“GoLocal”… This new mantra to buy local, buy local and go local, etc. It has become a game changer for businesses. Eight out of ten consumers use search to find local information, which means that if your business isn’t optimized for local search, your business is missing 80% of customers. The local search engine is critical if you want your business to grow and expand.
What makes local search important?
With every Google search, a local search is happening. When someone searches for any product or service, they search with the keyword “near me”. For example, “coffee shop near me” “Thai restaurant near me”.
The statistics mentioned below suggest how local search has become essential to provide business.
- 50% of consumers who searched through their smartphones have visited local stores within 24 hours.
- 35% of people who searched through their computer visited local stores in one day.
- 73% of local businesses saw an increase in their sales and gained unique customers based on who searched for them locally.
- 68% of people suggested they prefer to search for local businesses online before visiting.
- 92% of users searched for local businesses online in 2017 and that number is growing every day.
- 86% of people look for the business location on Google Maps
To make it clearer, let’s imagine that my faucet broke. I don’t want to search the websites that Google provides for me. Rather, I’ll look to type “plumber near me” “Plumbing services near me”
The SERPS will give me a bunch of local plumbing services including ratings and testimonials as well as pricing packages. – Get it? This is how the local search engine works.
How local B2B search can be a game changer?
We understood the power of local search SEO, but if you think, who cares? Well, actually, your customer cares. Because local consumers will always rely on local search engine results to find information. So how can you improve your local search engine for your business?
The crucial parts of local search SEO include:
When it comes to local SEO, it is different from organic practices. When optimizing your business for local search, here are the immediate areas to focus on:
- Optimize “Google My Business”
- Improve your internal link structure
- Create local content
- Make sure your website is mobile friendly
- Make sure your company contact details are up to date
- Get more involved on social media platforms by adding daily posts
- Optimize online directories
- Add location to your web pages
- Optimize your meta description, content, title tags, images, and URLs
Local search engine results are based on geographic factors. It is impossible to rank based on organic SEO unless you are a big brand. Especially B2B companies where competition is tough, your business can enjoy benefits like:
- Increased web traffic
- increased visibility
- Build a loyal customer base
- Improved brand awareness
- Increase in business inquiries/leads
- Your business gains more trust through high page rankings
- usual customers
- Reduce advertising costs
- Get exposure in local business community directories
- Gets more positive reviews
To rank in Google, you need local SEO
You might be wondering what it takes to get first page ranking on Google. Well, to say the least, there are literally hundreds of things ranging from SEO best practices to ratings and reviews, optimizing the mobile experience, focusing on the user experience, regularly updating and maintaining the Google listing, and on and on.
Google’s algorithms are constantly changing to deliver relevant searches to users. Google’s “Venice Update” was one of the first changes to influence local business search. The update made it imperative for businesses to have landing pages for every location they serve and optimize them for the right keywords.
Another major release was the “Google Pigeon Update” which had several makeovers with the recent one including “Local 3 Pack” as opposed to how they used to show 8-10 businesses in a pack before.
Google recently announced another change that suggests search results are local and even more relevant.
The top half of the search results page is covered with “paid ads” and “local package listings.” Approximately 86% of customers use this list when searching for local businesses.
With the right local SEO strategies and practices, your business can appear in the top 3 searches for local packages.
Algorithms are adapting local search “near me”, so to get your business to appear higher in Google Page Ranking, you can’t bypass local search SEO.
It is a step by step process that you need to go through to appear on the first page of Google.
Local search vs general search engine
Search engine giants like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. use hundreds of factors to rank and index for searches including SEO keywords, inbound and outbound links, content to name a few.
Local businesses that have a physical office in a specific location will want to rank high in local search. The user is likely to search for the products/services in a specific location that they want to find nearby and easy to switch to visit. Therefore, it is important that local businesses appear in local searches.
Can local businesses rank high on search engines like Google?
It is not impossible but it is hard. Also, with each search engine, the algorithm varies, Google’s competitors like Bing, Yahoo adopt different strategies to locate businesses.
Ideally, multi-location brands have a better chance of ranking locally and organically, since they have a website to help improve their ranking when searched.
That is where organic SEO comes into play. Search engine optimization is the process of trying to make sure that search engines know what searches your business or website is relevant to. However, there are marketers who manipulate the results using SEO techniques.
Google considers search engine manipulation extremely serious and spends substantial resources trying to identify and remove it. Therefore, Google now emphasizes “local searches” more. The local search algorithm update, “Pigeon”, is giving importance to local search results, thus benefiting local businesses.
Currently, if you haven’t done local SEO, we recommend spending your time doing those things. It is important that your customers find you.
When it comes to local SEO, we are professionals. If your website isn’t showing up in local searches, your business is missing out on a great opportunity.