Introduction to SEO
In today’s digital age, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is more important than ever before.
A recent study by BrightLocal found that 78% of consumers use the internet to find information about local businesses more than once a week!
That’s a pretty staggering number, and it’s one that should not be ignored if you’re an independent business owner.
By creating content specifically tailored to a strategic SEO plan, companies can increase their brand awareness and reach a wider audience.
But why is local SEO important to a business?
And, more importantly, can SEO help your business?
In this blog, we’ll look at what local SEO is, local SEO benefits and if it’s possible to do it yourself.
Let’s get into it:
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is the part of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) focused on improving your company’s visibility in geographically related search engine results and your Google My Business profile.
It’s a tried and tested method of effectively marketing your local business’s products and services online for all to see.
For example, if you’re a plumber in London, your local SEO strategy might involve optimising your website for the keyword ‘plumbers in London’.
This would help your website rank higher in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) when someone searched for that term.
Why is SEO important for small businesses?
The importance of SEO for small businesses cannot be understated.
Local SEO for a small business can be the tool that takes their company to the next level through organic exposure and high-quality content, and when done right it could cement their spot at the top.
With nearly 50% of Google searches including local intent, not utilising basic local SEO strategies could mean that your company will miss out on vital rankings.
Additionally, from 2017 to 2019, Google reported a 900% increase in searches involving the phrase “near me today/tonight”.
To meet this mammoth demand, Google has begun tailoring geographically related searches based on proximity, prominence, and relevance.
These studies highlight how optimising your content to meet these location-based searches could open the door to an enormous, untapped audience.
Who needs local SEO?
Any business with a physical location or serves within a geographical area can benefit from local SEO.
You could be a restaurant, hotel, bar, retail store or service provider, by optimising your content with relevant local keywords, you could increase your brand’s online visibility and put your business on the (Google) map.
In fact, 30% to 40% of customers find local businesses through map features, making this a great opportunity to reach a new clientele.
If your business doesn’t have a website, you’re missing out on a huge potential customer base as over 80% of consumers research businesses online before they purchase anything.
You don’t need to be a national or global company to utilise and benefit from local SEO, which is what makes it such an attractive marketing tool for small businesses.
9 key benefits of local SEO services
There are a range of positives smaller businesses could see from working with a local SEO company, some of which include:
- Local SEO helps increase your online visibility and website ranking in search results.
- It holds the highest conversion rate of all local advertising methods.
- 72% of consumers searching for local businesses end up visiting the store within five miles.
- Hyper local SEO ensures your business is found on Google Maps and other similar navigational apps.
- Bypass your competition by outranking them.
- An effective SEO strategy can lead to a self-sustaining cycle of continuous business growth.
- Generate more leads and sales.
- Significantly increase brand awareness and reach.
- Higher organic traffic to your website.
How to improve SEO for a small business
There are several things you can do to improve your website’s SEO, but as a small business, we recommend starting with the following:
- Find relevant local SEO keywords
- Create high-quality local content that isn’t overstuffed with local SEO keywords
- Make sure you have a mobile-friendly website
- Build a web of citations and links
- Get listed in local directories and create location pages
- Optimise your website for additional features, such as voice search
- Monitor your website’s performance
By following these tips, you can give your small business the competitive edge it needs to succeed in today’s digital landscape.
Although, there is one important question to ask:
Is it possible to do local SEO yourself?
Yes, it is possible to do local SEO yourself. However, we would not recommend it unless you have experience in the field.
While it may sound harmless, a poor SEO strategy could negatively affect your website’s rankings and even possibly see it receive a ban from SERPs altogether.
If you’re serious about optimising your website for local search, we recommend reaching out to a professional local SEO company that can assist you in developing and implementing an effective local SEO strategy.
They will be able to help you create quality content, build citations and links, and monitor your website’s performance.
How often does SEO need to be done?
SEO isn’t a task you do once a year and forget about. It’s something that requires your constant attention, especially as the rules surrounding it are constantly changing.
To ensure your website is visible in SERPs, you need to continuously be monitoring your website’s performance and tweaking your SEO strategy as necessary.
A good rule of thumb is to treat your website’s SEO as you would any other marketing campaign – which is to say, regularly and consistently.
Effect of Covid-19 on local SEO
The outbreak of Covid-19 has had a profound effect on local SEO. As businesses have been forced to close their doors, many have turned to the internet in order to stay afloat.
This has resulted in a significant increase in online traffic and, as a result, a need for businesses to focus on their local SEO to ensure they are visible to potential customers.
During the pandemic, nearly 90% of “near me” searches resulted in a call or a visit to the business, highlighting the importance of an optimised Google My Business page.
While the effect of Covid-19 on local SEO is still unfolding, there is no doubt that it has forever changed the landscape of the digital world. businesses must now adapt their marketing strategies to reflect this new reality if they want to stay ahead of the competition.
Now you know why local SEO is important to a business and how businesses use SEO, it’s time to start ranking your content.
There is a range of SEO companies for small businesses to choose from, it’s just a matter of finding the right local SEO service to fit your needs.
We might be biased, but we believe that Inc Studio is the best UK SEO agency to take your company to the next level.
If you’re a company looking to improve your online presence, we offer tailored SEO, brand and web design services that can help elevate your brand.
Tell us a bit about your company by simply contacting us today and we’ll be in touch with you soon!