Many small business owners believe that local SEO is just a gimmick, an irrelevant expense that’s not really pertinent to an effective overall marketing strategy. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The fact is that search engine optimization is critical for small businesses that want to compete on a local level. Limiting your marketing strategy to social media and word of mouth just isn’t going to cut it. Here are 3 reasons why SEO is a sound investment that will lead to improved sales, an increased customer base, and more traffic to your site.
Local SEO Makes Adwords Affordable
If you’ve ever used Google Adwords to advertise your business online, then you know it can get very expensive. The reason for this is that for every single time your ad is clicked, you’re charged. Not only that, the more popular a chosen keyword, the more you pay per click.
The trick behind making Adwords profitable is finding keywords that aren’t targeting national terms, but rather those that are relevant to your local area. For example, let’s say you run an Italian restaurant in Houston. If you opt for the keyword ‘best Italian restaurant’ on Adwords, you’re going to be paying a pretty penny to rank. However, going for ‘best Italian restaurant in Houston’ is far less competitive. This means you pay less per click and you’re going to be reaching a local audience.
For small businesses, this can make a huge difference to the bottom line. Using the new Google Keyword Planner, keywords that aren’t as popular but have a higher conversion rate can be chosen. You’ll pay less for each click and you’ll need fewer of them to get a sale.
First Page of Local Google Searches = Free Targeted Traffic (+ It’s Easier!)
Getting on the first page of Google for a targeted organic search term can be extremely lucrative. You’ll get hits to your website without having to pay for each click, as you’ll be appearing on the first page naturally. You’re essentially receiving free traffic from Google.
However, getting a space on first-page real estate just doesn’t happen by accident. If you want to rank in the top 10 of a Google search, you’re going to need to oust other companies that have already claimed a stake.
Targeting national terms means you’ll be competing with companies all over the United States. It’s much harder and will take significantly longer to achieve – that’s if you actually get there.
Instead, it’s preferable to go for local terms. You’ll have far less competition for those top Google spots and you can get there in a matter of weeks. Not only that, you’ll get visitors that are from your local area.
Google Loves Local Business Signals
In recent years, Google has given preferential treatment to websites that serve local areas. While many people see Google+ as a poor man’s Facebook, it’s becoming increasingly relevant for small businesses.
The platform can be used to give Google all sorts of signals to legitimize your business. These enhanced features not only help you rank, but will also boost your click-through rates. These are just some of the perks that you get by localizing your Google profile:
Map that clearly displays your business location
Photos that represent your business will be shown on the search result pages
If your website has reviews through Google, excerpts and star ratings will be displayed to searchers
If you don’t do some local SEO work to optimize these signals, you’ll have little chance of ranking on local searches. And even if you do, your business won’t have the perks given to Google+ users.
We only see this platform becoming more relevant in 2014 – jump on the bandwagon before it’s too late. Entrenching your presence early can make all the difference.
- Dan Kogan
- January 22, 2014
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