Local SEO is becoming increasingly vital for brick and mortar businesses.
Google estimates that more than 55% of all online searches are from a mobile device and that over one third of mobile searches are local. Other studies show that 78% of local mobile searches result in an offline purchase.
For example, consumers who are out for the day who want to find a restaurant, or somewhere to buy a new pair of shoes, will check their mobile phone and look for something in their area.
Optimising your website and web presence to come up in local searches is crucial to capturing this traffic and therefore, sales.
However, while local SEO is very similar to SEO, it is fundamentally different and you will need a new approach to rank for local searches.
Just like with regular SEO, you can greatly benefit from hiring experts who understand the rules and ranking factors. Media Evolution can help you to rank using our knowledge of search algorithms to develop strategy based optimisation. We can create a custom strategy based on your individual business needs, location, niche, and competitors, designed to bring you to the top of search when customers look up your products or services in your area.
Does local SEO matter?
Local searches are only a small percentage of total search, so you might be wondering if they matter. The answer is unequivocally, yes. Google states that 4 in 5 consumers use local search to find information on store addresses, opening hours, product availability, directions, or pricing. More importantly, 50% of those local searches on mobile result in a purchase within 7 days. How does that compare in the long-term to non-local search? 18% of local searches on smartphones result in a purchase within 1 day, versus just 7% of non-local searches.
In short, consumers are increasingly relying on local search to find nearby businesses and products when they are ready to buy, or to find information on a business before they visit. Integrating local SEO into your marketing will allow you to benefit from it.
A strategic approach to local SEO
Media Evolution focuses on creating a strategic approach that works with Google algorithms, so that you can increase your ranking without breaking any rules. This ensures that your site is safe, while giving Google the signals it needs to rank you in a specific area.
While there are dozens of local ranking factors that we will focus on, we will start out by ensuring that Google and other search engines know where you are and where to find you.
Geo-tagging is the first step of any local search optimisation strategy. Here, we go through your website, we add your business addresses and locations to your site, we update your meta-data, and we ensure that search engines know where to find you. For example, you need your business address listed on your contact page, if you have fewer than 10 locations it is best practice to add your business address to your website footer, and you should be adding your address to your site metadata. You also must consider location pages for each business location. Finally, we can help you to add geotagging through Schema mark-up, which will help you to rank for your location.
Google+ Business Page Optimisation
If you don’t have a Google + Business page, you need one. Not surprisingly, Google gives precedence to businesses using their services. Your Google+ Business Page should have a profile photo, should have posts, reviews, and should have a verified location. We will help you to optimize to ensure that your page is as close to Google preferences as-is possible.
Setting up your Google My Business account will allow you to come up in search on Google Maps. This will improve your conversion because Google will show your address, phone number, and any Google + reviews right in search. However, it also benefits your local SEO. By confirming your address and getting the listing, you link the address with your website, which boosts your ranking.
Directory citations can be good or bad and it’s important to approach them carefully to get quality citations that offer value. Search engines including Google and Bing use citations from quality sources like Yellow Pages, Super Pages, chamber of commerce, local city or town business directories, etc. These citations help search engines to confirm that your business is who they think you are, that the information on your page is correct, and that you are located where you say are you.
Unfortunately, many citations and directories can be perceived as spam. It’s important to audit your links to ensure that your citations are quality and offer value to your site.
Local Blog Outreach
Receiving mentions and backlinks from local bloggers and newspapers will help you in more ways than one. First, the local links will help to boost your local SEO, because they will help to confirm your location and will associate your site with their own locations. Second, you will gain exposure to the audiences from those channels.
We use these and other ranking factors to help you boost your local ranking. By optimising based on your strengths and weaknesses, we can create a custom strategy for your business.
Media Evolution follows best-practice techniques to boost local SEO so you capture local traffic. Our strategy based approach ensures that you tackle every element that will help you to rank, while playing by Google’s rules.
Local SEO can be a powerful addition to your existing SEO and marketing efforts, because it will help you to capture traffic from consumers who are ready to buy. Contact us today for a free 30-minute consultation, and we’ll discuss how we will get results for your business.