The likelihood is that if you’re reading this blog post, you probably already know how important SEO is for businesses of all kinds. But when your customers are searching for you with a geographical bias e.g. “hotels in Hampshire” – those traditional SEO techniques alone, may not be getting you the search visibility you’re after.That’s where local SEO practices come in. These techniques will help you gain traction in three key areas:
- Search engine result pages (SERPs) – usually presented in a pack of seven local listings displayed with the address and phone number on the right hand side.
- Google Maps – this service is also integrated into other Google services (like Google Now)
The local carousel – if you’re searching in the US (but it’s making its way across the pond very soon)
There’s been some big changes in the world of local SEO over the last few months. Notably the introduction of the new ‘Google My Business’ interface and the more recent “Pigeon” search algorithm update.
So in order to answer our question; Why is local SEO Important? What better way than to use some plain old stats, here we go…
- 4 out of 5 consumers use search engines to find local information
- 54% of smartphone owners use the Google Maps app
- 20% of all search queries performed in search engines have a geographical bias
- 50% of smartphone users and 34% computer/tablet who perform a local search, visit a store within a day
- 18% of local searches lead to a sale within 24 hours
- 78% of local searches performed on a mobile device lead to a purchase
The stats above not only show us the huge volume of local searches that occur but how profitable they could be should your business be found as a result of the search.
Combine that information with the well established notion that the higher your rankings in SERPs/Google Maps, the more traffic your website will receive – we now have a pretty good idea just how important local SEO is.
So what are the factors (in addition to normal SEO practices) that need to be considered in a local SEO strategy? Well, there’re five main ones to consider that look like this:
- Local listings (in the major search engines)
- On-Page SEO
- Schema and Structured Data
All five of the above factors can play a major role in improving the local traffic your site gets from search engines & Google Maps. So wouldn’t it be handy if somebody put together a simple introductory guide as to how it’s all done?
Well, that’s exactly what I’ve done! Introducing my local SEO White Paper, free to download at your convenience.