4 Reasons Why Companies Are Already Doing Local SEO
After Google rolled out the Pigeon algorithm update last year, local SEO has become paramount, giving brick-and-mortar companies the opportunity to outshine competitors and generate more leads. Entrepreneurs that have been going years without focusing on local SEO were forced to consider a way to integrate it into their inbound marketing strategy, while companies that have been practicing local optimization strategies for some time already saw Penguin as an opportunity.
What are the reasons why companies have already started doing local SEO, and how does this impact their search ranking?
1. Google Prefers Local Businesses
Google is well-known for giving more weight in search results to companies with authority while at the same giving users what they want – and this oftentimes entails showcasing small businesses in search results. But this isn’t the only reason why Google prefers local businesses. Let’s not forget that Google wants to offer users only the most relevant search results – if someone is searching for “digital marketing agency in Sydney,” it makes sense to showcase specifically those businesses that are located in Sydney.
At the same time, Google enables small business owners (with little or no access to resources) to help them increase their visibility by providing a number of tools such as Webmasters Tools and Analytics. While there may be more sophisticated analytics and SEO tools out there, Google’s offering is still incredibly efficient, allowing small businesses to address basic elements such as website traffic, keywords, and more.
2. Google Strives to Individualise Results
If there’s one thing we know about Google, that’s the continuous improvement their ranking algorithm goes through for the purpose of delivering relevant, accurate, and individualised search results to users. Google can generate results based on individual users – more specifically, based on their geographic location and search history. Just as in the example above, someone living in Sydney and looking to hire a digital marketing agency will see various listings for companies located in their area. And if he has also searched for anything related to social media (say, social media trends) in the past, Google will likely showcase specifically digital marketing companies that also offer social media marketing services.
As Google strives to individualise results more and more, local optimisation will become increasingly important. This is yet another reason to start practicing local optimisation strategies if you haven’t already.
3. Mobile Are Finding Their Way Into Users’ Daily Routines
With smart phones and tablets becoming more readily available and accessible to users, mobile search is becoming more and more popular. A study by Telmetrics and xAd has shown that as much as 46 percent of searchers use mobile exclusively as their primary search tool. The report also suggested that 60 percent of consumers expect a business to be within walking distance or local driving distance from their current location. With the launch of wearable devices like the Apple Watch, more searches will be performed on the go.
According to AudienceBloom founder, Jayson Demers, proximity-based searches (reference: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/247515) will start to become more popular, while local searches will revolve around very specific locations instead of regional or neighbourhood-specific locations. In fact, wearable devices are expected to eliminate the barriers between “digital and physical worlds,” as Demers states.
4. Competition Is Increasing
Another factor that leads small businesses to focusing more on local optimisation strategies is the increasing competition. Millions of sites are created every year, and thousands of companies stabilise as valuable enterprises. As a result, brands need to target smaller populations of people in order to gain visibility and exposure, and generate sales. Local SEO offers the perfect opportunity for this, as business can optimise their websites for local searches in order to reach prospects located in specific geographic areas.
As long as competition increases, local SEO will continue to increase as well.
If local SEO isn’t part of your internet marketing strategy yet, then this is just the right time to include it. When done correctly, local SEO can help your website rank higher than your competition, giving you access to users that may ultimately convert and become your customers. Start by listing your business on local directory websites like Yelp (if it isn’t listed there yet), and make sure to maintain accuracy and consistency in your business details. Try to get your past and existing customers to publish reviews about you on your Google My Business page and third-party websites like Yelp or TripAdvisor, and don’t forget about local content, which can go a very long way towards helping your brand become established.