Local search engine optimization is currently getting the time under the spotlight it deserves. It’s been a long time coming, too – studies linking mobile Internet usage and local searches started appearing at least as early as 2012. Why did it take this long? It might be that marketers waited for mobile searches to overtake desktop searches. Or it could be that they needed some additional proof that local searches are the way of the future.
But now, that future has come. Local SEO is indispensable for small and medium business who want to attract customers who are near them. But since there are still people who are on the fence and are slow to adapt to the trend, here are some reasons they might consider changing their mind.
Local SEO Delivers Results:
Local search is about filling an immediate need – people search for local businesses because they need products and services that are within their reach. They want the products and services they don’t have to wait for while they’re being shipped or travel a lot to get to them.
There’s a need and an urgency there, and the ability to purchase is implied. Especially if you take into account that 50% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone, and 34% who do it on a desktop computer, end up in a store within a day. Local searches are great at catching the consumers when they are ready to buy, and if you want your business to tap into that well, you need to take local SEO seriously.
Chances Are It’s Going to Grow:
Do you remember the time when you couldn’t whip out your smartphone on the go to look for the closest coffee shop because, well, smartphones weren’t invented yet? If you’re feeling grateful the dark ages of no Internet connectivity on the go are gone, you’re not the only one.
Almost a half of all web traffic in the world comes from mobile devices. In 2017, the number of people using mobile devices to access the Internet will increase by 9.3% compared to 2016. Mobile Internet usage is on a steady growth path. And do you remember that smartphone users are more likely to end up in your store within a day than desktop users.
Google Thinks You Should:
One of the best thing about local search and ranking for it is that Google is doing a lot to make it easy and appealing.
When people search for the products and services they need to find near their location, Google serves them a short list of businesses, along with a map that shows the businesses’ locations. It also gives them an option to load more results, and have even more businesses to pick from.
Google has also given advice to businesses on how to improve their local search rankings. It covers everything from how to deal with online reviews, to which information businesses need to provide, and which criteria are used to determine their ranking.
You can certainly expect Google to make local search even more convenient. You can also expect it not to share all of its secrets about local search ranking. But the most important takeaway is that you can expect Google to know which ways the winds are blowing when it comes to how people use search engines, and if they are pushing for local search, you should take notice.
It’s Not the Same as Global Search:
Local SEO and global SEO are different, just as local search and global search are. For local businesses who are looking for a way to improve their online visibility, going through the regular motions of global SEO will not be enough.
Local SEO has different goals than global SEO. While global SEO is all about ranking well on set keywords, local SEO is all about getting into the three businesses Google lists in the local search pack. And even though local SEO also uses keywords, they tend to include modifiers that aren’t found in global SEO’s keywords, such as names of cities and area codes. That’s why local SEO should be treated as a separate activity and approached with all of its peculiarities in mind.
There are plenty of reasons to give more attention to local SEO. It delivers qualified potential customers with a clear purchase intent. It’s not that hard to set up, and in some areas, there might not be that much of a competition. The sooner you start paying attention to it and using it to your business’ advantage, the easier it will be. So get on board, and optimize locally.