What Is Local  SEO?

Local SEO is key to capturing the attention of those potential customers in your area. More and more, local search platforms such as Google and Bing are integrating location-based data into their search results. This means that when someone searches for services or products and is within a reasonable distance of your business, they should be able to find your business with ease. Optimised local SEO makes this possible, driving sales to the doorstep while improving your visibility online.
 
Part of a Local SEO strategy involves creating accurate business listings for individual brick and mortar stores (or locations belonging to the business) on multiple online directories. This tactic is aimed at occupying spaces your competitors would otherwise be in and therefore not only do you rank higher in search engine results pages, your business is more visible when consumers search for goods and services in their area. This practice is key to optimising  the presence of your business online.
 

Why is a local seo strategy crucial in in 2019?

All of the Search engines are getting much better at identifying what customers are looking for online and how to provide the right search results to them. By relying on consistent information from businesses, search engines are able to enhance the user experience and provide consumers with what they need, when they need it. The more accurate businesses are with their location information, the more likely they will be favoured and rank higher in search listings. When you optimise your business for local SEO, you are reaching local customers who are looking to purchase a product or service you sell, from the location you are selling it.

New data from Google says that 5 out of every 10 consumers who search online locally for goods and services will visit a store within 24 hours. This data suggests that a large portion of customers who are ready to purchase are using local search to determine where they can find the product or service in their area. They are in buying mode.

If your business does not have a strong online presence locally, a large portion of ‘good fit’ customers who are motivated to buy products or services you supply are potentially visiting your competitors’ stores. This is not because you don’t deliver a great product or service, but because your competitors are better at being seen online.

5 Signs that your business isn't optimised online for Local SEO

  1. You have low google visibility which means that your failing to generate local sales. Moz indicate that being in the top three of the local 3 pack is a really important factor to gaining local business. The results of their survey were that 44% of people clicked in the local pack, 8% chose to load more local results, 29% clicked on the organic search results and 19% clicked on the paid adverts ( Google ads) see the survey here
  2. You have inaccurate or missing business listings. You lose trust from potential customers when they click on a link that is broken or the business information is incorrect and it results in a wasted journey.
  3. You aren't managing your businesses reputation well. You are not generating reviews or the ones you receive aren't being acknowledged. Did you know 34% of people don't shop at a store again if they don't receive a response to their review? 
  4. You are relying on paying for Google ads . By all means combine a Google ads strategy with local SEO until you feature regularly in the 3 pack and organically. But once your are getting found in the 3 pack and organically on page 1 of local search results your odds are in your favour of 73% against 19% for ads.
  5. You aren't receiving any near me traffic. The way customers search online is changing towards more conversational queries and if you want to target customers more effectively, you will need to optimise your marketing for the rise in ‘near me’ queries and voice search. In other words, think like a customer. What would you say or do?