Posted in Adaptive Marketing by Ross Wheeler
The sad fact is that most large-businesses, particularly those with multiple business locations are often terrible at SEO; don’t get us wrong, there are a lot of smaller businesses that don’t know their keyword densities from their meta data, but they do tend to have one advantage over the bigger guy.
Smaller businesses and independent retailers are much, much better at localised SEO. The simple fact that your business is located in one spot, being talked about in one location and that all mentions of your company lead back to you can provide a major boost to local search results.
However, businesses of all shapes and sizes need to ensure that local search engine optimisation is at the top of their list of priorities for digital marketing in 2016 – without a real sense of dedication to your local customer base, it is likely that other businesses will be able to steal local custom out from under you while you’re focused on increasing your visibility across the rest of the internet.
Essentially, the world is more interconnected than ever. Today, someone can stop outside of a shop and Google the store to see if it is worth going into, or whether they should just pass on by. Even back in 2014, as many as 92% of consumers reported using the internet to find a local business, and that number has only continued to grow throughout 2015. It wasn’t too long ago that a Google report stated that searches containing the phrase “near me” had increased by 34x since early 2011.
The internet is increasingly moving towards mobile devices which can be used almost anywhere in the world. Smartphones, tablets and other devices have all made local online visibility more important than ever before, for every kind of business – from retail stores to restaurants.
Here’s the thing; local optimisation is something that few specialists have actually tried to understand in the past few years. The nature of local search means that businesses with one physical presence enjoy great advantages across all their SEO efforts when targeted a local audience.
The current importance that Google’s algorithms place on businesses data has created an atmosphere which makes it difficult for larger and multi-location businesses to naturally have great SERP rankings when it comes to localised searches, including the increasingly popular “near me” search.
However, if you are representing a bigger business then you can’t afford to ignore locally-focused digital marketing either. Making sure that your entire business adheres to the very best in local SEO practices is essential for solid results.
There are a whole host of advantages that geo-focused SEO can provide when compared to generalised optimisation, including:
Just like general SEO works to make your business visible in modern search engine results pages, localising your optimisation efforts will mean that your business is more likely to rank higher in searches performed in the local area. Thanks to Google’s ever-increasing focus on user-satisfaction, if your business offers the best option for customers in your local area, then you are likely to show up at the top of their search results.
Better Reputation On A Local Level
As your site is easier to find, the chances are that responses to your business will be easy to find as well. This can include anything from mentions across social media, to other people’s blogs and even business reviews on platforms like Google Maps. Small businesses are able to benefit from social media on a level that is practically impossible for larger names and global brands.
A Potential Boost To PPC Performance
Of course, this will depend on the conversion action of your PPC campaigns. If you are trying to get people to visit your physical store/restaurant, then your PPC can really help to drive people if they are in the local area; people are more likely to come and visit your store than order from your online presence, however, unless you operate a takeaway or similar business which specialises in product delivery.
As your business’ online presence becomes easier to find, more people will be willing to leave reviews as it will take much less of their time. It is rare that people will take the time to review a store if they have to struggle to find it. Reviews, and other social signals, are some of the most important factors when it comes to your site’s SEO, and they can really help to boost your visibility and reputation online.
There are a diverse range of different benefits provided by localised SEO, from increased footfall to your business, to greater visibility online. When it comes to digital marketing, you need to ask yourself who you are really trying to target, and which audience is the most likely to support your business and help it grow into the fantastic organisation that it has the potential to be.
For more information on the fantastic benefits of search engine optimisation, with a focus on appealing to a local audience of interested customers, get in touch with our professional team of digital marketing specialists today on 0118 380 1002.