Local SEO by the numbers
Investing in local SEO services for your business can have a huge, positive impact. A 2014 report commissioned by Google (PDF) found that “18% of local smartphone searches led to a purchase within a day compared to 7% of non-local searches.” A survey in 2012 by Search Engine Land found that “16% of consumers said they used the Internet every week to find local businesses (vs. 9% in 2010)”. That number jumps to a whopping 85% of consumers when you factor in all the respondents who have used online searches for local business at least once in a 12-month period. In a more general study by the global market research firm Ipsos, the results showed that 65% of US consumers used the internet in the past 3 months to buy products or services online. That study was in 2012, and with the increasing popularity and connectivity of smartphones and tablets, that number has surely gone up.
“4 billion desktop queries per month in the United States have local intent.”
Leverage local SEO services to help drive business to your doorstep.
Great. So how can I improve my business listing in search engines?
The first step is to claim your business with Google and use consistent information throughout your website and in all your online properties.
If you haven’t already done this, get your Google My Business page set up, which is a way of claiming your business in the eyes of Google. There are plenty of tutorials on how to accomplish this feat if Google’s steps get confusing. After your Google business page is set up, make sure that the NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) for your business is correct and consistent throughout your website and across all your online properties. The “Local Business Schema (NAP)” tool can help you generate HTML for your business NAP information so that it stands out for search engines when they crawl your website. Just enter your business name and address information and the tool will generate the well-formed “microdata” HTML snippet for you to put on your website. If you’re using a content management system, typically you’d place such information in a global footer of your website so that it’s automatically included on all your pages.
It’s grunt work time. This is where local SEO services can help.
Now that you have your business claimed with Google, and your business name and address information is correct and consistent throughout your website, it’s time to focus on the more time-consuming work. Unless you have ample free time to invest in search engine optimization and marketing, looking for companies (like us!) who provide local SEO services to take that burden off your shoulders is a good investment.
If you’re feeling frisky or are curious about some of the steps involved, there are plenty of online resources available. For instance, Moz, a provider of software tools for online marketing, has a great local business resource center. You can explore the learning center at your own pace to get information about all things “local search”:
- Learn how to attract new customers through your online marketing strategy
- Boost your online presence with local business listings
- Leverage local reviews and ratings to drive additional traffic to your business
- Optimize your website for localized search results
- Build a social media following to attract local customers
One of the great things about the internet is the plethora of information available at your fingertips. But it can also be intimidating; you first have to wade through all the information, digest it, and then spend the time implementing the details. That’s why companies who specialize in local SEO services exist. As a business owner, it’s sometimes wise to shed some of the hats you wear and let others deal with the details.