What is Local SEO?
If you’re a small business owner with brick-and-mortar storefronts, a primary goal of your business is to get foot traffic in your store so customers can see, ask questions about, and ultimately buy your merchandise or services. Or, you may want to get phone call leads from potential customers in your geographic service area. Some business owners who serve local areas may think they don’t need a website to get customers because they aren’t big enough or because customers will just walk in off the street. This thinking is often the furthest thing from the truth. In fact, without an online presence, your business may be in trouble.
About 97% of U.S. customers use the Internet to find local places to do business. Google says that 80% of people use a search engine to find local businesses. Those searches may include “Dallas home improvement company” or “San Francisco seafood restaurant,” and even service searches like “Chicago carpet cleaning” or “financial planners near me.” If your business doesn’t show up in local search listings or on review websites like Yelp, your competitors are going to get most of – if not all – search business from the Internet.
The major search engines include “local” listings in the main results seen by users. These results include maps, operating hours, directions, and more. Search engines frequently recognize the IP address and even GPS coordinates of as searcher and serve up results relevant to the geographic location of the searcher. Why is this important to your business? If a person is searching on a street corner on their mobile phone, they’re showing an immediate intent to buy something. If you don’t show up on that map, your competitor gets their business.
How Does Local SEO Work?
Search engines get the data for local listings from a variety of sources, including online yellow pages, source tags called “microformats” placed on sites, and links from other sites. These diverse data sources represent a primary difference from how the search engines gather data for their “traditional” results. For clients who need a more local focus, we utilize a separate process for Local SEO than we do for clients who want to be found nationally or internationally. Our Local SEO process includes tactics like:
- Research presence and accuracy of listings in all applicable data sources
- Create on-site content with the correct keywords and information so search engines can identify your company as relevant to specific local searches
- Create Schema.org / JSON-LD markup for each applicable page of the site
- Monitor local listings to ensure maximum visibility
- Optimize “local business listings” in all major search engines
- Solicit additional positive business reviews in major and vertical search engines
These steps alone are a solid start but are only tactics to get potential customers into your stores. You need other avenues to market your business that doesn’t depend on search engine algorithms. This is what we call “cross-channel marketing.” It gives you more direct control when putting your brand in front of the right potential customers.
Along with a local SEO marketing plan, consider our other services:
These additional services make sure that your potential customers can find you via multiple channels.
Do I Really Need Your Local SEO Services?
Maybe you are still thinking you don’t need a local SEO plan because “my company has a niche market” or it’s too new or small to afford local marketing. In 2017, the most affordable way to grow your company is online. Any industry, any occupation you can think of – from a doctor fresh out of med school starting up a local practice in his hometown, to a skilled plumber with an entrepreneurial spirit – can use a simple website and local SEO campaign to expand their business. For brick and mortar businesses with multiple stores in different cities and states, we implement local SEO strategies so all your stores can appear high in local search results in their targeted communities.
So, whether you have a brand new restaurant, a local hardware store in business for 50 years, or a regional life insurance office – you can benefit from a local SEO marketing plan. WrightIMC will craft a plan to best fit your small or large business and help you gain the local reach you desire. Get in touch with us today and let’s get started on establishing your local presence!