Local SEO – Strategy and Objectives
The benefits of featuring prominently in search engines when localised terms are entered can be enormous if you are a small business which relies on local custom.
Even for companies whose services aren’t location-specific, there are real gains to be made from adding in some local focus to your SEO work.
The good news for small business owners is that it’s actually easier to optimise for local searches than many people realise. A lot of the subjects we’ll look at in the coming sections will make sense right away.
Much of it has to do with claiming your profiles and making sure your company information – primarily your name, address and phone number – is accurate and consistent everywhere that it features.
Beyond that, you will also want to make sure that your web pages are well optimised for local searches and that you feature in plenty of local listings.
There is a lot that can be achieved with local SEO for very little or no expense. However, there are also good options available that require payments to the likes of Google.
Deciding whether or not paying for Google ads is worth your while as a company is not always easy, but their use can reap significant rewards in many cases.
Google ads can help ensure that your website is prominently positioned when relevant local searches are entered, and could therefore be well worth paying for. However, whether they are worth it will depend on exactly how valuable an individual lead is to your company.
In any case, whether you decide to use paid-for ads or not, the fundamental aspects of local SEO which we’ll be looking at are still important if you want to maximise the potential of online traffic for your business.
One of the key advantages of local SEO as an online lead generation strategy is that it helps to thin out the competition that you are battling with for relevant search engine prominence.
This is true simply because there are far fewer companies and service providers competing for associations with the same location-specific terms than is the case with more generic searches.
As a result, smaller businesses can often compete more effectively for a high search engine ranking in the context of certain locally-focused search entries, even to the extent that they outrank much larger providers of similar services.
Furthermore, strategies aiming at local search engine prominence can deliver much better returns on investments than more general alternatives. This is because people who enter their locations into search engines are generally closer to making purchases than those who do not.
Covering the Bases
As ever, when it comes to SEO work, if you want to be completely effective and for your gains to be sustainable, it is important to be thorough and diligent. That means retaining a focus on all of the on-page optimisation elements that you will be familiar if you’ve already been able to carry out more general organic SEO work.
It is also crucial to understand the importance of various local listings and any directories that list details of companies in your area. In addition, it helps to upload quality photos displaying your business if you have them, and to be clear about what you offer and when you’re open or available.
Securing rave reviews, getting involved in local activities and events as much as possible, and publishing locally-oriented content of various sorts can also help move your website in the right direction as far as local SEO is concerned.
Generating Viable Leads
There’s no guarantee that internet users who find their way to your website in search of a particular service provider will end up becoming a customer. However, local SEO can help keep a steady stream of viable leads coming to your website via search engines. This can only improve your prospects of consistently generating sales.