turns out that they’re also more likely to visit your storefront or inquire for your services.
Consumers on the move need specific, accurate information — and they need it fast! Having your business listing in the top Google placements for your local keywords is vital for attracting new customers.
It’s All About Mobile
When people want to find something out, go somewhere, do something to buy a product — they turn to their smartphones.
It’s safe to say that most of us look up different shops, restaurants, and products with our phones while we’re on the move. This means that we’ve moved on from having to look up the location of a specific business (or type of business, such as coffee shops) before we leave our house.
Our mobile devices now have the power to give us any information about what we’re looking for and then direct us to that place.
It’s easier than ever to access this information and there’s no question that these search habits are here to stay, and only advance furthermore — especially with the rise in voice-related searches. Voice search usage is seeing unprecedented growth, with personal assistant devices leading the way with the trend.
People searching for a specific business, such as “best Mexican restaurants in midtown” now are given information for midtown based on the town or city that you are searching for. The Mexican restaurants that are best optimized for local SEO will then appear in the 3 pack of business listings.
Customers Search Before Buying
Most of Google’s searches happen on mobile devices and according to research undertaken by Search Engine Land, 78% of mobile local searches resulted in offline purchases.
A study with Think with Google stated that 30% of mobile searches are location-related and 76% of people that do a local search on a mobile device visit that store or business within 1 day. Additionally, 28% of those searches result in a purchase.
This further reinstates that ranking high in a local search should be a core objective for your business!
Google Is Always Improving
There are constant changes to the ranking algorithm that are being used to make the results better for local businesses and evermore user-friendly.
Algorithm updates like Google Snack Pack and Google Possum both impacted local search. Keywords typed in by the search can link to your business through localized SEO.
Google strives to ensure the best user experience for everyone searching online. That’s why Google continually tweaks its algorithms so that the search results display the most relevant sites based on their keyword phrase.
It is therefore vital to make sure that you are up to speed with the latest trends and have an understanding of what it takes to gain a top position in search.
Getting It Right
Multiple factors contribute to the digital success of any business. In urban markets and densely populated cities, local search is so important that many businesses are even able to thrive without a website. They can generate walk-in business every day because people on the ground are consistently able to find their stores through mobile search.
Local SEO offers another exceptional advantage when it comes to building your brand and company. It provides a way for you to build trust through reputation management within your community by asking for reviews from loyal customers.
It’s important to note that every small business can benefit from positive reviews. Word of mouth is a major factor in the success of many local businesses. In addition to the local search signal, multiple positive reviews allow consumers to feel more inclined to visit your business. Plus, reviews from your current customers can help convince prospective customers to purchase products and services from you.
Getting it right is vital. If you don’t know what you are doing, you may waste time updating your website or making changes to find you aren’t getting the increase in traffic as expected.
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Related article: 11 Steps to Improve Your Local SEO