SEO is the practice of improving the visibility of your website within search rankings of Google, Bing and Yahoo. Local SEO is a system that aligns the important information about your business (name, address, phone number and website) as well as your services, office hours and offers across several search engines, local directories, social media profiles and your Google ‘My Business’ page.
Let us give you 3 reasons why local SEO is an important option for your business.
1 – You Do Want Local Search Traffic, Correct?
In a recent study performed by Constant Contact and reported by SEO guru Neil Patel, even though 85% of small businesses value local traffic, only half of these businesses have updated their local listings online.
That means that the majority of businesses polled may have inaccurate business information online, from the wrong address or phone number to the wrong business hours listed. Your potential local customers want to be able to find you easily and quickly, so the information that is out there on the Internet about your business must be true and consistent.
Your potential customers use your Yelp page, Facebook page and local Google+ as their means to find the answer to their problem. Optimization of each of your profiles contributes to your overall local SEO profile. Major search engines see your use of consistent information across these platforms as a strong ranking factor for their search results.
For example, Google Local pages for businesses often appear at the top of Google’s search results pages. Google heavily favors businesses who not only have good reviews but who have also optimized their local properties by:
- Claiming and verifying their Google+ page
- Providing accurate business information, hours, location, and phone numbers on their local properties
- Uploading photos and videos that clarify the business’ products and services
Test it yourself. Perform a Google search for a service in your area. You most likely will see this:
As you can see from this search, the Google+ pages for these businesses appear prominently in the results page. They are also pinned to the map in the upper right. This means that it is vitally important that your address and contact information be accurate to prevent against misinformation.
Each of these profiles has a number of Google reviews, which factors into the perception of the business to a potential customer. The business information is listed clearly next to each. A visitor quickly makes a decision based on this information. Your business needs to be visible in order to capture these types of leads.
2 – You Need to Protect Yourself Against “Black Hat” Local SEO Tactics
We have seen clients suffer from the effects of devious SEO tactics known as “black hat” at the hands of their local competition. Online directories like YellowPages, MerchantCircle, Bing Places and Yahoo Local offer free listings for businesses. However, in order to take advantage of these opportunities, the business must claim their profile as their own.
Some unethical businesses may claim the directory listings of their competition as their own and then implant incorrect contact information or negative reviews. Once a profile is claimed, it’s extraordinarily difficult to reclaim your listings and correct the information.
Claiming your profiles and directory listings protects you against online sabotage. Optimizing your local SEO is not only about being found in search, but securing your online business identity.
3 – Most Local Business Profile Directory Services Are Free
Google My Business, Bing Places, Yahoo Local, Yelp and Foursquare all supply free options for listings in their directories. These options allow you to gain free advertising from highly trafficked websites.
Your business is categorized along with similar providers in your industry, and each time your business information is listed in a reputable source, your local SEO profile improves. This is a low-cost tactic that your business can utilize to generate new leads. These profiles also allow you to display special offers, discounts and information about your business. Each profile further extends your marketing effort.
Local SEO is an important tactic to consider when developing your digital marketing strategy. It will improve your local search traffic, protect your business against online fraud, and benefit your bottom line. You can learn more about our local SEO packages by contacting us today!